#SundaySpotlight: Fall Sports Season

LONG BEACH, Calif. – As the month of August nears, so too does the fall sports season for Special Olympics Southern California. August 1 is the official start of the season for bowling, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

The fall sports season is still in need of volunteer coaches. These “inside of sports” volunteers include head coach, assistant coach, and team volunteer.

Head coaches are for those volunteers who want to lead a team of athletes through training and competition. Head coaches assist with the recruitment of athletes, coaches and team volunteers. Head coaches create, organize and conduct a comprehensive sports training program training program. Special Olympics Southern California will provide sports training through our coaches education program for individuals interested in this position. Head coaches are appointed by the Region/Area.

The assistant coach or “coach” position is for individuals who want to assist head coaches with creating, organizing and conducting a comprehensive sports training program. Coaches are preferred to have knowledge and/or coaching experience in the sport that they are coaching. Special Olympics Southern California will provide sports training through our coaches education program for individuals interested in this position.

Team volunteers are for individuals that will assist head coaches and assistants with sports and non-sports training activities. Team volunteers will not serve in any coaching capacity or provide sports training instruction to athletes.

To become a sport volunteer, visit SOSC.org/Volunteer.

Here is a quick look at sports offered this fall:

Bowling
Bowling is considered to be among the most popular sport in Special Olympics and is one of the fastest growing in Southern California. It is a particularly beneficial sport to people with intellectual disabilities, irrespective of their age or sports abilities, since it ensures physical exercise and at the same time participation and social integration. It was established in 1975 and in the 2017 season within SOSC it will include individual events of singles and singles ramp bowling, as well as team competitions of male (four bowlers), female (four bowlers) and mixed (two male, two female). For more, visit SOSC.org.

Soccer
Considered the world’s most popular sport for children and adults, soccer is also one of the most popular sports for Special Olympics athletes. Athletes are able to improve their overall physical fitness through training and competition. In addition to offering traditional soccer, Special Olympics soccer offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic soccer skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to team competition. The team competition is five-a-side and the fall season will include an individual skills competition in dribbling, shooting and run & kick. For more, visit SOSC.org.

Softball
Softball is an exciting team sport in Special Olympics. Athletes play slow-pitch softball, which involves two teams of 10 athletes each. Special Olympics offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic softball skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to team competition. These skills include base running, fielding and throwing. The team competition for softball are slow pitch and T-ball. In addition, there are skills competitions in base race, throwing, fielding and hitting. For more, visit SOSC.org.

Tennis
Special Olympics tennis gives athletes the opportunity to learn and perform a variety of skills that can be played throughout life. In addition to offering traditional singles and doubles events, Special Olympics offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic tennis skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to match play. Official events this fall include singles and doubles. The season will also include the skills competition in forehand volley, backhand volley, forehand ground stroke, backhand ground stroke, serve, and alternating ground strokes with movements. For more, visit SOSC.org.

Volleyball
Athletes participating in Special Olympics volleyball benefit from the camaraderie that comes from competing in a team sport, as well as the training that enables them to successfully serve and return a volleyball. Special Olympics volleyball also offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic volleyball skills. Official events this fall include a team competition and a modified team competition. The individual skills competitions include overhead passing (volleying), passing (forearm passing), and serving. For more, visit SOSC.org.

The fall sports season culminates with the 2017 Fall Games on Nov. 11-12 in Fountain Valley.

Do you know someone that wants to be a Special Olympics athlete? No matter the person’s age or skill level, Special Olympics Southern California has something for every person with intellectual disabilities. We deliver high-quality, year-round competition and training opportunities in an inclusive culture that stresses athletic excellence, rewards determination, emphasizes health, and celebrates personal achievement. And they are free.

Learn more at SOSC.org.

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