Coronavirus Updates and Information

An important announcement regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 and how it affects Special Olympics Illinois competition/events (UPDATED 9/15/21)

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.

Special Olympics Illinois will not be hosting 2021 State Floor Hockey.
Due to the on-going threat of COVID-19, the previous Floor Hockey location, Northeastern Illinois University, will not allow large external groups use of their facilities. After extensive research and outreach done by Special Olympics Illinois staff, we are unable to find a location that safely accommodates those competing without affecting the quality of the event. We will continue to explore options to accommodate for tournament growth in 2022.

Special Olympics Illinois strives to provide high-quality competition, and as always, safety of its constituents is the top priority. Pending the availability of facilities, Regions will continue to offer Individual Skills Competitions for athletes to compete locally.

Due to the current level of Illinois restrictions, the following procedures are in place for all in-person competitions and fundraisers:

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

All athletes, coaches and spectators (if allowed at the event) are required to wear a mask while inside any facility regardless of vaccination status. All athletes and Unified Partners are required to wear a mask indoors while they are competing.

Unless fully vaccinated, participants who are medically able should continue to wear a mask at outdoor venues the majority of time while at Special Olympics Illinois activities. 

Athletes and Unified Partners do not have to wear a mask while competing in outdoor competitions.

Vaccination is not required to attend in person events.

Special Olympics Illinois will not be providing masks.  Athletes and coaches must bring their own.

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

Please check with your Region staff on the status of spectators attending competitions.  With a few exceptions, only registered athletes, coaches and partners are allowed at these events.  It is very important you relay to all parents and guardians the importance of only allowing registered persons into the event.

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:

Until further notice, we are offering Regional qualifying events and State competitions. 
Fall Games is October 23 – 24. More information can be found here.
State Flag Football is November 6 – 7. More information can be found here.
State Bowling is December 4 – 5. More information can be found here.

Special Olympics Illinois is continuing to offer 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 September 2021, athletes will be able to sign up for the Virtual Sport of the month – Softball Skills. 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 2022 Special Olympics Illinois Sport Season Schedule to provide all of the sports we plan to offer in 2022 as well as the sport’s format. The 2022 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 .

The 2022 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 Valerie Day

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