In order for an athlete to be eligible to compete at a State competition, the athlete must compete at their Area or State Sectional competition. State competitions are state-wide competitions conducted at the culmination of each sports season and serve as qualifiers to meet the criteria for athletes to advance to the National or World level of competition. State competitions are the highest level of competition offered for athletes within the state. State competition is conducted in compliance with Special Olympics rules.
Special Olympics Arizona conducts five major events annually.
FLAG FOOTBALL (March)
Flag Football is held just outside the Arizona Cardinals University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, AZ. Traditional and Unified Teams from around the state are join together for Recreational and Competitive non-tackle football.
BASKETBALL & CHEER (March)
Over 1,000 athletes compete in one day or two day tournaments for both Unified and Traditional basketball. Teams are placed into divisions based on age, gender and ability level. Cheerleading is offered on Saturday of the competition.
SUMMER GAMES (May)
Special Olympics Arizona Summer Games is the largest event on the calendar with over 1,300 athletes competing in Athletics (Track & Field), Powerlifting, and Volleyball. This three day event includes an Olympic-style opening ceremonies, torch run, parade of athletes and victory dance.
SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS (October)
One of the most popular sports in Arizona, 2017 will see a stand-alone swimming competition with Opening Ceremonies, dinner and the Victory Dance that is the highlight of the two day competition.
FALL CLASSIC (November)
Over 1000 athletes, unified partners and coaches will attend the newly branded Fall Classic which will include Bocce, Soccer and Softball. Designed to maximize playing time and offer additional competition for the growing sport of Soccer, athletes can attend one day of this two day competition.