State Championships Stories

We Miss Our Summer Games Volunteers


 

Volunteers are the cornerstone of the Special Olympics movement. Our volunteers are coaches, family members, fundraisers, officials, and sponsors. They can also be Unified Partners – playing alongside athletes, or better yet, fans in the stands!

Annually, around 2,000 volunteers converge at the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games.

Without them, a weekend filled with competition, comradery, and courage would cease to exist.

“Special Olympics Illinois is fortunate to have new and veteran volunteers whose knowledge, creative input, and positivity enhance the quality of our events. These volunteers are the heart of what keeps Special Olympics Illinois alive,” said Brianna Beers, Director of State Championships.

The time, energy, education, and commitment of our volunteers are instrumental in hosting the weekend-long state competition.

For many, volunteering at Summer Games is an activity for the entire family to take part in.

Ashish (Ash) and Diana Sawhney have made volunteering at Summer Games a family affair.

Ash’s son began helping him at Summer Games 12 years ago at the age of six. His daughter also began at the age of eight and has continued volunteering for 12 years.

For long-time volunteer Dave Hayes, the legacy of volunteering traveled on from his children to his grandchildren.

Although we are not together this year, we would like to honor some of our long-time Summer Games volunteers and their years of service.

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!

  • Alice Hoekstra: 25 years
  • Dave Hayes & Family: 43 years
  • Steve Feldman: 15 years
  • Laura Stewart: 35 years
  • Brian Hayes and Megan Hardy: 20 years
  • Ashish Sawhney & Family: 22 years
  • Jenny Panico: 24 years
  • Tricia Brawley:  9 years
  • Glen Marks: 15 years
  • Barb & Larry Needham: 30 years
  • Dara DiBendetto: 27 years
  • Fred Gafrick: 6 years
  • Cathy & Todd Alfrey:17 years
  • Jeff Findley: 20 years
  • Aubrey Findley: 18 years
  • Norbert Bendixen: 40 years
  • Gerry Schlemer: 32 years
  • Marie Reitmeier: 27 years
  • Lynn Reitemeier: 20 years
  • Kelly King: 27 years
  • Marcy Parsons: 25 years
  • Jo Pellegrino: 23 years
  • Rosie Kuhlman: 23 years
  • Bill Duffy: 44 years

State Basketball Championships


 

What is State Basketball?

State Basketball is one of 11 state sports competitions. It is the culminating competition for those participating in team and individual skills basketball. State Basketball is held at Horton Fieldhouse – ISU and the Shirk Center- IWU. Over 1,750 athletes will compete in this 3-day event and show off their winning form! The State Basketball Tournament is supported, in part, by a grant from the Shirk Family Foundation.

The 2020 State Basketball Tournament will be held from Friday March 13th through Sunday March 15th!

Volunteer

We are looking for volunteers to help out at this year’s State Basketball Competition. You can register online by selecting a day you are interested in working from below. Then you just need to sign in or create a profile if this is your first time volunteering for Special Olympics Illinois online.  If you are interested in bringing a group to volunteer please contact Nate Henry at 309-888-2551 or nhenry@soill.org.

Once you are logged in select shift(s) you want and click on “Complete Registration”. You will then be taken to a page where you can continue to register for more shifts. You do not have to go all the way back to the beginning of the process. Remain on this page and look for the event/day you would like to sign up for next. For more information you can view our Complete Step-by-Step Instructions.

Volunteer for State Basketball Today!

Competition

Competition is offered for teams and in individual skills.

Team Basketball

2014 State Basketball 2

The goal of Special Olympics Illinois is to create four team divisions whenever possible for all state tournament play.  In some cases, divisions of two or three teams must be designed in order to provide appropriate competition at state tournaments.  In such cases, special rules apply so that each team is given a fair and equal opportunity to achieve success.

In a four team bracket, each team plays two games. In a three team division all play is round robin style.  In these divisions, three games will be played with each team competing twice.  In a two team division all play is best two of three games.  Teams will be given adequate time to rest between games and should a division go to a third game, the final game will be highlighted for its championship status.

Individual Skills

Individual Skills Competition will be Saturday at Illinois State University’s Horton Field House. The Staging Area will be in the southeast corner of the Field House.  Individual Skills athletes will begin competing at 9:00am Saturday.  All traditional skills athletes will compete followed by the Young Athletes Skills competition.

