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 is one of the most popular sports with 95 local programs offering it and over 10,000 athletes throughout the state.

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 designed as a stepping stone for athletes to team competition. The indvidual skills offered for basketball are passing, dribbling, and shooting.

3-on-3 basketball team competition is played on a half-court with three players a side (six player on a roster 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.

SONC Fall Tournament

SONC Fall Tournament will be held in Charlotte during the first weekend of November. At that time, skills competition and 5-on-5 team competition will occur; 5-on-5 will alternate with 3-on-3 and be offered in 2017.  Skills competition will be offered every year at the state level.

Unified Sports Recreation Basketball is occurring at college campuses around the state. NC State, UNC Wilmington, Methodist University and Winston-Salem State University have programs currently underway.

For more information on Unified Sports basketball, check out this video from SOI and ESPN.

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 the Sports Department.

Gaston Collins
Chocowinity, NC

Michael Quade
Raleigh, NC

Celeste Frazier
Stanley, NC

Lewis McLean
Stanley, NC

Renee Leonhardt
Morganton, NC

Earl Thompson
Washington, NC

Find out which sports are offered in your community

Basketball Invitationals

The following invitationals are hosted by the local program indicated. Information will be posted as soon as it is received. Please note that these events may have a per person registration fee for the local program to cover expenses for the event.


All forms must be submitted by the local program coordinator.

Fall Tournament Sport Forms

Local program coordinators should submit entries along with the remainder of the Fall Tournament registration.  Click here for a full list of Fall Tournament registration forms. These forms will be available closer to the event date.

  • Basketball ISC Registration Form
  • Basketball Team Registration and Rating Form

Assessment Forms

For coaches’ use only – do NOT submit with registration

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