Special Olympics basketball is a favorite sport for players and spectators. Athletes begin playing basketball at all ages and abilities, from young players learning to handle the ball to older, more experienced players.

Basketball is a spring sport where athletes train and compete from December through April.

Basketball Guidelines

Basketball Skills

Submit Practice Roster

2021 Basketball Skills Finals

    • Saturday, March 13th
    • Location- SONJ Complex in Lawrenceville and RiverWinds Community Center in West Deptford
    • Individual Skills Challenges

Available Skills

Skill #1: Target Pass Skill

How accurate is your passing?

 Equipment needed (all 3 levels): Two basketballs, flat (preferably brick) wall, chalk or floor tape, a measuring tape.


Level 1 Skill Description: A 1-meter (3 ft 3 1/2 in) square is marked on a wall using chalk or tape. The bottom line of the square shall be 1 meter (3 ft, 3 1/2 in) from the floor. A 3-meter (9 ft, 9 in) square will be marked on the floor 2.4 meter (7 ft) from the wall. The athlete must stand within the square. The leading wheel axle of an athlete’s wheelchair may not pass over the line.  The athlete is given five passes.  Try and get measurements as close as possible.

Level 2 Skill Description:  The box on the wall will remain the same size.  The box on the ground will remain the same size and distance from the wall.   The throw line will be moved back 1 meter (3 ft) from Level 1’s passing line, so you will tape a line within your floor box that is 3.1 meters (10 ft) away from the wall.   This will be the passing spot for Level 2.  Try and get measurements as close as possible.

Level 3 Skill Description:  The box on the wall will remain the same size.  The box on the ground will remain the same size and distance from the wall.   The passing line will be moved back 2.4 meters (8 ft) from Level 1’s passing line, so you will tape a line within your floor box that is 4.6 meters (15 ft) away from the wall.   This will be the passing spot for Level 3.  Try and get measurements as close as possible.

Skill #2: 10 Meter Dribble Skill

How fast can you dribble a basketball?


Equipment needed (all 3 levels): 
Two basketballs (one as backup), floor tape, four cones, a measuring tape.


Level 1 Skill Description:
 The athlete begins from behind the start line and between the cones. The athlete starts dribbling and moving when the official signals. The athlete dribbles the ball with one hand for the entire 10-meter (32 ft 9 ¾ in). A wheelchair athlete must alternate, taking two pushes followed by two dribbles for legal dribbling. The athlete must cross the finish line between the cones and must pick up the basketball to stop the dribble. If an athlete loses control of the ball, the clock continues to run. The athlete can recover the ball. However, if the ball goes outside the 2-meter lane, the athlete can either pick up the nearest back-up basketball or recover the errant ball to continue the event.  Try and get measurements as close as possible.

Level 2 Skill Description: The athlete will dribble the length of the 10-meters.  When they reach the finish line, they will turn around and dribble 5-meters in the other direction to the halfway mark.  The clock will then stop.  This will help athletes with changing direction and allow them to work on ball control.

Level 3 Skill Description: The athlete will dribble the length of the 10-meters.  When they reach the finish line, they will turn around and dribble 10-meters back to the starting point.  The clock will then stop.  This will help athletes with changing direction and allow them to work on ball control.

Skill #3: Spot Shot Skill

How well can you shoot a basketball?


Equipment needed: 
Two basketballs, 10 ft regulation hoop with backboard, floor tape, six floor spots, a measuring tape.


Level 1 Skills Description:
  Six spots are placed down on the court. Start each measurement from a spot on the floor under the front of the rim.  The athlete attempts two shots from each of the six sports on the floor.  The attempts are taken at spots #2, #4, #6, and then from #1, #3, and #5.  Mark the distances as follows:

  • Spots #1 and #2 = 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) to the left and right plus 1 meter (3ft, 3 ½ in) out.
  • Spots #3 and #4 = 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) to the left and right plus 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) out.
  • Spots #5 and #6 = 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) to the left and right plus 2 meters (6ft, 6 and 3/4 in) out.