Sports competition runs from Friday, March 13, to Sunday, March 15. The public is invited and encouraged to attend any and all parts of Special Olympics State Basketball. Entrance to the tournament is free of charge.

Tentative Competition Times

All times listed below are tentative and subject to change once event specific schedules are determined.  For a final schedule please check the Supporting Documents section close to competition day.

  • Friday, 10am – 5:30pm
  • Saturday, 8am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday, 8am – 3:00pm

Young Athletes

Young Athletes from around the state will enjoy participating in basketball skills, socializing and so much more during the State Basketball tournament.

Young Athletes have the opportunity to participate in basketball skills on Saturday, March 14 at Illinois State University’s Horton Field House. Participating in exhibition events is a great way to help Young Athletes transition to the traditional Special Olympics program! To take part in the transitional exhibitions Young Athletes must have a valid Medical Application. For more information, please email youngathletes@soill.org.

Family Program

The Family Leadership team has set up the following special events for families of athletes.

Registration, Information & Hospitality

Please encourage all family members to register at the Family Information/Registration Area at ISU Horton Field House and in the main lobby at IWU Shirk Center.  New families as well as our veteran families should stop by to let us know you are here and enter the raffle to win prizes.  Information on athlete’s teams and game schedules and community information will be available.

Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony will be in held in Horton Field House on Saturday, March 14 at 7:00pm.

Dances & Evening Entertainment

A dance and laser tag activity is scheduled for both Friday and Saturday nights.  Friday night entertainment will take place after dinner and run from 7:00pm-8:30pm. Saturday’s entertainment will begin shortly after the conclusion of the Opening Ceremony.  Activities on both evenings will take place in Horton Field House.

Souvenirs

Souvenirs will be sold at both ISU and IWU venues.  Hours are 11:00am – 5:00pm on Friday and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday.  Items range from $3 to $55 and will include clothing and other traditional souvenir items.  The vendor will sell Basketball State Tournament specific t-shirts and sweatshirts.  Cash and most major credit cards are accepted for souvenir sales.  CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.  Souvenir items are offered by Minerva Promotions and a percentage of sales are given to Special Olympics Illinois.

You can save time and pre-order items and pick them up on-site.  Pre-order items can also be personalized.  On-site customization is offered at both venues.  Please click here: (State Basketball Interactive Souvenir Flier Interactive SO State Basketball 2020  or go to www:soillstatestore.com to view items and submit your pre-order.

Text Alerts & Event Status Updates

In case of inclement weather, schedule changes or cancellations check the website here for updates. Please sign up for the text alert.  This alert will send you any last minute changes in the State Basketball schedule. Please text “Basketball” to 844-393-0980 to receive State Basketball related text alerts.

Supporting Documents

Sponsors

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2020 Winter Games


 

What is Winter Games?

Winter Games is one of 11 state sports competitions. It is the culminating competition for those participating in Alpine Skiing and Snowshoeing. Winter Games is hosted at Chestnut Mountain in Galena, IL. Over 450 athletes will compete in this 3-day event and show off their winning form!

Competition

Competition is offered in Alpine Skiing and Snowshoeing. Athletes cannot participate in more than one sport.

Sports competition runs from Tuesday, Feb. 4, to Thursday, Feb. 6. The public is invited and encouraged to attend any and all parts of Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games.

Volunteer Opportunities

Please click on the button below to register to volunteer for this event.

Volunteer for Winter Games Today!

Tentative Competition Times

All times listed below are tentative and subject to change once event specific schedules are determined. Times only reflect actual competition times and do not include time frames for coach meetings, weigh-in times, etc. For a final schedule please check the Supporting Documents section close to competition day.

Alpine Skiing

  • Tuesday, 1:30pm Assessments
  • Wednesday, 9am – 4pm
  • Thursday, 9am – 4pm

Snowshoeing

  • Tuesday, Noon-4pm
  • Wednesday, 9:00am – 4pm
  • Thursday, 9:00am – Noon

Family Activities

Families are an integral part of Special Olympics Illinois and of Winter Games. Parents and family members attending Winter Games should stop by the Family Registration area, located on the lower level of Chestnut Mountain Resort to pick up their family packet and goody bag.

WG-OpeningCeremonies

Families are invited to take part in the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday evening in downtown Galena.  At 5:30 p.m., the Parade of Athletes will walk through downtown Galena and end up at the Post Office for the official Ceremony ending at 6 p.m. Dress appropriately for the weather – it is all outdoors.

