Game On: Learn about the divisioning process that differentiates Special Olympics from other sport organizations.
SONC offers three different types of competition: individual skills, short court match play and full court match play.
Individual skills competition allows Special Olympics athletes to develop sport skills in a competitive format designed to serve as a stepping stone to match play. The individual skills offered for tennis are forehand and backhand volley, forehand and backhand groundstrokes, deuce and advantage court serves, and alternating groundstrokes with movement. Individual Skills uses the red felt tennis ball. Please use these diagrams to train your athletes.
Short court match play is very similar to the USTA quick start tennis. Athletes play on a modified court (within the service boxes), and with the red felt tennis ball that has a lower compression. Athletes may choose to compete in two of three short court match play events which include singles, traditional doubles, or partnered doubles (non-Special Olympics athlete partner of significant tennis ability).
Full court match play is played on a full court with traditional tennis balls. Athletes may choose to compete in singles and either traditional doubles or Unified Sports doubles.
Level Four Tennis is played on a full court, but is played with a low compression “Green Dot” tennis ball and is designed to provide a transition from Short Court Tennis to Full Court Tennis. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in providing this opportunity for your athletes.
Click here to find your coach certification status.
- Tennis Calendar
- United States Tennis Association
- SONC Tennis Individual Skills Diagrams
- Special Olympics Quick Start Guide – printable version
- Special Olympics Quick Start Guide – digital version
- Special Olympics Coaching Guide
- Other SOI Coaching Resources
Always communicate with your local coordinator if you are interested in submitting registration for an event.
Fall Tournament/Invitational Registration Forms
- Tennis Individual Skills Competition Registration Form
- Individual Skills Worksheet – For coaches use only, do not submit with registration.
- Tennis Full Court Registration Form
- Tennis Short Court Registration Form
SONC Fall Tournament will be held November 9-11, 2018 in Charlotte.
Additional competition opportunities will be available for Unified Sports. This is being done in anticipation of potentially removing all Unified competition from state-level events starting in the 2019-2020 program year.
Abilities Tennis Association of North Carolina (ATANC)
ATANC hosts numerous additional tennis opportunities for athletes throughout the year. Check out the tennis calendar to find upcoming ATANC events. For more information contact Lou Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Special Olympics National Tennis Invitational Tournament is typically held in October of each year.
There are also several other competition opportunities for Special Olympics North Carolina athletes that are offered by programs outside of SONC. More information about these events will be posted as it is made available.
Host an Invitational
Local programs are encouraged to invite neighboring counties to participate in invitationals, scrimmages, or leagues. Click here for some basic steps on how to get started.
About Tennis: Tennis is a popular sport played by players of all ages, at all levels of ability. Athletes are trained in all aspects of the game, including stroke production, court craft and the rules of competition. The sport emphasizes values, such as fair play, sportsmanship, and respect for fellow competitors. Tennis is not only fun to play, but it is a lifetime sports activity that is fun to practice and fun to learn.
Differences of Special Olympics Tennis: The Special Olympics rules for Tennis provide modifications to control the length of matches through no-add scoring and options for short Sets. More recently, Special Olympics has introduced additional options for shorter courts and low-compression balls for athletes of lower ability.
History: Tennis became a statewide SONC sport at the 1986 Summer Games in Charlotte.
By the Numbers:
- United States Tennis Association (USTA) teaching professional John Stone began the Special Olympics North Carolina Tennis program in Sanford in 1985.
- Special Olympics North Carolina was represented by three tennis athletes at the 1991 International Summer Special Olympics Games. Bob Bowler of Mecklenburg county attended as the coach for Team NC.
- In 1992, tennis moved to the Fall Tournament and except for a two-year stint at the Midsummer Tournament, it has remained a fall sport.
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.
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 sport certification in this sport.
For more information on becoming an SDT member or a Certified Clinician, contact email@example.com.