Unified Basketball Championship Tournament

Saturday 3/9/2024 Consolation Game Stream

What Is Unified Basketball?

A Unified Basketball team is made up of three Special Olympics athletes, two Unified Partners and a non-playing adult coach. The maximum roster for a team is 15 this includes Special Olympics athletes and Unified Partners. Please note that all travel expenses for your team for both the regional and state tournaments will be the responsibility of your school. There is a maximum of three Coach/Team Managers allowed per team. There must be at least 1 adult coach registered. There is a 4th adult slot if you will be bringing a team trainer.

Coach Requirements

Each coach is required to be an approved SOILL coach having completed the Class A Registration process. This process includes two short online training (protective behaviors and concussion awareness) as well as a criminal background check. Click here to check if you have a valid Class A on file or to complete a new Class A online. This will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Head coaches are required to take the NFHS Unified Sports Training. This is a free online courseIt will take approximately one hour to complete. If you do not already have an account, you will be prompted to create one. Upon completion you will be provided with a certificate. If you have completed the course in the last five years, your records are already on file.

Special Olympics Athlete Requirements

Each Special Olympics athlete will need to have a Special Olympics Illinois Medical Application on file.  This medical form is valid for three years from the physician signature. View this form here. A Special Olympics athlete is an individual with an intellectual disability. A Special Olympics athlete participating in Unified Basketball can participate until the day before their 22nd birthday as long as they are enrolled in your school.

Unified Partner Requirements

Each Unified Partner will need to go through the volunteer screening process for Unified Partners and Class A Volunteers. This process is entirely online. Please ensure that each partner selects that they are registered as a Unified Partner in the beginning to avoid having to repeat the process. Register here. There are two different online trainings required and the link will walk you through step by step. A Unified Partner is an individual without an intellectual disability that is enrolled in your school.

Competition Information

The games will be held as part of the IHSA State Boys Basketball Tournament – Champaign, IL. We will be playing at the ARC (Activities and Recreation Center) on campus of the University of Illinois. Address: 201 E Peabody Dr, Champaign, IL 61820.

Each team will play twice, one time each day. A copy of the tournament brackets with game times will be posted to the Supporting Documents section of this page.

The tournament is divisioned based on scores from regional tournaments, submitted scores and ability level. There are two divisions for the tournament. These are seeded divisions. 

General information about the IHSA / SOILL Unified Tournament can be found on the IHSA homepage. Live scoring updates will be provided during the games under the Unified Basketball section. They are also working to create a program for the event and that location is where copies may be purchased. 

Uniforms – We encourage you to review IHSA Uniform requirements as teams will be expected to follow those requirements. Special Olympics rule adaptions allow for more lenient exceptions in uniforms. This is not the case for IHSA. Some things we noticed at the regional tournaments include under shirt color, tights color as well as head band or wrist band color. You must also have a home and away version of your uniform. Please make sure your uniforms are in compliance with all IHSA requirements.

Team Managers/ Bench Numbers – Just a reminder that each team will allowed to have one Head Coach and either two Assistant Coaches OR one Assistant Coach and one Team Manager on the bench.  Individuals will be provided a credential as a manner of tracking who is eligible to be on the bench. 

Facility Information

For Friday – all campus lots (except for metered spaces) are permit only until 5:00 PM. Team buses with passes (each school will pick up their 1 pass at the ARC upon arrival) should park in E14 (SW Corner of First and Kirby Avenue across from State Farm Center). Enter via First Street. Spectators can park at metered spaces or at IHSA Boys Basketball lots (E 14 or four quadrants of State Farm Center). After 5 pm on Friday and all day on Saturday, parking at most campus lots are open. Buses and spectators can park free of charge. Best options would be lot E24 (Corner of First and Peabody Drive) and lot E15 (corner of 4th and E15). The lot across street from the ARC (E-38) is permit only 24 hours/7days.

We will NOT have access to individual Locker Rooms. One male and one female locker room will be shared for all teams. Teams can leave any belongings in the spare gym off of competition.  We will assign a section of the gym to each team. 

Event Details

Please check back closer to the event for more information.

Volunteer Information

Please check back closer to the event for more information.


Water Bottles – No refillable coolers will be available. We will have a case of water for each team for each game.

Opening Ceremony

We ask that all teams arrive on Friday 3/11 by 12:15 PM. We will be hosting an Opening Ceremony at 12:30 PM and will be incorporating some participation from all teams. 


Each team during the awards ceremony also invites administration to take part and receive an award. Typically this is the principal, assistant principal, athletic director, special education director. Awards will be presented by members of the IHSA and Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors. 


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, who support Special Olympics Illinois throughout the year, click here.

Who We Are

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit sports organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports to a community of more than 55,000 traditional athletes, Young Athletes, Unified partners, coaches, volunteers, and more. It strives to be a global leader in shaping a culture where people with and without intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into the community by providing year-round opportunities in competitive sports, health education, leadership and personal development. 

If you are interested in being a part of Special Olympics Illinois and its vision, contact your local region, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website. Follow Special Olympics Illinois on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok andβ€―X.β€― 


Mar 08 - 09 2024


8:00 am - 6:00 pm




The Arc
201 E. Peabody, Champaign, IL 61821


Jonathan Frederick
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