COVID-19 Updates

In light of the ongoing global crisis regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), we want you to know we are doing everything we can to be proactive in protecting our athletes, volunteers, coaches and the entire Special Olympics Minnesota community. Your health and safety are our top priority.

The most important thing you can do during this time is to follow the advice and instructions of the Minnesota Department of Health and World Health Organization.

This page will be updated with any new communications from Special Olympics Minnesota.

Read information from Special Olympics International about COVID-19

11/12/20 memo – Special Olympics Minnesota suspends all in-person activities. To be reevaluated on December 14, 2020

Due to recent COVID-19 developments in Minnesota and for the safety of our community, Special Olympics Minnesota is suspending all in-person sport training, practices and other events through December 14, 2020, at which time the situation will be reevaluated. This suspension includes in-person bowling (on your own or with a team) for the State Bowling Remote Invitational, activities for teams participating in the Return to Play pilot and Young Athletes expos.

If you have already bowled for the State Bowling Remote Invitational and not submitted your score, please do so HERE. If you have not yet bowled in-person, please cancel your bowling plans and instead participate in an at-home bowling activity.

During these uncertain times, event guidelines are changing frequently. We are still planning for a safe winter sports and Polar Plunge season. We are closely monitoring the Governor’s executive orders and guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and will adjust those events as needed when the time comes to ensure safety for all.

As we all take the necessary steps to keep each other safe, please take advantage of our FREE virtual activities created to keep us connected and active. See all of the events HERE.

Thank you for your compliance and understanding. We appreciate your support as we work to make the best decisions for our athletes and everyone in our community.

8/3/20 memo – Update on Return to Play, Flag Football and Bowling

These past five months have been tough for all of us. Special Olympics practices and competitions not only bring an athletic outlet, they bring joy. We wish we could be with you in person; however, we know we each play an important role in keeping our communities safe and healthy.

Return to Play

We are continuing to consult with Special Olympics, the CDC, and the Minnesota Department of Health to develop a safe Return to Play protocol. As you can imagine, this is a complicated process because we are all experiencing the situation for the first time. The safety of our athletes and our entire community remains our top priority. At this time, we are working directly with heads of delegations to further develop these plans so when we are able to return, we can do so safely and equitably.

2020 Flag Football and Bowling update

Keeping in line with Special Olympics guidelines, we have canceled our traditional in-person Flag Football and Bowling competitions for 2020. We are developing alternative, safe options for these sports; stay tuned for more information! We will have updates on Flag Football in mid-August and updates on bowling in mid-September.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all get through this together. Until we can be together again in person, we hope you continue to engage with us online through programs like SO Together and SOMN @ Home.

5/15/20 memo – Special Olympics Minnesota suspends events until further notice, including Summer Sports Classic season

Based on new developments regarding COVID-19 and consultations with Special Olympics North America and the CDC, we have made the decision to continue to suspend all in-person practices, competitions and SOMN-related events until further notice. This includes the sport seasons for tennis, equestrian, golf and the Summer Sports Classic state competition.

Although the stay-at-home order has been relaxed in Minnesota, social distancing guidelines are still in place. Many of our athletes are in a unique position as they tend to be more susceptible to dangerous illnesses than the general population. Nothing is more important than the health of our athletes, and we’re not willing to take any risks when it comes to the safety of our community.

Plans are being made for an alternative Summer Sports Classic event, where athletes can compete on their own while practicing social distancing. We’ll update you as soon as plans and logistics have been finalized.

At this time, it is too early to make decisions regarding our 2020 fall sports (bocce, softball, flag football). We’re actively collaborating with Special Olympics North America and the governor’s Minnesota sports task force to develop a return-to-practice protocol so we can return safely in the future. We’ll update you as soon as any decisions are made.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all get through this together and strive to make the best possible decisions for everyone in our community.

It’s our goal to continue to serve you and our community through this difficult time. We hope to be back to normal as soon as possible; however, until we can resume our regularly scheduled events, we want to know how we can best support you. Please share your feedback with us by taking this quick survey.

4/13/20 memo – Special Olympics Minnesota cancels 2020 Summer Games, announces Virtual Summer Games

After careful consideration, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Special Olympics Minnesota Summer Games. The staff and board of Special Olympics Minnesota believe this is the responsible action to take in an effort to keep everyone in our community safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the decision to cancel Summer Games, all practices and other Special Olympics Minnesota gatherings are suspended until further notice.

Summer Games is one of our largest annual events and a joyous celebration of inclusion and sport. While canceling our events is truly disappointing for our athletes, volunteers, family, friends and staff, we know that this decision is necessary for the safety of our community as we all take steps to fight this global pandemic together.

Our goal is to have the spirit of Special Olympics Minnesota live on through our athletes, Unified partners, coaches and volunteers with a Virtual Summer Games. The SOMN community is invited to compete from home by participating in remote basketball and track and field activities. These activities will be open to all and will be an opportunity to practice and showcase your skills, while still competing with the SOMN athletes from across the state. Virtual Summer Games will launch on Monday, April 20, 2020.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We appreciate your support and encouragement as we work to make the best decisions for our athletes and everyone in our community.

3/16/20 memo – Special Olympics Minnesota cancels spring & summer Area & Regional events

After careful discussion and review of new developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have made the difficult decision to cancel all Special Olympics Minnesota Area and Regional competitions for the spring/summer sports season (swimming, basketball, track & field and gymnastics). While canceling events is disappointing for athletes who have trained and practiced to compete, we know that our love of sport does not compare to the importance of protecting the health of our athletes and the entire Special Olympics Minnesota community.

Along with the decision to cancel area and regional competitions, all practices and other Special Olympics Minnesota gatherings are suspended until April 15, 2020, at which time we will reevaluate and send an update via email.

It is still our hope to host Summer Games in June and therefore we want to allow practices to resume as soon as it’s safe. If we’re able to safely host Summer Games, participation in an Area or Regional competition will not be required in order to compete at the state level. Summer Games registration requirements are still to be determined, and we’ll update you as soon as we know more. If we’re able to host Summer Games this year, we know it will be a joyful and triumphant return for our community.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. This is uncharted territory and we appreciate your support as we work to make the best decisions for our athletes and everyone in our community.

3/12/20 memo – Special Olympics Minnesota cancels events through April 5, 2020

Due to recent developments tied to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the heightened risks for people with intellectual disabilities and the elderly, Special Olympics Minnesota is suspending all sport training, practices and competition activities, Polar Plunges and other events involving our athletes through April 5, 2020, at which time the situation will be reevaluated. Please review our events calendar to see which events are affected.

This decision was made carefully based on new developments and advice from Special Olympics International and their consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

Canceling our events is disappointing and not a decision made lightly; however, we know that our love of sport does not compare to the importance of protecting the health of our athletes and the entire Special Olympics Minnesota community.

We are working on plans that address alternative schedules for practices and competitions for basketball, gymnastics, swimming and track. Any updates will be communicated to participants via email, this webpage and social media channels (FacebookTwitter and Instagram).

Please continue to practice smart and careful prevention strategies. Wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer, avoid high-fives and handshakes, and avoid contact with your face. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this situation and strive to make the best possible decisions for everyone in our community.