Family members attending Winter Games will also be invited to the Eagle Ridge Reception from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. Space is limited so pre-registration is required for attendance at this event. The dress is business casual. Light appetizers will be served and guests will enjoy presentations, socializing with other families, sponsors, volunteers, Board members and staff.

Family members are also invited to the Victory Dance at Chestnut Mountain or the Ramada from 7:30 – 9 p.m. Wednesday. The dance is typically a highlight for many of the athletes as they get to dance away the night!

Additional Family Information:

Opening Ceremony

WG-TorchRun

Opening Ceremony and the Parade of Athletes will be in downtown Galena beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Line-up will begin at 5:15 p.m. on Green Street near the historic Post Office building. Agencies will line up behind their Region flag. The parade will progress through the downtown area and back to the Post Office area where Opening Ceremony will be held. Finally, to top off the Ceremony, Law Enforcement Torch Run officers will hand off the torch to athletes who will carry it along its path and light the cauldron holding the Flame of Hope to kick off the Games! Please dress appropriately for the weather – it is all outdoors.

Dinner Downtown

WG-Dinner

After the Opening Ceremony, agencies will be escorted to local restaurants for dinner. Please check your agency’s registration packet for more detailed information.

Winter Games Reception

The Winter Games Reception will be at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. Tuesday. The dress is business casual. Light appetizers will be served and guests will enjoy presentations, socializing with other families, sponsors, volunteers, Board members and staff.

Victory Dance

The Victory Dance will be from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Chestnut Mountain and Crossroads Community Church. The dance gives the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois a chance to celebrate their accomplishments and to socialize with others from around the state. Old friends will catch up and new friends will be made. The smiles and joy of the athletes are a testament to how Special Olympics Illinois helps transform lives.

Souvenirs

Souvenir hours are 10:00am – 4:00pm on Tuesday and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Wednesday.  Items range from $ 3 to $55 and will include clothing and other traditional souvenir items. The vendor will sell Winter Games specific t-shirts and sweatshirts.  Cash and most major credit cards will be accepted for souvenir sales.  CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.  Souvenir items are offered by Minerva Promotions and a percentage of sales are given to Special Olympics Illinois.

You can save time and pre-order items and pick them up on-site.  If you want to personalize any items then you must pre-order them.  On-site customization is not offered at the tournament.  Please click here: (Winter Games Interactive Souvenir Flier Interactive SO Winter Games 2020 or go to www.soillstatestore.com to view items and submit your pre-order.

Text Alerts & Event Status Updates

In case of inclement weather, schedule changes or cancellations check the website here for updates.  Please sign up for the text alert. This alert will send you any last minute changes in the Winter Games Schedule. Please text “Winter” to 844-393-0980 to receive Winter Games related text alerts.

Lodging in Galena

View the Visit Galena site for information on lodging and activities in Galena.

Supporting Documents

Final Results:


State Bowling Championships


 

What is State Bowling?

State Bowling is one of 9 state sports competitions. It is the culminating competition for those participating in bowling. State Bowling is hosted at Landmark Lanes in Peoria.

Competition

State Bowling is a stand alone competition and serves as a showcase for our bowling athletes to demonstrate the skills they have learned throughout the year. Everyone is encouraged to attend this premiere state tournament so make sure you don’t miss this great event!

Volunteers

Volunteers are needed in a variety of roles at our State Bowling competition. Please click on the link below to check out all the available shifts and register to volunteer!

Volunteer

Tentative Competition Times

All times listed below are tentative and subject to change once event specific schedules are determined. Times only reflect actual competition times and do not include time frames for coach meetings, weigh-in times, etc. For a final schedule please check the Supporting Documents section close to competition day.

  • Saturday: 9:45 – 3:00pm

Families

A family hospitality area will be available at State Bowling. The family area will be open from 8 am until 1 pm and refreshments will be served. Please encourage family members to visit the Family Hospitality Area and register or check-in to let us know they are here. Family members can meet and visit with other families and receive information on what is new at Special Olympics Illinois and also have the opportunity to win a prize from the raffle. Most of all, they can have fun, relax and watch their athletes have a great experience.

Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony will take place on the lanes beginning at 9 am on Saturday. We ask that all first shift bowlers be on the lanes before the ceremony begins. All other athletes, coaches and spectators should be seated in the chairs or bleachers behind the lanes.

