This page provides resources for local coordinators and committees for planning local events.
Special Olympics has a very comprehensive Spring Games Toolkit available for your use. Below you can find additional resources for your planning.
Event Director’s Guide
This online event guide will cover all aspects of running an event from beginning to end
Event Management Best Practices
Event management tips and tricks from SONC Local Coordinators
Use these resources below to assist in planning for competition.
Competition and Awards Webinar
Best practices and problem-solving for spring games (58:05)
Divisioning Overview Video
Stages to achieve success in divisioning (2:31)
Competition Staging How-To Document
10 things to know about competition staging
Competition Schedule Example
Example of an informative spring games schedule using excel
Spring Games Coaches Notes
A template of notes to give to all coaches for spring games – simply plug in your information
Spring Games PowerPoint Example for a Webinar
A template of an informative PowerPoint to share when hosting a webinar for your spring games – simply plug in your information and use the script below
Sample Games Coaches Meeting Webinar Script Example
A template of an informative script to use when hosting your spring games webinar – simply plug in your information and reference the PowerPoint above
For further assistance in competition planning, contact the sports department
Awards legitimizes the competition and accomplishments of the athletes. It is important to have a well organized and efficient awards ceremony to celebrate those achievements. The resources below will assist in the planning of the awards ceremonies.
Awards 101 video
A video showing how to conduct an awards ceremony
Awards Staging How-To Document
10 things to know about awards staging
All of the aspects involved in running an awards ceremony
Awards Music (WMA file)
A download of the music used during an awards ceremony
Awards Music (MP4 file)
An Apple product-compatible download of the music used during an awards ceremony
Awards Staging Animation
A one-minute explanation from SOI on how athletes are arranged in the staging area and then presented awards.
The list below is a comprehensive set of events that may be offered. All events should not be offered.
The recommend number of events for each athlete to participate in is one (1) track event and one (1) field event. Athletes should choose events within one (1) event category.
Traditional events are for those athletes who can successfully compete at a high level of competition. The traditional events in athletics are:
4 x 100m Relay
Running Long Jump
Lead up & wheelchair events provides a meaningful level of competition, while offering a lower level of activity. The lead-up and wheelchair events in athletics are:
Standing Long Jump
Wheelchair Shot Put
Developmental events are for those athletes with more severe and profound disabilities and require a minimal amount of physical activity. The developmental events in athletics are:
Tennis Ball Throw
10m Assisted Walk (Assisted means an assistive device ex.walker)
Games Management System (GMS)
GMS stands for Games Management System, and it is the software used to manage certification and contact information for athletes, Unified partners and volunteers within its database. It is also used to register athletes and coaches for games, and division and schedule competitions, and print reports like verification records and heat sheets. This is the software used throughout the world to manage certification and competition information throughout the Special Olympics movement.
If you are a local coordinator and need a copy of this software, computer hardware (such as a laptop to run the program) and local program information (i.e. an athlete export), please contact Curtis Barts.
This includes basic information to know when starting to use GMS for the first time.
This includes important information on how to be prepared prior to registration being received for your local program event.
- GMS Resources and Reports Zip Folder
- Important tool which includes all basic reports that are important for Spring Games and/or any other local events. (i.e. heat sheets, name tags, awards reports, etc.) needed to have a successful spring games.
- Please make sure to download and save the folder within the file called “New Handy Reports” to your desktop or somewhere on your computer that is easy to access.
- How to create a new game
- For programs that have not used or have a previous local event in their current GMS.
- How to duplicate a previous game with and without the previous registered athletes
- Recommended if the local program has used GMS. This prevents having to rebuild the entire games.
- How to create and add a new delegation to a game
- How to add the teacher name to a delegation name within a game
- How to do a GMS transfer import of local program athletes
The next few videos can be done once registration is received for a local event.
