Summer Games

What Is Summer Games?

Summer Games is one of 13 state sports competitions. It is the championship-level competition for athletics, bocce, Unified bocce, powerlifting, soccer, swimming, artistic gymnastics, and rhythmic gymnastics. In addition, the Young Athletes program offers soccer individual skills, a 50 meter run and softball throw demonstration opportunities.

Summer Games is a three-day event held June 9-11 in Bloomington-Normal. Summer Games includes approximately 4,000 athletes, 60 Unified partners, 1,750 coaches and 2,500 volunteers.

Additional activities include Opening Ceremony featuring the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg; a variety of Healthy Athlete initiatives; families registration and activity opportunities, Olympic Town with a variety of interactive activities; souvenir sales; and a Victory Dance held in Uptown Normal.

Illinois State University has been the primary host venue since 1977 and, as the event has grown, additional venues include Kingsley Junior High School and Normal Community High School.

Athletics and swimming became official Special Olympics Illinois sports in 1968, artistic gymnastics in 1975, soccer in 1977, powerlifting in 1986, rhythmic gymnastics in 1996, bocce in 1997, and Unified bocce in 2002.

Spectators are encouraged to attend this premiere state tournament to cheer on these extraordinary athletes.

Competition Information

Competition will be offered in athletics, bocce, Unified bocce, gymnastics, soccer, powerlifting and swimming. Athletes cannot participate in more than one sport. Athletes registered in bocce may only compete in traditional bocce or Unified bocce (not both) and athletes registered for gymnastics may only compete in artistic or rhythmic (not both).

Young Athletes
Young Athletes who are six and seven years of age, with valid forms on file, also have the opportunity to choose between two transitional exhibitions. The 50-meter race (10:00 a.m.), tennis ball throw (12:20 p.m.) and individual soccer skills (1:00 p.m.) will be held on Saturday (times are tentative). To take part in the transitional exhibitions, Young Athletes must have a valid medical application and can register for only one – athletics or soccer skills. As always, there will be a pizza party leading up to Opening Ceremony, along with a variety of activities offered to all participants.

Facility Information

Illinois State University (ISU) is the host for athletics, bocce, artistic gymnastics, and soccer. Normal Community High School is the host for rhythmic gymnastics and swimming. Kingsley Junior High School hosts powerlifting.

  • Kingsley Junior High
    • Powerlifting
  • ISU Intramural Fields
    • Soccer
  • Illinois State University
    • Artistic gymnastics (Horton Field House)
    • Bocce (baseball stadium)
    • Softball throw (soccer stadium)
    • Tennis ball throw and mini javelin (Hancock Stadium)
    • Track events (ISU track)
    • Tournament Central (Horton Field House)
  • Normal Community High School
    • Rhythmic gymnastics
    • Swimming
  • Redbird Arena
    • Healthy Athletes


Everyone must obey parking regulations since summer school will be in session at ISU and employees will be reporting to work. Approved parking lots are shown below.

  • No parking in lots designated for faculty and staff (identified by red signs) except for Lots M83, U83 and F83S.
  • No parking in spaces marked “Reserved.”
  • Car parking will be allowed in Lots F62, F64, G24, G53, G73, G81, G83, G86, G87, G91, and S67.
  • If you park at a meter, you must feed it.
  • Cars parked in lots not approved for Special Olympics Illinois may be ticketed. Tickets will be the responsibility of the owner. Be aware that ISU may tow illegally parked cars.
  • Parking will also be available at Chiddix Junior High School, Normal West High School and the ISU intramural soccer fields.
  • Special Olympics Illinois will operate a park and ride shuttle from Fairview Aquatics Park, 800 N. Main Street in Normal.
    • Hours of operation: 
      Friday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
      Saturday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Competition Schedule

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 below.

Artistic Gymnastics

  • Friday, afternoon
  • Saturday, all day


  • Friday, afternoon
  • Saturday, all day


  • Friday,afternoon
  • Saturday, all day


  • Friday, afternoon
  • Saturday, all day
  • Sunday, morning

Rhythmic Gymnastics

  • Saturday, all day
  • Sunday, morning


  • Friday, afternoon
  • Saturday, all day


  • Saturday, all day
  • Sunday, morning

Healthy Athletes


  • Please enter Redbird Arena from the northeastern descending ramp into the lower concourse of the arena. The ramp is located off the Turner parking lot (Olympic Town).