 

Level 2 Skills Descriptions: The concept will be the same, but Level 2 athletes will start where spots #3 and #4 are located and move back 0.5 meters from there.  Mark the Level 2 distances as follows:

  • Spots #1 and #2 = 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) to the left and right plus 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) out.
  • Spots #3 and #4 = 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) to the left and right plus 2 meters (6ft, 6 and 3/4 in) out.
  • Spots #5 and #6 = 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) to the left and right plus 2.5 meters (8 ft, 2 in) out.


Level 3 Skills Descriptions:
The concept will be the same, but Level 3 athletes will start where spots #5 and #6 are located and move back 0.5 meters from there.  Mark the Level 2 distances as follows:

  • Spots #1 and #2 = 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) to the left and right plus 2 meters (6ft, 6 and 3/4 in) out.
  • Spots #3 and #4 = 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) to the left and right plus 2.5 meters (8 ft, 2 in) out.
  • Spots #5 and #6 = 1.5 meters (4ft, 11 in) to the left and right plus 3 meters (9ft, 10 in) out.

Scoring the Skills

Skill #1: The athlete's score will be the sum of the points from all five passes.

 

Skill #2: The athlete will be timed from the signal “Go” to when he/she crosses the finish line between the cones and picks up the basketball to stop the dribble.  A one-second penalty is assessed every time the athlete illegally dribbles (two-hand dribbles, carries the ball, etc.).  The athlete will receive two trials.  Each trial is scored by converting the time it takes to complete the drill to total points, plus any penalty points. 

 

Skill #3: The athlete’s score is the sum of the points from all 12 shots. Use the chart below to total the points. The athlete’s final score for the Individual Skills Contest is determined by adding together the scores achieved in each of the three events.

 

 

2021 League Events

There will be no league games held during the 2021 Basketball season.  All skills events will be held at the Basketball Skills Finals.

2021 State Events

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no Spring Games state competition for 2021.  Skills events will be held in-person at the Basketball Skills Finals in March.  Events and dates are subject to change as new information is made available.

Additional Information

Stay Safe

Regular physical activity is vital for good physical, social and emotional health. While there is a risk of injury with any type of physical activity, the benefits of staying active far outweigh the risks.

You can reduce your risk of exercise injury by:

  • wearing the right shoes
  • using the correct equipment
  • drinking water and staying hydrated
  • warming up and stretching properly
  • being aware of your surroundings – always exercise and compete in a safe and level area clear of any obstacles or items
  • maintaining social distancing rules when necessary (stay at least six feet away from others)

Stop exercising and seek medical help if you experience symptoms such as:

  • discomfort or pain
  • chest pain or other pain that could indicate a heart attack, including pain in the neck and jaw, pain travelling down the arm or pain between the shoulder blades
  • shortness of breath
  • a rapid or irregular heartbeat
Criteria for Advancement

Athletes should be practicing their skills and submitting qualification scores prior to the Skills Finals.  Scores are due by Monday, March 8th.  For assistance in finding a practicing facility, please contact Sam Cyliax at SMC@sonj.org.

General Guidelines
  • No equipment should be shared between athletes. Each athlete must use their own ball.
  • Athletes are responsible for their own equipment including basketball, shoes, towels, water bottle, and sweatbands. No other athletes, Unified partners, or volunteers should touch equipment unless from the same household.
  • All basketballs must be sanitized before practice begins.
  • All practice structure must align with the current Special Olympics New Jersey Return to Activities (RTA) guidelines.
  • Must adhere to the more restrictive measure for skill spacing, social distancing, PPE requirement and sanitation protocols, per gym venue
  • While at the basketball venue, ensure athletes practice social distancing as outlined in the RTA plan.
  • All coaches, volunteers, athletes, and families are always to wear masks. Athletes should only take masks off when hydrating or for brief medical reasons.
  • All programs must adhere to venue capacity rules and regulations. As such, spectators may be asked to leave the indoor venues if capacity limits are met and are expected to comply.

2019 Basketball League Results

Use the buttons below to download results from the Central, East, North and South basketball leagues.

2018 Spring Games Results

Use the buttons below to download results from the 2018 Spring Games tournament held in Wildwood on March 24-25.

Results by Team

Sports Registration Checklist

Read through and complete this checklist of to-dos before signing up for a local program.