Basketball is popular among Special Olympics athletes. We offer team events as well as individual skills competitions that help athletes train and compete in basic basketball skills before advancing to team play.
In addition to traditional events, athletes can participate in Unified Sports® full court basketball events that assign Special Olympics athletes and partners without intellectual disabilities to the same team. During Unified basketball competition, the lineup will never exceed three athletes and two partners at any time. At the state-level basketball tournament during Summer Games, athletes can compete in either Unified basketball or another basketball event.
Unified Basketball is offered at Regional and State Tournaments only; Area competitions do not have Unified events. The minimum age for athletes and partners in Unified Basketball is age 8.
Full court competition: 5-on-5
Half court competition: 3-on-3
Unified full court competition: 5-on-5
Individual skills and Unified skills: Dribbling, passing, shooting
Handbook & Rules
Unified Basketball Color Model – NEW in 2017
Basketball Team Assessment Forms
Basketball Team Information Page
Basketball Individual Skills Scoresheet
Basketball Coaching Resources & Practice Development
- Basketball was first contested in 1968 at the first Special Olympics Games in Chicago, Ill.
- Basketball training and competition is offered by more than 80 Special Olympics Minnesota delegations.