Hosting a Special Olympics Ontario Competition
Hosting a Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) Competition
Thank you for helping to provide competitive opportunities for Special Olympics Ontario athletes. This host package contains all of the information you need to be able to successfully host a competition. If at any point you require any more information or clarification, please contact your sport specific Provincial Convener or District Developer.
Our goal is to provide the best possible competitions to our athletes and this guide should assist you in achieving that goal.
Table of Contents
STEP 1 – Choose your Competition3
STEP 3 – Organize your Committee3
STEP 4 – Prepare a Competition Budget5
STEP 5 – Determine Invitees6
STEP 6 – Book your Officials6
STEP 7 – Work through the Pre-Competition Checklist7
STEP 8 – Work through the Day Of-Competition Checklist9
STEP 9 – Post Competition Wrap Up9
Types of Competitions
At SOO, there are 5 different types of competition that are typically held. Each competition type addresses different objectives. Hosts are free to choose the type of competition they would like to hold, however, some competition types are dependent on the games cycle.
Descriptions for each type of competition can be found in the Competition section of the Resource Library.
When determining which location or venue will work for your competition you will need to look into the facility’s capacity, accessibility, spectator viewing options and whether you will be able to bring in outside food.
When selecting which date to hold your competition consider other competitions or events being hosted in your community or nearby communities. If volunteers or athletes are already committed to another event, you may encounter a shortage of participants for your own competition. Please visit the Provincial Events Calendar to check for any potential conflicts. You can also speak to your District Developer for their insight on a date’s suitability.
Once a date and location has been determined submit the Event to the SOO Events Calendar.
Running a competition is a team effort! Successfully hosting a competition means bringing together volunteers and representatives from various levels: the competition host from the local community, sport technical delegates, and staff from Special Olympics Ontario.
Roles may vary depending on the level of competition, ie. invitational versus Provincial Qualifier.
The Competition Host is responsible for bringing this team together. Depending on the size of your tournament, some individuals may take on more than one role, or you may enlist a subcommittee to handle a role. Following the below structure ensures that all bases of your competition are covered.
Roles for Hosting a Competition (Organizing Committee)
The following are brief descriptions of the possible roles or sub-committees included on the hosting committee.
Responsible for overall operation of the competition and organizing committee
Ensures that all members are aware of their responsibilities and time deadlines
Prepares competition budget and pays all necessary invoices for the competition
Liaises with Community Council where applicable
Prepares Competition Evaluation
Accounts for Risk Management
Determine need for volunteers.
Host volunteer orientation (if possible)
(GMS for Individual timed sports)
Responsible for keeping track of and centrally recording all competition data.
If GMS is being used 2-3 volunteers that are familiar with the software will be needed.
All results and rosters must be forwarded to the SOO Competition Developer.
Look for local sponsorship for the tournament including In-kind contributions of facilities and equipment and donations of lunch, water, refreshments.
Responsible for compiling and distributing registration packages and receiving registration and payments from clubs
Disseminate information to appropriate committee members
Assemble Coaches Package that can be delivered with registration confirmation or on day of event
Register athletes and coaches upon arrival
Meals and Accommodations– if applicable
Arrange for provision of nutritious meals, snacks and refreshments during the competition
Ensure sufficient amount of food for all participants
Recommend adequate accommodation options in the area, if needed
Knowledge of rules and regulations of Special Olympics sports
Secure necessary equipment
Attain necessary officials
Sets up competition schedule
Places athletes in competition divisions
Use of GMS for divisioning and generating results
Awards & Ceremonies
Brief opening and closing ceremonies
Acquisition and distribution of all awards/ribbons
Public Relations (if possible)
Coordinate overall promotion and publicity for the competition
Responsible for all media relations
Four weeks prior to the completion, the competition host is expected to submit a Projected Budget for approval. For Invitationals / Conference Competitions, this issubmitted to your Community Council; for Provincial Qualifiers, it is submitted to the Sport and Competition Developer.
The Competition Host, in conjunction with their community council, will receive and deposit all registration fees and donations associated with the competition. The competition host will also be responsible for paying all expenses related to the competition.
Registration Fees: Registration fees are meant to be cost recovery and not a fundraising opportunity.
- $25 per athlete (maximum fee)
Golf Fees: $40 per athlete
- $25 per athlete (maximum fee)
- Fundraising Committee to secure cash and in-kind donations
- Request the non-profit fee for all facility rentals or request in-kind donation of facility fees
- Obtain competition equipment from local generic sport club at no, or minimal, cost
- Request a reduced fee for officials’ fees
- If you are providing water, juice, fruit and/or snacks approach local grocery stores to receive gift-in-kind donations
- Northern Ontario participants may require overnight accommodations. Secure reduced-rate for all participants by booking blocks of rooms
- Lunches: It is recommended that all participants bring their own lunch to the competition unless the competition budget can accommodate lunches without experiencing a deficit. Please ensure nutritious food is provided and that there is a sufficient amount of food for each participant
- If the competition is being hosted in a facility where outside food is not permitted, the competition host will need to provide lunch for all athletes and coaches. Coaches should be charged for lunch, coaches should seek reimbursement from their community council for their lunch
SOO will not approve budgets if a deficit is expected and non-essential items are included. Non-essential items include:
- medals and trophies as ribbons can be obtained from SOO free of charge
- volunteer recognition as SOO will provide Volunteer Appreciation Certificates free of charge
- meals with the exception of Northern Ontario and the above guidelines regarding meals
SOO Grant Opportunities
Special Olympics Ontario provides grant opportunities to offset deficits experienced by communities hosting competitions. Grant deadlines are November 15, April 15, and June 15 of each year. Online grant application forms are available at the SOO website.
