ISU, IWU host state tournament for Special Olympics basketball

The annual Special Olympics Illinois State Basketball Tournament will be in Bloomington/Normal the weekend of March 15-17. (Photo courtesy of SOIL)

Special Olympics Illinois athletes will be coming to Bloomington/Normal area to compete in 2019 State Basketball Tournament on Friday, March 15 through Sunday, March 17.

More than 1,650 Special Olympics Illinois Athletes and 520 coaches from across the state comprising of over 140 teams will put their abilities in basketball skills and teamwork to the ultimate test in the Special Olympics Illinois State Basketball Tournament.

Games will be played Horton Field House at Illinois State University and Shirk Center at Illinois Wesleyan University.

The tournaments runs:

Friday, March 15, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 16, 8 a.m.—5 p.m.

Sunday, March 17, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Opening Ceremony will take place in the Horton Fieldhouse on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Athletes will participate in five categories of play and are assigned within each category based on their age and skill level: senior/male, female, high school, junior and individual skills

To compete in the tournament, athletes must have trained for at least eight weeks. Senior/Male and High School teams qualified through one of eight regional tournaments in the state. All teams will play at least two games, and the tournament will be played according to IHSA rules.

Young Athletes have the opportunity to participate in basketball skills on Saturday, March 16 at Illinois State University’s Horton Field House.  To take part in the transitional exhibitions Young Athletes must have a valid Medical Application. For more information, please email

The State Basketball Tournament Sponsors are Knights of Columbus, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Casey’s General Store and United Airlines.

Volunteers are needed to make sure the tournament runs smoothly.

SOIL is looking for volunteers to help out at this year’s state basketball competition.

Volunteer time slots available:

Friday, March 15th from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Friday, March 15th from 120 p.m.- 5 p.m.

Sunday, March 17th from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Those interested can register online at

To help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at Follow Special Olympics Illinois on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.