- How to register athletes
- How to add and delete events in a game
- How to scratch an athlete from a game
- How to edit an athlete’s events/qualifying score
- How to division using the divisioning tool in GMS
- How to print name tags
- How to scratch an athlete from a game
- How to scratch an athlete from a single event
- How to print a scratch report
- How to print a games report
- This report can be used to send to each delegation attending your games so that they can see collective list of athletes participating and their events, divisions and any missing paperwork.
- How to pull an advanced exporter of all registered athletes in a game
- How to enter results for individual skills sports (i.e. basketball skills)
- How to enter final scores and calculate places for individual skills sports
- How to enter final scores and calculate places for individual scored sports (i.e. golf)
- How to enter final scores and calculate places for timed/distance sports (i.e. athletics)
- How to enter final scores and calculate places for team sports (i.e. basketball)
- How to print a results report for an individual scored sport
- This would be used to give to the awards station to then award the athletes and/or Unified partners with the appropriate award.
- How to print a results report for a team sport
- How to set up your work area
- How to print a test page
- How to enter scores and calculate places for non-bracketed team sports (i.e. bowling and cheerleading)
Sample Equipment List
An example of a detailed equipment list – this can also be used as a template
If you are in need of a torch, now is the time to order one! A torch and carrying case is approximately $500 and a worthwhile investment for every local program, as SONC does not have the capacity to loan them out, especially during the busy Spring Games season. To order, contact Marci Straw with MTM Recognition/Midwest Trophy. This is the same company that provides all ribbons and medals, and is also listed on our Recommended Vendor List. We would also like to encourage you to involve local Law Enforcement Torch Run agencies to attend your Spring Games and assist with bringing in the torch. Contact Leslie Moyar to find out who your local LETR representatives are!
Laying out where events will be held within your venue is critical for traffic flow and the safety of athletes, coaches and spectators. It will make your event much smoother if you consider a few things like how people move from one event to another, where awards are presented, and where you will do staging for each area of competition.
In addition to knowing where each of your events/activities will take place, it is also important to know where things like bathrooms or locker rooms, parking/athlete-drop off, volunteer check-in, and lunch are located. The provided sample venue layout shows these and some other key places that you should know or plan the placement of.
Example of Venue Layout
An example of a detailed venue layout – this can also be used as a template
While these sample materials are for athletics venues, similar materials exist for other sports that Special Olympics NC offers. If you are planning events for other sports, please contact Julianna Pratt for similar materials for those events.
Creating a Spring Games Management Team Webinar
How to create a true volunteer committee and the roles involved (29:22)
Volunteer Screening Form
GMT are class A volunteers and must fill out this form. Day-of-event volunteers do not need to fill out this form.
Required for GMT members
Opening Ceremony and Olympic Town Planning Video
Opening Ceremony and Olympic Town must-haves, tips, and added extras (48:50)
Special Olympics Athlete Oath
Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
Special Olympics Coach’s Oath
In the name of all coaches and in the spirit of sportsmanship, I promise that we will act professionally, respect others, and ensure a positive experience for all. I promise to provide quality sports and training opportunities in a safe environment for all athletes.
Special Olympics Official’s Oath
In the name of all judges and officials, I promise that we shall officiate in these Special Olympics Games with complete impartiality, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, in the spirit of sportsmanship
Young Athletes Program Registration Form
Young Athletes registration and release form – all SONC young athletes must have one on file in order to participate
Young Athletes at Spring Games Training Webinar
How to organize and run a successful Young Athletes event – includes pictures and ideas of past events (28:13)
Learn more about the Young Athletes program.
Media & Public Relations
- Language Guidelines – please refer to these guidelines when speaking to volunteers, media, on social media, etc. Share this with volunteers, parents, coaches, or anyone else affiliated with your program.
- Logo Guidelines – These guidelines explain the correct usage of logos. Any old program or SONC logos should be thrown out and replaced with the correct logo. This is important to note for any Spring Games t-shirts being ordered. If you need your program’s logos, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.