This page draws together volleyball-related information for all of Special Olympics. The coaching materials and other links will help you get a good sense of how this sport contributes to Special Olympics.


Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics volleyball.  View the Volleyball Fact Sheet

The game of volleyball is attractive to all types of players, from competitive to recreational, young and old. To play volleyball players need to acquire a few basic skills, learn a few rules, require very little equipment, and can play the game almost anywhere – from the beach to the gym. The aim of the sport is to score more points by hitting the ball with the hands and sending it over the net to the opponent's court.

Recently, Special Olympics was awarded a two-year grant from the SportsUnited Division of the U.S. Department of State to support a coaching fellowship to recruit and train high level Special Olympics coaches and leaders from the United States, Serbia, and Montenegro. A total of 20 fellows from the United States, Serbia, and Montenegro will participate in various 10-day workshops focused on recruiting and training high-level coaches and adapting their skills to work with athletes with intellectual disabilities to compete in soccer (football) and volleyball. Learn More

Volleyball Stories and News

September 15, 2014 | SOI: Europe-Eurasia

Volleyball Legend Unified with Special Olympics Athletes

By Suzanne Coogan

Vanja Grbic with his Unified team mates.

Volleyball legend and Special Olympics Ambassador, Vladimir “Vanja” Grbić took to the court with athletes with and without intellectual disabilities as part of a Unified Volleyball demo match.View Story Volleyball legend and Special Olympics Ambassador, Vladimir “Vanja” Grbić took to the court with athletes with and without intellectual disabilities as part of a Unified Volleyball demo match. The Unified Volleyball match is just one of the highlights of the Special Olympics European Summer Games taking place in Antwerp. “I am delighted to participate and to promote more Unified Volleyball and Unified Sports across the world” says Vanja Grbić. “There are no losers in Unified Sports, only winners. This is a very special type of sport that challenges and supports everyone who participates in its own way. Most of all every athlete and team mate can be themselves and that is what is so special, that the differences of individual persons are united into a team”. Vanja Grbić, is an Olympic and World Volleyball Gold Champion. He is a long-term supporter of Special Olympics in his home country of Serbia. In 2013 he took on an international role by becoming a Special Olympics Sports Ambassador.

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager, Media and Public Awareness Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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September 11, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Singapore

46 Years of Empowerment “Training for Sports Performance” Program

By Kester Edwards

Opening Ceremonies

The Special Olympics Training For Sports Performance program is a Special Olympics sports development program that provides sports-specific coaches education in Open Water Swimming, Beach and Indoor Volleyball.View Story The Special Olympics Training For Sports Performance (TFSP) program is a Special Olympics sports development program that provides sports-specific coaches education in Open Water Swimming, Beach and Indoor Volleyball. There was an emphasis to focused on the following sports science topics; sports injury prevention, sports nutrition and sports psychology. That was held September 28 to 31, 2014 with Special Olympics Singapore. The TFSP drives our global goal to have athletes train multiple times per week! We pilot two new tools that is call Special Olympics Athlete Development Model (ADM) is a support plan designed to empower each of our athletes so they can experience the joy of reaching their full potential. The model promotes motor and skill development as well as health and fitness, while preparing athletes for competition at all levels. The Coach Development Model (CDM) and provide a framework for all SO Programs to certify coaches and recognizes specific coach qualifications. Following the CDM, SO Programs recruit and train coaches to fit into the SOI Athlete Development Model (ADM). Coaches trained under the CDM support a lifelong sport experience for our SO athletes along their different sports development paths. The CDM model also offers guidance and new ideas on how best to work with local sports governing bodies to train and certify coaches. The CDM delivers optimum sports experiences to athletes at all levels and trains coaches to provide excellent instruction, advice, and motivation. It also allows us to develop our unique Unified Sports coaches. The seminar participants came various Programs from around Asia Pacific to Singapore, from as far away as New Zealand, China, Beijing, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Korea and China, Fuzhou. The education was provided through classroom training and discussion, conducted in the morning, and afternoon through Pool and Ocean Open Water Swimming training, Beach Volleyball.

