Training & Competition

Training is essential to achieving the mission of Special Olympics. A common misconception is that Special Olympics consist of one or two events per year. False! Special Olympics is a year-round program offering training and athletic competition to its participants. 

Special Olympics Maine (SOME) athletes train for weeks with certified coaches to gain and master the skills required for a certain sport. All athletes must train a minimum of 8 weeks prior to a state competition. 

Training usually consist of between two to six hours of practice per week and includes warm ups, and stretching, a review of previously learned skills, instruction in new skills, game concepts, and conditioning. The instruction offered is designed to match each individual's skill level and athlete's abilities are continuously evaluated.


Spring Sports - Aquatics, Athletics (Track & Field), Basketball*, Bocce*, Candlepin Bowling*, & Motor Activities Training Program (MATP), Young Athletes Program*

Summer Sports - Golf*, Sailing*, Tennis

Fall Sports - 10 Pin Bowling, Equestrian, Flag Football*#, Soccer*

Winter Sports - Alpine & Dual Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Floor Hockey*#, Snowshoeing, Speed Skating

*Unified Sports

#offered only at local level

Becoming A Coach

Coaches play a unique and indispensable role in Special Olympics. They provide the sport skills and spirit that define the true athlete. In addition, coaches are role models and character builders. Coaches give Special Olympics athletes the most immediate awareness of their own worth, ability, courage, and capacity to grow and improve. The key to improving athletic performance and well being is based on the quality of training and experiences provided by the Special Olympics coaches.

The SOME Coach Education Program offers a series of coaches trainings and seminars to assist the Special Olympics coach in gaining the skills to provide quality coaching to their athletes. Included in the Coach Education Program are a general orientation into Special Olympics, sports specified courses, and general coaches such as Principles of Coaching and Coaching the Special Olympics Athletes.

"The better the Coach, the better the experience, the better the Athlete!"

Each team MUST have a minimum of one coach in sport of competition

at all state/area* level competitions (as well as Androscoggin,

Oxford, Penobscot/Piscataquis local competitions).

Unified Sports®

Unified Sports® is a rapidly growing program that involves students and adults with intellectual disabilities with their non-disabled peers through sports. 

Unified Sports® brings together an approximately equal numbers of athletes with and without intellectual and other closely related development disabilities, of similar age and ability, on teams that compete against other Unified Sports teams. 

Unified Sports® is a unique and influential program because it: - Expands sports opportunities for athletes seeking new challenges - Dramatically increases inclusion in the schools and community - Allows athletes to develop sports skills and prepares them for participation in other community sports - and at a faster rate - Offers a positive foundation for activity between special education and general education students and between adult athletes and volunteers. 

Special Olympics Maine currently offers Unified opportunities in the following sports:

Golf -One Athlete and one Unified Partner 
Bocce -One Athlete and one Unified Partner on a doubles team 
Bowling -Two Athletes and two Unified Partners on a team  
Basketball - Two Athletes and one Unified Partner (Three-on-three) or three       Athletes & 2 Unified Partners (5-on-5)                                                                 Football (Soccer) - 3 Athletes and 2 Unified Partners (5-on-5)







Special Olympics Maine
125 John Roberts Rd, #5
South Portland, ME  04106
+1 (207) 879-0489
+1 888 490 0672 (Fax)

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Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for the benefit of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.