Souvenirs

Souvenir hours are 9:00am – 2:00pm.  Items range from $1 to $55 and will include clothing and other traditional souvenir items. The vendor will sell State Bowling Tournament specific t-shirts and sweatshirts.  Cash and most major credit cards will be accepted for souvenir sales.  CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.  Souvenir items are offered by Minerva Promotions and a percentage of sales are given to Special Olympics Illinois.

Receive 15% off of all preorders when you spend $50 or more.  You can save time and pre-order items and pick them up on-site.  If you want to personalize any items then you must pre-order them.  On-site customization is not offered at the tournament.  Please click here: (Bowling Interactive Souvenir Flier Interactive SO BOWLING 2019 LINK or go to www.soillstatestore.com to view items and submit your preorder.

Weather

In case of inclement weather, schedule changes or cancellations check the website here for updates. Please sign up for the text alert.  This alert will send you any last minute changes in the State Bowling schedule.  To register, please text “Bowling” to the number 844-393-0980.

Supporting Documents

Interactive Souvenir Flier SO BOWLING 2019 LINK

2019 Bowling Agency List

2019 State Bowling Handbook Memo

2019 State Bowling Event Handbook

2019 Peoria Area Hotel Listing

State Floor Hockey Championships


 

What is State Floor Hockey?

State Floor Hockey is one of 9 state sports competitions. It is the final competition for those participating in Floor Hockey. State Floor Hockey is hosted at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

Competition

Floor Hockey is a stand alone competition and serves as a showcase for our floor hockey athletes to demonstrate the skills they have learned throughout the year. Everyone is encouraged to attend this premiere state tournament so make sure you don’t miss this great event!

Athletes may compete in team competition or Individual Skills. Individual skills will take place on Saturday starting at 9am. For team competition all teams need to arrive 15 minutes prior to game time to warm up and teams not ready to play within 10 minutes of the designated starting time will forfeit the game.

Volunteer

To register to volunteer for this event, please contact Brianna Beers at bbeers@soill.org or via phone at 847-845-6481.

Tentative Competition Times

All times listed below are tentative and subject to change once event specific schedules are determined. Times only reflect actual competition times and do not include time frames for coach meetings, weigh-in times, etc. For a final schedule please check the Supporting Documents section close to competition day.

  • Saturday, 8am – 4pm

Families

A family hospitality area will be available at the front lobby from 8:30am-12:30pm on Saturday. Please encourage family members to visit the Family Hospitality Area and register or check-in to let us know they are here. Family members can meet and visit with other families and receive information on what is new at Special Olympics Illinois and also have the opportunity to win a prize from the raffle. Most of all, they can have fun, relax and watch their athletes have a great experience.

Healthy Habits

SOILL will be offering Healthy Hearing and Healthy Habits Stations at State Floor Hockey. Various interactive stations will be set-up.  Athletes will have the opportunity to learn about proper hydration, game day nutrition, competition readiness/strong minds & warm-up/recovery techniques.

Be sure to stop by and check out this new initiative!

Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony begins at 8:15am in the small gym.  All teams and spectators are encouraged to attend.

Souvenirs

Souvenir hours are 10:00am – 2:00pm.  Items range from $1 to $55 and will include clothing and other traditional souvenir items. The vendor will sell State Floor Hockey Tournament specific t-shirts and sweatshirts.  Cash and most major credit cards will be accepted for souvenir sales.  CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.  Souvenir items are offered by Minerva Promotions and a percentage of sales are given to Special Olympics Illinois.

Receive 15% off of all preorders when you spend $50 or more.  You can save time and pre-order items and pick them up on-site.  If you want to personalize any items then you must pre-order them.  On-site customization is not offered at the tournament.  Please click here: (Floor Hockey Interactive Souvenir Flier Interactive SO FLOOR HOCKEY 2019 LINK or go to www.soillstatestore.com to view items and submit your preorder.

Weather

In case of inclement weather, schedule changes or cancellations check the website here for updates. Please sign up for the text alert.  This alert will send you any last minute changes in the Floor Hockey schedule.  To register, please text “FloorHockey” to the number 844-393-0980.

Supporting Documents

2019 Floor Hockey Event Handbook Memo

2019 Floor Hockey Event Handbook

2019 Floor Hockey Schedule Memo

Floor Hockey Family Information

Interactive Souvenir Flier SO FLOOR HOCKEY 2019 LINK

2019 Floor Hockey Agency List With Final Divisions

Healthy Habits & Hearing Flyer

2019 Floor Hockey Schedule Revised 11 14 19