This unique virtual experience helps to engage athletes, coaches, and families from across Illinois and gives them the chance to showcase their athletic skill and their incredible “let me be brave in the attempt” attitude. It will also keep the competitive spirit of our athletes alive and help bring the joy of sport and Special Olympics to more athletes.
Read on to learn all about how Virtual Sports works, what we are highlighting this month, plus what you can expect in the coming months. Don’t forget to check out the leaderboards and results from previous months.
January: Information Coming Soon
Stay tuned for information regarding Virtual Sports in 2022!
Virtual Score Entry Form will be back in January!
How It Works:
For those who may be considering participating for the first time or need a refresher, here are the quick facts about Virtual Sports and how to get started.
Who is eligible to participate?
- Anyone with an intellectual or cognitive disability is eligible.
- Unified Partners are encouraged to participate in the Unified competitions.*
- Agencies that are currently practicing for sports are encouraged to enter.
- Athletes can enter as individuals or Agencies can enter as a Delegation.
- If you do enter as a Delegation you will need to complete the Screening and Tracing form in case there is a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 on your team.
- Coaches are encouraged to reach out and coach their athletes*. Parents are encouraged to become Coaches to their athletes at homes.
*Please keep in mind the CDC and IDPH guidelines about contact and social distancing if your Partner or Athlete does not share your residence.*
What do I need before I participate?
- Anyone registering as a Partner or Coach will need a valid Class A on file or complete one on line – Class A Form
- Valid Medicals are not required to compete. If you know someone who has encountered barriers to competing with Special Olympics Illinois because of issues related to getting this form completed, this is a great way to get them involved.
- A Participation waiver will be required for each athlete unless they have a valid Medical on file.
How Virtual Sports works:
- One to two skills/games will be featured each month.
- These are state-wide competitions.
- Most of the sports offered are designed to be able to practice and record scores in backyards, front sidewalks or local parks. Detailed descriptions on setting up for each sport will be included in the registration process.
- Multiple levels in each sport will be offered to make these events accessible to everyone.
- Please contact your Region office to see if there is equipment you may borrow to participate.
- Participants can also apply for funds to purchase equipment through Special Olympics Illinois’ new Outreach Grant. That information can be found by following this link: https://www.soill.org/outreach-grant/
- Registration can be emailed, faxed or by phone if you have challenges with computer or internet access. You can call your Region office to have information and entry paperwork mailed to you.
- Submit your entries to your Region office.
- A Leaderboard will be on the website showing all of the participants’ standings. Athletes will be able to see where they stand and the score they need to move up on the board. Leaderboard updates will be made by 5:00pm on Fridays.
- Scores will be accepted for the duration of the month the sport/s are being offered. Multiple score submissions for each sport are allowed, so participants are encouraged to keep practicing all month long.
- Updated scores can be emailed to email@example.com. Please submit updated scores for each skill – not a total updated score and please do not re-submit entry forms.
- The last Wednesday of each month is the last date updated scores will be accepted. The last Friday of each month final divisions will be created and final results posted on the Special Olympics Illinois website.
- More opportunities coming in 2022!