SPECIAL SMILES            Friday: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

  • The Special Smiles discipline of Healthy Athletes provides comprehensive oral health care information, including free dental screenings and instructions on correct brushing and flossing techniques.

HEALTHY HEARING Friday: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

  • The Healthy Hearing program provides free ear and hearing screenings designed to ensure proper audiology care for athletes.

OPENING EYES Saturday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

  • The Opening Eyes program is a vision and eye health screening in partnership with the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Led by volunteer vision care professionals, Opening Eyes offers prescription eyewear, sunglasses, and sports goggles to athletes.

FUN FITNESS       Saturday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

  • The Fun Fitness discipline of Healthy Athletes provides free screenings to measure athletes’ flexibility, strength, balance and aerobic fitness.

Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony is scheduled for 8:00 PM on Friday, June 9, at Hancock Stadium and will include the Parade of Athletes, National Anthem, Athlete Oath, a fireworks display and lighting of the Flame of Hope.

  1. Athletes and coaches should wear uniforms.
  2. At 7:00 PM. on Friday, agencies can begin assembling in Hancock Stadium. Seating will be assigned by region in the stands. No seating on the turf is allowed. Volunteers will be in the seating areas with region signs to help guide you to your seats. Wheelchairs and escorts will be seated in the east bleachers in the handicap accessible seating.
  3. Please see the flyer in the coach’s packet for specific information about athletes participating in the parade and their assigned seating in the stands. It will be limited to FOUR total participants. Volunteers will assist agencies with the staging arrangements.
  4. There will be a “quiet” fireworks display at the end of Opening Ceremony. All fireworks that create a loud “boom” have been removed, however some aerial fireworks, the shells when they are fired and when they break open will produce noise. An announcement will be made to allow time for those who want to leave before the fireworks display begins.

Volunteer Information

Please click on the button below to register to volunteer.


Please check back closer to the event for more information.


Families are an integral part of Special Olympics Illinois and of the Summer Games. These proud supporters are seen in the stands, on the sidelines, serving as games committee and coaches. Regardless of your role, families are welcomed and celebrated for your support and enthusiasm for the athletes and Special Olympics Illinois.

Families attending the Summer Games should make their first stop at the Families registration and information area at either ISU or Normal Community High School to pick up your games guide, free Families tailgate picnic tickets and welcome gift. There are a lot of other things to see here too, including a free raffle for some cool Special Olympics Illinois gear, event flyers, and of course info to help you navigate and fully experience Summer Games.

The Families registration and information area is located in the lower northeast corner of Horton Field House and at Normal Community High School.

Horton Field House

  • Friday, June 9 from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM.
  • Saturday, June 10 from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Normal Community High School

  • Friday, June 9 – Time TBA
  • Saturday, June 10 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Victory Dance

The Victory Dance will be held in Uptown Normal from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM on Saturday. The dance gives athletes a chance to celebrate their accomplishments and to socialize with others from around the state in addition to members of the community. 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.

Other Activities

  • Hospitality Area
  • Law Enforcement Torch Run – Torch Run Central will serve as a resource center during this year’s events and will coordinate all law enforcement activities including awarding medals. The tent is located in Olympic Town and is open from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday.
  • Olympic Town – Located on the Turner Hall parking lot, Olympic Town provides numerous activities, displays, entertainment, and athlete vendor tables, more. It is open from 9:00 PM – 2:00 PM on Saturday.
  • Special Activities – Several other opportunities are underway, including potentially the Fairview Park Pool & Waterslide and Miller Park Zoo. Check back closer to Summer Games and look for flyers in your registration packet.


Identified meals are provided for athletes, Unified partners and coaches registered to stay in provided housing. ISU and Normal Community High School will offer concession sales for spectators.


Awards will be given when each division is complete.

Text Alerts and Event Status Updates

Please check back closer to the event for more information.

Supporting Documents

To see a complete list of all state championship competitions, click here.

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

Who We Are

Special Olympics Illinois 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 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and 9,000 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.

COVID Procedures

Unless a venue has specific COVID protocols in place, Special Olympics Illinois is following Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC COVID protocols and guidelines. Please refer to event specific information or website page (if applicable) to determine if the venue has any specific COVID protocols.

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:


Jun 09 - 11 2023


8:00 am - 6:00 pm




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

Location 2

Kingsley Junior High School
303 Kingsley St, Normal, IL 61761

Location 3

Normal Community High School
3900 E Raab Rd, Normal, IL 61761

Other Organizers

Nate Henry
Nate Henry
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