State Basketball Tournament

Schedule Change Information

Special Olympics Illinois has made the decision to modify the schedule for the 2022 State Basketball Tournament. The tournament is changing from a three-day event to a two-day event.

All junior teams, high school teams and female teams will compete and play all their games on Friday, March 11.

All senior male teams will compete and play all their games on Saturday, March 12.

There are no changes for the individual skills competition. All skills athletes will compete on Saturday. Special Olympics Illinois will still offer evening activities on Friday but no evening activities will be offered on Saturday night.

Special Olympics Illinois staff are making adjustments and will soon share specific information related to meals, anticipated schedule, etc.

A significant drop in participating teams is the reason for the format change. Special Olympics Illinois staff completed the registration process the evening of February 15 and determined that having fewer than 90 teams, compared to a more typical 140 teams, allowed for the tournament to be conducted using a two-day format. Many teams submitted scheduling requests that would allow them to play both their games on one day. Moving to a two-day format also limits interaction between teams and spectators over multiple days.

Please visit the check back here for updates as they become available. Also, you can text Basketball to 844-393-0980 to receive weather or emergency updates to this event. The Text Alert System if the primary method for communicating schedule changes or emergency tournament information.

COVID Procedures

All participants should self-screen prior to arriving at this event and should remain home if feeling unwell or displaying coronavirus symptoms.

Vaccination is not required to attend in person events.

SOILL will have hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/spray and other cleaning/sanitizing products on-site.

Spectators will be allowed at the State Basketball Tournament.

Special Olympics Illinois is committed to providing the best athlete, volunteer, coach and supporter environment possible.  While we are excited to resume in-person events, the health and well-being of our constituents remains our top priority.  All of our in person events follow the COVID-19 recommended IDPH and CDC guidelines. 

Please review the COVID High-Risk fact sheet for more information:


What Is State Basketball?

State Basketball is one of 13 state sports competitions. It is the championship level competition for those participating in team and individual skills basketball. The Young Athletes Program offers an individual skills demonstration opportunity. State Basketball is a typically a three-day event, usually held the second or third weekend of March in Bloomington-Normal. The 2022 event will be a two-day format. Please see above for additional details.

The State Basketball Tournament typically includes approximately 1,900 athletes, 550 coaches and 350 volunteers. Additional activities include Victory Dances and athlete-centered evening activities, family registration, and souvenir sales. Illinois State University’s Horton Fieldhouse has hosted the tournament since 1975 and the tournament expanded to include Illinois Wesleyan University’s Shirk Center in 2002. Basketball became an official Special Olympics Illinois sport in 1975

Competition Information

Competition is offered for teams and in individual skills.

Team Basketball

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, for 2022 in the two-day format, all play is best of two games. 

Individual Skills

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

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 at Illinois State University‚Äôs 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.

Facility Information

Illinois State University
Horton Field House
Main & College Avenue
Normal, IL

Illinois Wesleyan University
Shirk Center
302 E. Emerson
Bloomington, IL

Horton contains five courts and the Shirk Center contains six courts. Parking is available all around both facilities.

Event Details

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, 10:00 AM ‚Äď 5:30 PM
  • Saturday, 9:00 AM ‚Äď 5:30 PM


Please check back closer to the event for more information.

Opening Ceremony

There will be a short ceremony on Friday, March 11 at 6:30 PM that includes a torch run and athlete‚Äôs oath.  


Souvenirs will be sold at both ISU and IWU venues. Hours are 11:00 AM ‚Äď 5:00 PM on Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. 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 preorder items and pick them up on site.  Preorder items can also be personalized.  Customization is only available via preorder. Please click here: www:soillstatestore.com to view items and submit your preorder. The preorder deadline is Friday, March 4, 2022.


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‚Äôs teams and game schedules and community information will be available.

IL ABLE at State Basketball

This year, during the tournament, spend a few minutes learning more about IL ABLE savings account. IL ABLE will have a team member available at  ISU Horton Field House during the following times:

  • Friday, March 11:  8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Saturday, March 12: 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM

IL ABLE accounts are savings and investment accounts that Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their families can open to save for disability expenses while preserving benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. To learn more about IL ABLE, please visit illinoisable.com/SOILL today.

Victory Dance

A dance and laser tag activity is scheduled for Friday night. Friday night entertainment will take place after dinner and run from 6:45 PM – 8:30 PM. Evening activities will take place in Horton Field House.

Text Alerts and 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 ‚ÄúBasketball‚ÄĚ to 844-393-0980 to receive State Basketball related text alerts.


Please check back closer to the event for more information.


Please check back closer to the event for more information.


2022 State Basketball Results

Supporting Documents

2022 State Basketball Coach Proof

2022 State Basketball Coach Proof with Divisions

2022 State Basketball Event Handbook Memo

2022 State Basketball Event Handbook

2022 State Basketball Schedule, Division List, Skills Updated 3-7-22

2022 State Basketball Registration Sites

2022 State Basketball ISU Menu

2022 State Basketball Shirk Center Menu

Please use this link to find hotels in the Bloomington/Normal area:

If you are having difficulties finding a hotel then you can contact the Bloomington-Normal Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 433-8226

To see a complete list of all State Championship Competitions, click here.

To find out more information about the Knights of Columbus, who support Special Olympics Illinois throughout the year, click here.

Who We Are

Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world.  Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities.  Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life.  Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.


Mar 11 - 12 2022


8:00 am - 6:00 pm




Horton Field House
180 N Adelaide St, Normal, IL 61761

Location 2

Shirk Center
302 E. Emerson St. Bloomington, IL 61701
Nate Henry


Nate Henry
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