Please note: Competition Grants will be considered when competitions are expecting a deficit. Competition Grants may be awarded to communities that have access to limited funds. Funds will be electronically transferred into the community council account where applicable.
Sponsorship and Gift-in-Kind Donations
Competition Host committees are strongly encouraged to seek sponsors and gift-in-kind donations for the competition. Donations of any kind can enhance the competition experience for the athlete and will provide financial relief for the community. All donations should be recognized on site at the competition by signage, verbal announcements, etc. Communities should also recognize sponsors on local websites, banquets etc.
Receipts for financial donations will be sent from SOO by means of the normal donation deposit process.
See Appendix A for a sample budget
Determine who you would like to invite to your competition and which events you will be running. Your Conference Convener or Provincial Convener will be able to provide you with the contact information for the clubs you would like to invite. Try to send out the invitation as soon as possible, once your facilities have been booked and confirmed.
For Provincial Qualifiers, registration information needs to be distributed a minimum 6-8 weeks in advance of the competition.
Work with your District Developer to ensure all eligible athletes in the conference have been notified of and invited to the competition.
See Appendix D for invitation templates
Booking certified officials and medical personnel for your competitions is an important step in hosting a successful competition. This should be done well in advance of your competition to ensure availability. If you are having issues securing officials yourself, please connect with your Sport Conference Convener and they can assist you.
See Appendix F for sport specific official information
There are many factors and steps that go into hosting a successful competition. Keeping in mind that every competition is different, and depending on the sport, there will be different moving parts. The following is a basic guideline to get your event started.
Please use this as a checklist in ensuring you have all the right pieces to move forward.
Set a Date
Choose a Date and Time
Communicate date with your District Developer and submit to the events calendar
Remember that clubs will have to arrive and return on the same day
1 day e.g. 8 am – 5 pm (Northern regions may require overnight stay)
Ensure that the facility meets all of your needs.
Do a site tour of the facility
Certificate of Insurance
Obtain a Certificate of Insurance from SOO for event day
Fill out the online form:
Prepare a Budget
Prepare a budget
Have your local Community Council approve
See Appendix A for a sample budget
Recruit Competition Committee
Start recruiting Volunteers for event
See Appendix B for competition committee samples
Seek sponsorships and donations to assist with the costs of the competition
See Appendix C for a sponsorship package sample
Prepare Competition Invitation
Competition flyer will be sent out to all invited teams
Have your local Community Council approve
Prepare Registration Package
Registration package will be sent out with the invitation to the head coaches
Any rule changes must be approved by the Sport & Comp Developer prior to this package being sent out and, if approved, rule changes need to be highlighted in the registration package (and again in the coaches’ packages)
See Appendix E for registration package example
Certified officials are required at all conference competitions and provincial qualifiers
See Appendix F for booking officials
Recruit Medical Personnel
To be on site the day of event (RN, St. John’s Ambulance)
Can also be a certified First Aid/CPR/Medical Professional Volunteer
Secure appropriate equipment for competition
Prepare an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
See Appendix G for an EAP example
Food and Beverage
Plan for nutritious lunch or snacks and drinks (if offered)
Ensure there is water for all participants
Prepare Coaches Package
To be distributed to coaches upon registration/check-in on the day of competition
See Appendix H for coaches package sample
Order ribbons for participants from Special Olympics Ontario
Send an e-mail to email@example.com outlining how many ribbons your need, when you need them by and what address they should be mailed to
Send out Competition Invitations
Send out invitations as soon as possible- once venue is booked
Be sure to send a copy to your District Developer
Collects fees and submit to your Community Council for deposit
Set up Competition Schedules
Plan out competition schedules
See Appendix I for competition schedules examples
Create Day of Agenda
See Appendix J for day of agenda sample
Prepare Pre-Competition Coaches Meeting
See Appendix K for pre competition coaches meeting sample
Prepare Competition Evaluation Form
To be handed out at registration and collected at the end of competition
See Appendix H.2 for coaches’ package sample
See Appendix L for suggested supplies
Resource & Links
Links and information
See Appendix M for a list of resources and links
This checklist will help you prepare for the necessary items that you’ll need for the day-of the competition.
Set up a registration table and be sure to welcome volunteers and teams as they arrive
Hand out the Registration Package
Ensure teams have checked in and updated you with any roster changes
Pre-Competition Coaches Meeting
Host a coaches meeting prior to start. Distribute and discuss the Coaches package
Brief welcome & greetings
Parade of Athletes (if convenient)
Have an Athlete lead the Athletes Oath
Divisioning Round (if applicable- must be done at PQ’s)
Divisioning round to be held in accordance to SOO policy. Divisioning may occur prior to the competition using qualifying/practice times, divisioning committee reviews, divisioning tournament results, etc.
Food & Beverage Station
Set up a food & beverage station for a convenient lunch area to provide healthy snacks
Set up a station where competition results are posted- communicate location to coaches
Awards Presentation and thank you’s
Collect competition evaluations and tear down
Following your event, you will be responsible for submitting a final budget to your community council or the Sport & Competition Developer (for PQs).
If you didn’t have the ribbons and results ready for distribution prior to teams leaving you will need to mail these to the coaches of each participating club.
All results are to be sent to the Sport & Competition Developer within two weeks of the competition. If the competition is a PQ the following paperwork will need to be sent to the Sport & Competition Developer:
- Coach sign in sheet
- All Team sign in/scratch sheets
- Signed Rosters
- Tournament Schedule
- Referee in Chief’s notes
- Copy of the final results including Divisioning rounds
- Divisioning assessments from both Divisioning Committee and coaches
Timing and disqualification chits