Competition & Games

General Information

Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) offers more than 300 competitions for 16,000 athletes in 54 local programs.  Competition is offered in 21 Olympic-type sports and three emerging sports for athletes eight years or older.  Unlike other sporting events, there is no charge to participate or attend a Special Olympics competition for the competitor, family or spectator.  SOPA operates on a tri-season basis of winter, summer, and fall.  Athletes are eligible to progress from local, to sectional, to state, to national or even international competition.  Special Olympics alternates between World Summer and World Winter Games every two years, similar to the Olympics.

If you would like to volunteer at a Special Olympics Pennsylvania event, follow this link to complete our volunteer application. Once you complete the application, you can select which event and which job you would like to help with!

How To Participate

In order to compete, all athletes must train with their local program for a minimum of eight consecutive weeks prior to competition.  In order to train and get involved, athletes must complete an Application for Participation  and submit it to their local program coordinator. To participate as an athlete or coach, find a local program nearest to you and contact them directly.