About Kester Edwards:Kester Edwards work in the Sport Department at Special Olympics Inc.
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September 03, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Poland

Teamwork Rules at Unified Volleyball Tournament 2014

By Maureen Rabbitt

Team USA discuss strategies during the Unified Volleyball Tournament 2014 in Warsaw, Poland.

The Special Olympics Unified Volleyball Tournament 2014 took place in Warsaw, Poland from August 27 - 29. The final scores don't seem so important when you consider the joy felt, the friendships gained and the memories shared.View Story Unified Sports allows the differences of individual people are united into a team. Enjoy wonderful photos of teamwork and camaraderie between Unified Volleyball teams made up of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics Unified Volleyball Tournament 2014 took place in Warsaw, Poland from August 27 - 29. After three days of competition the following results were achieved: Gold for Germany, Silver for Serbia, Bronze for Poland and Runner Up for USA. But the final scores doesn't seem so important when you consider the joy felt, the friendships gained and the memories shared. Well done to everyone who participated. Enjoy the celebrations. Well done to Olimpiady Specjalne Polska (Special Olympics Poland) for their terrific organisation.

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am responsible for communications and branding at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
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Upcoming Volleyball Events




Oct 10 - 12 2014

Special Olympics Bangladesh National Games

Special Olympics Bangladesh’s National Games will welcome an estimated 800 athletes and 100 Unified Sports® partners across Bangladesh. Ten sports will be played: athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, cricket, football, handball, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. The three day event will be held across different venues: Bangabandhu National Stadium, Army Stadium, National Indoor Stadium & Swimming pool and the Bangladesh Sports Education Institute (BKSP).
For more information
Faruqul Islam
Phone:+880 1819 259844
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Bangabandhu National Stadium & other venuesDhaka

Oct 10 - 11 2014

South Carolina Fall Games

Join us from October 10-11 at Pavilion Recreation Complex in Taylors, South Carolina as athletes from all over the state will be competing in Under 21 bocce, masters bowling, disc golf, flag football, volleyball, tennis, golf and soccer. Hope to see you there.
For more information
Kelly Garrick
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Pavilion Recreation Complex
400 Scottswood Road

Taylors, South Carolina

October 19, 2014

Unified Volleyball Divisioning Tournament

Join on us on October 19th at Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, Connecticut as our athletes and Unified Partners take the court to compete in a divisioning tournament that will encourage athletes of all ability levels to participate and be recognized for his/her performance. Afterwards, competitions will be structured so that athletes and Unified Partners will compete with others of similar ability in equitable divisions. For more details, please refer to contact information below.
For more information
Special Olympics Connecticut
Phone:(800) 443-6105
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Floyd Little Athletic Center
480 Sherman Pkwy

New Haven, Connecticut

Nov 1 - 3 2014

Special Olympics Nippon National Summer Games Fukuoka 2014

Athletes from all over Japan will come to the city of Fukuoka for the 2014 Special Olympics Fukuoka Games to participate in 3 days of competition in 12 sports. Athletes will compete in aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, bowling, football, golf, gymnastics, table tennis, volleyball and equestrian.
For more information
More Details
Sayaka Sonobe
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Multiple locations, Fukuoka
Fukuoka , Kyushu

Dec 14 - 15 2014

Southern California Fall Games

Be inspired by athletic determination and courage. Come cheer on more than 1,100 athletes from across Southern California as they compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals and ribbons at Fall Games. The Games will feature our six fall/winter sports — bowling, floor hockey, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. Fall Games, one of our largest competitions, is the second of two Southern California competitions held every year.
For more information
More Details
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Fountain Valley and Irvine
Fountain Valley and Irvine, California

Jul 24 - Aug 2 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
For more information
More Details
World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
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Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California

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Volleyball Competitions

2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.

How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.


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Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »

Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »

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Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »

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Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »

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First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »


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