Sports Offered

Athletes & Family
Get Involved
Torch Run
Crossing the Finish Line

Get Certified!

Get Certified!

Do you want to get certified in this sport? Do you need to be recertified? Visit Coach.

Is This Sport in My Area?

Is This Sport in My Area?

Check your local program to see if they offer this sport.


Sportsmanship Course

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) developed a complimentary course to give you a better understanding of sportsmanship and how it impacts your specific role in modeling it at all practices and competitions. Insight is shared throughout the course from fans, players, parents, coaches and officials.
The free course takes about 15 minutes to complete and can be found in the NFSH website. This is an extra resource for local programs and coaches, but it is not currently a part of SONC's certification process. Once the course is complete, each coach will receive a certificate. If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Stamm.


As a dominant sport in the Tar Heel State, it should come as no surprise that basketball is also a mainstay in the Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) program. Basketball, along with aquatics and athletics, is one of the most popular sports. There are 95 local programs that offer Basketball and over 10,000 athletes throughout the state.



Events Offered

SONC offers three types of basketball competition: individual skills, 3-on-3 team, and 5-on-5 team.

Individual skills competition allows Special Olympics athletes to develop sports skills in a competitive format. This event is designed to serve as a stepping stone for athletes to become a member of a team as they master skills and learn team concepts. The indvidual skills offered for basketball are passing, dribbling, and shooting.

Athletes participating in 3-on-3 team or 5-on-5 team basketball competition learn the fundamental skills of basketball, appropriate social behavior and functional knowledge or rules enabling them to successfully participate in a game.

3-on-3 basketball team competition is played on a half-court with three players a side (six player on a rostser maximum). Games are played with two ten-minute halves with a running clock. The winner is determined by who has the most points at the end of full time, or the first team to 20 points.

5-on-5 basketball team competition is played on a regulation basketball court and follows North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) rules, with some modifications. Games are played by four eight-minute quarters with a running clock. The winner is determined by the team with the most points at the end of full time.

Competition & Skills Development Opportunities

UNC Chapel Hill Basketball Athlete Clinic is offered to SONC athletes and features skills stations run by the members of the UNC Chapel Hill men’s basketball team. Registration for this clinic is limited to 100 athletes, and information will be made available in Connect.

Series these events are designed to give athletes the opportunity to practice their skills in a competitive situation before they go to a qualifier. They are also used to help in divisioning for qualifiers. Teams must attend a series in order to attend a qualifier if they wish to be eligible for the state-level competition.

Area/Divisional Qualifiers qualifiers are designed to help division teams for the state-level event. Attendance and participation at a qualifier is mandatory for athletes and teams in order to advance to state-level competition.

SONC Basketball Tournament is split into two regional state-level competitions held at the beginning of March.


All forms must be submitted by the local program coordinator.

Series/Qualifier Registration Forms

Series & Qualifier Coach Roster
Basketball Team Area Event Registration and Rating Form

Basketball Tournament Sport Forms

Below are the sport-specific registration forms which must be submitted by the local program coordinator along with the remainder of the Summer Games registration. Click here for a full list of Basketball Tournament registration forms.

Basketball Tournament Team Entry Instructions
Basketball Tournament Individual Skills Entry Form

Assessment Forms

For coaches’ use only – do NOT submit with registration

Team Basketball Skills Assessment
Individual Skills Worksheet

Sport Development Team

These volunteers advise SONC staff regarding sport rule modifications, competition and also train coaches in their sport! For more information on the basketball sport development team, contact one of the members below or Brian Watson, SONC staff liaison.

Gaston Collins
Chocowinity, NC

Michael Quade
Raleigh, NC

Celeste Frazier
Stanley, NC

Lewis McLean
Stanley, NC

Renee Leonhardt
Morganton, NC


Certified Clinicians

In addition to the sport development team, these volunteers are able to conduct local sport specific training schools on behalf of SONC. Contact the clinician in your area if you would like to schedule a training (their county of residence is located under their name). For more information on becoming a certified clinician, contact Andrea Stamm.

Howard Barber
Randolph County

Kathy Odell
Stanly County