This page provides resources for local coordinators and committees for planning spring games.
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
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)
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.
Handouts explaining various functions of GMS
- Groups and delegations – an overview of groups and delegations and how they work. SONC strongly recommends creating your schools, group homes, day programs, etc. as sub-groups within your parent group of your county/local program name. Please contact email@example.com for more information on how to do this.
- Person lookup and data entry – how to search for someone and enter a new person.
- Expiring certifications report – run this report to find all your missing/expired athlete participation medicals!
- Creating a Games – learn how to create a new games. SONC sport staff have done the work for you – download the Spring Games template games and reports. For help on how to do this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Games registration wizard – instructions on how to register athletes into a games.
- Divisioning – join us on easy street and have GMS auto-division for you! This should explain the tool, and contact email@example.com with any questions.
- How to open GMS
- Introduction to GMS
- How to set up your work area
- How to print a test page
- How to select an event within a game
- 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 enter results for individual skills sports
- How to enter final results and calculate places for individual skills sports
GMS Spring Games Resources & Reports
A zip folder with all documents needed to have successful spring games (heat sheets, name tags, awards reports, etc.)
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!
Example of Venue Layout
An example of a detailed venue layout – this can also be used as a template
Creating a Spring Games Management Team Webinar
How to create a true volunteer committee and the roles involved (29:22)
GMT job descriptions
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
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.