Game On: Learn about the divisioning process that differentiates Special Olympics from other sport organizations.

SONC offers singles, doubles, Unified Sports doubles, team, and Unified Sports team competition. Depending on the event, players take a turn rolling a bocce ball toward the smallest ball (pallina), which has already been thrown onto the field. The players are given points for the balls thrown closest to the pallina.

Always communicate with your local coordinator if you are interested in submitting registration for an event.

Fall Tournament/Invitational Registration 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.

SONC Fall Tournament will be held November 1-3, 2019 in Charlotte.

New Hanover County Multi-Sport Invitational

New Hanover County is hosting a multi-sport invitational on Sunday, October 6th!  This invitational will feature basketball, bocce, soccer and tennis competition and will be held in various locations throughout Wilmington.  Bocce will be held at Inland Greens Park located at 5945 Inland Greens Dr, Wilmington, NC 28405.  Currently, this invitational is only open to invited programs.  Form more information contact

Johnston County Bocce Invitational

Johnston County will host a bocce invitational Saturday, October 12th at Clayton Middle School located at 490 Guy Rd, Clayton, NC 27520.  The competition schedule is as follows:

8:30am – Check-in
9:00am – Competition begins
2:30pm – Competition concludes

This event is open to all local programs that wish to participate.  Registration is now open and is due by Friday, October 4th.  Please contact Carolyn Stafford for any questions!

Buncombe County Bocce and Soccer Invitational

Buncombe County will host a bocce and soccer invitational on Saturday, October 19th at the Buncombe County Sports Park.  More information about this event will be released closer to the event date!


Athletes and partners also have the opportunity and are encouraged to participate in various local invitationals. Check the bocce sport calendar for upcoming invitationals being hosted by local programs.

Local programs are also encouraged to host and invite neighboring counties to participate in invitationals, scrimmages, or leagues.  Click here for some basic steps on how to get started.  If you are interested in hosting an invitational you can also contact the sports department at

About Bocce: Bocce originated in Italy and is also known as “Boules”, which is similar to bowling.  It has become increasingly popular among Special Olympics North Carolina.  Bocce as a Special Olympics sport provides people with special needs the opportunity to have social contact, develop physically and to gain self-confidence. Next to Soccer and Golf, Bocce is the third most participated sport in the world.  

Differences of Special Olympics Bocce:  The International Federation for Bocce is Special Olympics, Inc. and therefore the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for Bocce shall govern all Special Olympics competitions.  

History:  Bocce became a Special Olympics North Carolina official sport in 1991 at Summer Games in Greenville.

By the Numbers:   

  • 1992 marked the first year Bocce moved from Summer Games to Fall Tournament.
  • Dare county hosted the first Bocce Training Camp in Manteo in September 1991 with twenty-five coaches from 6 local programs participating.
  • In 1992, bocce had the largest increase in participation of any sport – from forty athletes from nine local programs in 1991 to one hundred and eight athletes from eighteen local programs in 1992.
  • 1992 marked the first year Bocce moved from Summer Games to Fall Tournament.
  • Dare county hosted the first Bocce Training Camp in Manteo in September 1991 with 25 coaches from 6 local programs participating.

Sport Development Teams (SDT) are responsible for assisting with local and state-level programs and competition, educating coaches and officials, and promoting active engagement among athletes throughout the year.  Click here for more information.

Addie Carmon

Betty Lewis

Deb Pontenberg
Cedar Point

Charlote Webb-Smith

Certified Clinicians receive additional training in presentational skills to conduct training schools in their community.  In order to become a Certified Clinician, one must have a Special Olympics North Carolina level 2 sports certification in this sport.

Scott Boucher
Southern Pines

For more information on becoming an SDT member or a Certified Clinician, contact

Find out if this sport is offered in your community

Become an athlete or unified partner

Special Olympics North Carolina offers sports training and competition in 19 Olympic-type sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Learn more on how to become an athlete.

Become a Unified partner and play on a team alongside athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Become a Coach

Combine knowledge and passion for a sport by becoming a Special Olympics North Carolina coach to lead athletes in preparing for local and state-level competition.

Become a Volunteer

Serve a crucial role at Special Olympics North Carolina by volunteering at our office or one of our many events throughout the year. Check out our home page for these volunteer opportunities.

Share Your Sport Knowledge

Officiate for Special Olympics North Carolina by donating your time as a sports official.  Contact for more information.

Sport Development Team members (SDT) are active volunteers who channel their passion and knowledge for a sport into effective leadership for local and state programs.  

Certified clinicians supplement the SDT by providing coaches training in their community.  Click here for trainers.

For more information on getting involved, contact