Coronavirus Updates and Information

An important announcement regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 and how it affects Special Olympics Illinois competition/events (UPDATED 2/26)

Special Olympics Illinois continues to take the threat of COVID-19 very seriously. Our number one priority is keeping our athletes, volunteers, families and constituents safe.

Due to the current level of Illinois restrictions, and extenuating circumstances that affect the planning required to create a quality event that our athletes and families deserve, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person Summer Games.

However, Summer Games is the largest competition that Special Olympics Illinois puts on every year. It is a celebration of, and for, our athletes that should be honored. Therefore, we will be hosting a Virtual Summer Games the week of June 21, 2021. Activities are being planned for athletes, coaches, volunteers, and other members of the SOILL community to enjoy. Stay tuned to our social media channels and website for more information as it becomes available. 

As stated on February 8, the decision to not offer Team Basketball this winter is still in effect. This includes the cancellation of Regional Tournaments and the State Championship as well as Unified Basketball and its corresponding State Championship.

Despite the stoppage of Team Basketball, there is a possibility to offer basketball skills tournaments, similar to the fall flag football, soccer, tennis and bocce events. Consistent with the past decisions, these skills tournaments will depend on a Region’s ability to secure facilities. Additionally, SOILL staff have been hard at work creating Virtual Programming, giving the athletes the support they need, while training off the field of play for future events. Our Virtual Programming initiatives include eSports, Virtual Sports, and Virtual Learning. For example, for the month of March, athletes will be able to sign up for the Virtual Sport of the month, Basketball. Click here to find out more about Virtual Sports and other online opportunities to stay fit and healthy, or contact your local Region staff.

Also, to help agencies and families to start planning for the rest of the year, we are sharing the 2021 Special Olympics Illinois Sport Season Schedule to provide all of the sports we plan to offer in 2021 as well as the sport’s format. The 2021 Special Olympics Illinois Sport Season Schedule includes our SOILL sports and their scheduled seasons through the end of the year. Click Here to View the Special Olympics Illinois Sport Season Schedule . Because of the gathering limitations of Phase 4 we are offering In Person Return to Play events through the end of the year. Our In Person Return to Play events offer a non-qualifying competitive experience for our athletes at a Special Olympics Illinois Region event with proper safety measures in place.  Click here to View SOILL’s In Person Return to Play Resources . Please note that the best practice guides mentioned in the schedule for team sports are being developed and will be shared at a later date. Your Region will follow up with agencies as In Person Return to Play events are scheduled and the Region calendars are developed.  The 2021 Special Olympics Illinois Sport Season Schedule is subject to change based off of the Restore Illinois plan and the Region’s ability to secure facilities.

Special Olympics Illinois is not mandating that any athlete, family member, coach, volunteer or other constituent receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but does suggest that anyone should research the Illinois Department of Public Health website for the most up to date FAQ’s and other related questions.

As always, we are continually re-assessing future events. We will keep you updated on any further developments as they happen.

If you have program-related questions, please contact Kim Riddering. For questions related to fundraising, please contact Matt Johnson.

Here are some tips to help make sure we all stay healthy:

  • If you’re feeling even slightly under the weather or you’re running a fever, please stay home. Whether you’re an athlete, coach, family member or volunteer, please don’t put everyone else at risk because you don’t want to miss something. We know missing out isn’t any fun, but taking the chance that someone could get sick because of your actions isn’t fun either.
  • Wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating — do so for AT LEAST 20 seconds.
  • Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open bathroom doors, not your freshly-washed hands
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm, not your hands
  • Avoid shaking hands and high-fives
  • Avoid drinking from the same cup or bottle as someone else
  • Set up a home training regimen with your local athletes to make sure everyone still stays in shape
  • Keep an eye on our social media accounts over the next week as we work with our athlete-leaders to develop a training plan for our athletes to stay fit in this time without practices
  • For updates on the virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website daily

For all future updates on the virus and how it affects Special Olympics Illinois, please visit

Additional Resources:

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization