- Published on 27 February 2015
Basketball is a favorite among Special Olympics athletes. In addition to team competition, Special Olympics Basketball also offers individual skills competition, which allows athletes to train and compete in basic basketball skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to team play. These events include target pass, ten-meter dribble and spot shot. A player's final score is determined by adding the scores together achieved in each of the events.
Special Olympics athletes can also participate in Unified Sports® basketball team competition. Special Olympics Unified Sports is a program that combines Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition.
In Unified Sports basketball, the roster must contain a proportionate number of Special Olympics athletes and partners; during competition, the line up shall never exceed three athletes and two partners at any time (two Athletes and one Partner for 3-on-3). Each team shall have a non-playing head coach responsible for the line-up and conduct of the team during competition.
As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, age and gender.
Basketball was first contested in 1968 at the first Special Olympics Games in Chicago, Ilinois, USA.
AT the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games in North Carolina, USA, 533 athletes from 40 countries competed for basketball competition.
At the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland, 496 Special Olympics athletes from 42 countries competed in basketball.
Basketball was one of the 2000 2nd MENA Regional Games in Morocco, where three female teams from Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco competed in basketball.
First basketball female games held in Lebanon 2001, seven teams from Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Iraq competed in basketball.
At 2002 3rd MENA Regional Games in Lebanon, basketball youth competitions took place for the first time ever, where teams from Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Jordan competed in basketball.
At the 2004 4th MENA Regional Games in Tunisia, 22 female athletes from Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia competed in female basketball competition.
Today there are 15462 athletes from MENA Programs competing in basketball.
Half-Court Basketball: 3-on-3 Competition
Unified Sports Team Competition
Unified Sports Half-Court Competition (3-on-3)
The following events provide meaningful competition for athletes with lower ability levels:
Individual Skills Contest
Team Skills Basketball
Unified Sports Individual Skills Competition (one athlete and one Partner, the final score the sum of each competitor’s total score)