Special Olympics athletes in an intense game of unified basketball.

Unified Sports®

Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do that, too and much more. About 1.4 million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way. ESPN has served as the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports since 2013, supporting the growth and expansion of this program that empowers individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to engage through the power of sports.

Promoting Social Inclusion Through Sport

Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. 

In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability. That makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away. 

U.S. States Embracing Unified Sports

Young people with disabilities do not often get a chance to play on their school sports teams. More and more U.S. states are adopting the Unified Sports approach that Special Olympics pioneered.

Unified Sports is also an integral part of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools, which was founded in 2008 and funded through the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education to use Special Olympics as a way to build inclusion and tolerance in schools. Unified Sports are now in more than 4500 elementary, middle and high schools in the United States.  Seventy percent of Unified Champion Schools (Pre-K through Grade 12) are engaging in Unified Sports!  Also 215 US colleges and universities have Special Olympics College Clubs on campus, providing ongoing Unified and inclusionary activities for students and Special Olympics athletes.  73 of the 215 US colleges and universities activating Special Olympics College conduct ongoing Unified Sports on their campus.  Learn how to get involved, visit: www.playunified.org.

Our Partners

  • ESPN
  • U.S. Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education (OSEP)
  • Kim Samuel and the Samuel Family Foundation
  • Perfect Sense
  • Y&R
  • Burson-Marsteller
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • WWE
  • NBA
  • MLS Works
  • Uniqlo
  • Seiko
  • NIRSA
  • NFHS
  • EuroLeague
  • UNICEF
  • UEFA
  • FIFA Football for Hope
  • King Baudouin Foundation

Major sports organization, league and event support to Play Unified

Many high-profile, professional sports organizations and events have also showcased Unified Sports as a vehicle to show the power of inclusive sports!  This support includes:

National Basketball Association (NBA),

Major League Soccer (MLS),

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA),

National Collegiate Athletic Association, D-III,

ESPN's X Games Aspen,

National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and

National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). 

Quizzes

Unified Sports® Events

  • окт 24 - окт 28
    Special Olympics East Asia Unified Schools Unified Soccer Competition
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    Вт окт 24 - Сб окт 28, 2017
     
    location
    Yangpu Qu
    Shanghai Shi
    China

    Special Olympics East Asia Unified Schools Unified Soccer Competition

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    Вт окт 24 - Сб окт 28, 2017
     

    Join us on 24-28 October at Shanghai Sports University in Yangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi China as athletes and Unified Partners compete in Unified Soccer matches.

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Shanghai Sports University
    399 Changhai Rd
    Yangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi
    China
  • окт
    25
    Unified 5-a-Side Football Competition
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    Ср окт 25, 2017
    11:00:00 - 14:00:00
    location
    Banteay Meanchey
    Cambodia

    Unified 5-a-Side Football Competition

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    Ср окт 25, 2017
    11:00:00 - 14:00:00

    Join us 25 October at Provincial Stadium in Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia as Special Olympics athletes and Unified Partners from around the country compete and show their skill in football competition.

    Venue(s)
    location
    Provincial Stadium
    Banteay Meanchey
    Cambodia
  • окт
    28
    Unified Soccer Tournament
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    Сб окт 28, 2017
    09:00 AM - 04:00 PM
    location
    Wilsonville
    Oregon
    USA

    Unified Soccer Tournament

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    Сб окт 28, 2017
    09:00 AM - 04:00 PM

    This event will bring together all official middle and high school Unified Soccer teams in Oregon to compete in a regional tournament. If you are interested in volunteering to keep score, please let us know and we can provide more information!

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Wilsonville High School
    6800 SW Wilsonville Rd
    Wilsonville, Oregon
    USA
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  • окт
    28
    North Central Regional Volleyball
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    Сб окт 28, 2017
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM
    location
    Gypsum
    Kansas
    USA

    North Central Regional Volleyball

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    Сб окт 28, 2017
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    The North Central Regional Volleyball will be held October 28 at Southeast of Saline High School, 5056 KS - 4, Gypsum, Kansas  67448.   The competition will be from 9:00am to 1:00pm.  For more information, contact Krystin Guggisberg at guggisbergk@ksso.org


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Southeast of Saline High School
    5056 KS - 4
    Gypsum, Kansas
    USA
  • ноя 02 - ноя 03
    City Football Group Beijing Unified Schools Football Competition
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    Чт ноя 2 - Пт ноя 03, 2017
     
    location
    Beijing
    China

    City Football Group Beijing Unified Schools Football Competition

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    Чт ноя 2 - Пт ноя 03, 2017
     

    Join us on 2-3 November at Sports Center for the Disabled People as Special Olympics athletes in Beijing, China as Special Olympics athletes compete in Unified Football competition. You can follow us through Weibo and Wechat @国际特奥会 to get more information.

