Special Olympics Florida conducts eight State Championships every year. These events are the culmination of an athletes training and competition cycle for a specific sports season. In order to compete in a State Championship event, athletes and teams must have completed eight weeks of training and compete at county and area level competitions.
Athletes compete in individual skills and team play. Teams are divided into age groups and then into one of four ability groups.
Athletes compete in a variety of English and Western events giving them the opportunity to show their abilities. State competition is held in May.
Special Olympics Florida’s Summer Games are the largest event on the calendar with athletes competing in athletics (track & field), bocce, cycling, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. This event is held annually at ESPN Wide World of SportsComplex and kicks off with an exciting Olympic-style opening ceremonies featuring the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. It concludes on Saturday night with closing ceremonies and the much anticipated victory dance.
Walt Disney World is the current host of this championship in September, on two of their challenging 18-hole golf courses. Golfers compete in individual skills and 9- and 18-hole events.
Special Olympics Florida athletes are competing in surfing — a state sport that started in 2010. Surfers head to Cocoa Beach in September for the annual Surfing Festival, hosted by Ron Jon Surf Shop and managed by Ron Jon Surf School.
Athletes congregate at North County Regional Park (Indian River County) in October to compete in our annual state championships. Swimmers compete in a full slate of short and long course events.
Athletes compete in bowling, gymnastics, powerlifting and softball at our State Fall Classic. This event is held annually at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in November.
Our newest Special Olympics Florida sport — Flag Football — began in the fall of 2012, with 13 county programs competing in the state tournament.