    Venue(s)
    location
    Sports Center for the Disabled People
    Beijing
    China
  • ноя
    05
    Unified Basketball Tournament
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    Вс ноя 05, 2017
    09:00 AM - 04:00 PM
    location
    Overland Park
    Kansas
    USA

    Unified Basketball Tournament

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    Вс ноя 05, 2017
    09:00 AM - 04:00 PM

    Join us on November 5th in Overland Park, Kansas at Shawnee Mission West High School as our athletes and their Unified Partners participate in Unified Basketball Tournament competition. Please contact Clint Armistead at armisteadc@ksso.or for more information.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Shawnee Mission West High School
    8800 W 85th St
    Overland Park, Kansas
    USA
  • ноя 10 - ноя 12
    South Carolina State Fall Games
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    Пт ноя 10 - Вс ноя 12, 2017
     
    location
    Greenville
    South Carolina
    USA

    South Carolina State Fall Games

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    Пт ноя 10 - Вс ноя 12, 2017
     

    Special Olympics South Carolina welcomes and estimated 1700+ athletes, partners and coaches for the annual State Fall Games with competitions offered in bocce (under 21 years old), bowling (over 21 years old), disc golf, flag football, golf, soccer, and volleyball. Unified Sports and traditional Special Olympics competition events are offered in each of these sports.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Various venues
    Greenville
    Greenville, South Carolina
    USA
  • ноя 11 - ноя 12
    Poly Hockey and Unified Bowling Finals
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    Сб ноя 11 - Вс ноя 12, 2017
     
    location
    2 venues
    USA

    Poly Hockey and Unified Bowling Finals

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    Сб ноя 11 - Вс ноя 12, 2017
     

    More than 1,200 athletes, coaches and chaperones from 46 counties take part in the Poly Hockey & Unified Bowling Finals each year. Poly Hockey at Eastern High School and Fieldhouse in Lansing: Poly Hockey is an adaptive sport similar to floor hockey. Athletes use plastic hockey sticks and pucks and play on a floor surface. The poly hockey competition will consist of both team play and an individual skills contest. Unified Bowling at Spare Time Entertainment Center in Lansing: Unified bowling pairs a Special Olympics Michigan athlete with an athlete who does not have an intellectual disability.


    Related Link(s):Event Details

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Spare Time Entertainment Center
    3101 E. Grand River Ave.
    Lansing, Michigan
    USA
    Unified Bowling location. Competition is Saturday, November 11.
    location
    Eastern High School
    220 N Pennsylvania Ave
    Lansing, Michigan
    USA
    Poly Hockey location. Competition is Saturday and Sunday.
  • ноя 18 - ноя 19
    State Unified Bowling Tournament
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    Сб ноя 18 - Вс ноя 19, 2017
     
    location
    Sioux Falls
    South Dakota
    USA

    State Unified Bowling Tournament

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    Сб ноя 18 - Вс ноя 19, 2017
     

    This will be our 13th State Unified Tournament. We are expecting 300 bowlers to participate in doubles and team events.

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Eastway Bowl
    3201 E. 10th St.
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    USA
  • ноя 24 - ноя 27
    Special Olympics Malaysia Unified Female 5-a-side Football Invitational
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    Пт ноя 24 - Пн ноя 27, 2017
     
    location
    Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia

    Special Olympics Malaysia Unified Female 5-a-side Football Invitational

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    Пт ноя 24 - Пн ноя 27, 2017
     

    Join us November 24-27 at University of Malaya, PJ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as Special Olympics female athletes and their Unified Partners from around the country compete and show their skill in football competition.

    Venue(s)
    location
    University of Malaysia, PJ
    50603 Kuala Lumpur
    Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
  • дек
    08
    Unified Bowling School Invitational
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    Пт дек 08, 2017
    10:00 AM - 02:00 PM
    location
    Eden Prairie
    Minnesota
    USA

    Unified Bowling School Invitational

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    Пт дек 08, 2017
    10:00 AM - 02:00 PM

    This is a welcoming environment that uses sports as a tool to defeat intolerance. Schools that participate in Unified Bowling are not required to bowl five days a week nor have a background in bowling to participate. Instead, we want students to work together, learn from each other and to have fun bowling!

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Brunswick Zone
    Eden Prairie
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota
    USA
  • мар 14 - мар 23
    2018 Special Olympic Middle East - North Africa 9th Regional Games
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    Ср мар 14 - Пт мар 23, 2018
     
    location

    2018 Special Olympic Middle East - North Africa 9th Regional Games

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    Ср мар 14 - Пт мар 23, 2018
     

    The Regional games will take place from 14- 23 March 2018 with the participation of around 1800 athletes competing in 16 different sports , 450 coaches, 3000 volunteers and 100 honored guests. On the sidelines of the games several initiatives will be held: Healthy athletes program- Families forum- Young athletes demo- Youth Summit.

  • май 18 - май 20
    Louisiana State Summer Games
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    Пт май 18 - Вс май 20, 2018
     
    location
    Hammond
    Louisiana
    USA

    Louisiana State Summer Games

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    Пт май 18 - Вс май 20, 2018
     

    This is an event for all Areas. Male and female athletes from across the state will compete in Athletics (Track & Field), Bocce, Powerlifting and Unified Volleyball. Sign up today to play, coach or volunteer for this event.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Southeastern Louisiana University
    500 W University Ave.
    Hammond, Louisiana
    USA
  • мар 14 - мар 21
    2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games
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    Чт мар 14 - Чт мар 21, 2019
     
    location
    Zayed Sports City
    Abu Dhabi
    United Arab Emirates

    2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games

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    Чт мар 14 - Чт мар 21, 2019
     

    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will be the host of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The Games will be held 14 to 21 March in 2019. The Games will span seven days of competition. About 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries are invited to attend. The Games will feature competition in 24 sports.


    Venue(s)
    location
    Opening Ceremony

    Zayed Sports City Stadium
    Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi
    United Arab Emirates
    Zayed Sports City Stadium, is an iconic multi-purpose stadium located in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is the largest stadium in the UAE with more than 43,000 seats.