What is the timeline for the Virtual Summer Games?

Practice begins on Monday, May 11, 2020 and runs through May 31. Make sure to submit your results between Monday, June 1 and Sunday June 7, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.

Who is permitted to compete?

Anyone who is currently registered as an SONJ athlete (8-years-old +), Unified partner, or coach. 

Can I still participate if I typically don’t do Summer Games?

Yes!  This is open to anyone that is interested and is currently registered as an SONJ athlete, Unified partner, or coach. 

Do I need to pre-register to participate?

Pre-registration is not required but is strongly encouraged! By pre-registering, you will get important updates and information about Virtual Summer Games sent directly to your inbox. Sign up now! You can always change your mind if you decide not to participate. You are not required to take part even if you pre-register. 

Do I need to fill out any paperwork to participate?

No paperwork is required to participate. 

Do I have to have an up-to-date medical to compete? 

Only currently registered Special Olympics New Jersey athletes, coaches and Unified partners are eligible to compete, and it is strongly recommended that all paperwork is completed and valid before participating. However, due to current stay at home and social distancing orders, we will not be requiring athletes to visit a doctor prior to participating even if their medical is currently expired. Please refer to our Stay Safe statement for guidelines on safe participation. 

Why is there no Swimming or Softball?

Unfortunately, we were unable to develop safe and easy events in the sports of swimming and softball that athletes could do from home and submit a score. 

No access to a computer. Can we compete? 

Yes! If a coach, family member, or caregiver is willing and able to safely get this printable version of the program (PDF) to your athletes they can participate and record their results without needing internet or computer access. Print one copy per athlete. After they have competed and recorded their results, you can retrieve and submit their results for them using the online form. Please only do this if you are able to deliver and retrieve the papers safely! 

Can I volunteer for the Virtual Summer Games?

Yes! We encourage all family members, friends, and supporters of Special Olympics New Jersey to register to be a virtual “Fans in the Stands” volunteer. For more information on what this role includes, and to register, please visit our Volunteer page

How can I train for the competition?

Our top priority is that everyone is safe and maintains social distancing rules while practicing. Practice at home or in a space that still allows you to follow social distancing rules (you must be six feet away from other individuals). 

Do I need equipment to train/practice?

Many events don’t require any equipment. Some events require sport specific equipment or household items. Please don’t go out to the store and purchase equipment. Use what you have and don’t be afraid to get creative! 

What scores do I need to record during the training period?

Keep track of all your practice scores during the training weeks. A simple paper and pencil will do. You can also download this simple activity tracker as a printable PDF or an electronic version in Excel. You’ll want to submit your best score for each activity when it comes time to enter final results.

Will I be disqualified if my measurements for certain events are not exact?

No, we understand that everyone is doing their best and everyone’s at home event set up is different than others.  We are more interested in everyone participating and giving their honest effort and attempt.  The priority is participation and not disqualification.

Who will I compete against?

You will be competing against your peers from across the state. After final results are submitted, we’ll division everyone based on their role as an athlete, Unified partner or coach as well as by their age and results. We will only division by gender if there are enough total participants. 

How do I submit my scores?

You can submit your results online any time between June 1 and June 7.

How should I record video? (optional)

Please refer to our Best Practices information below for recording video:

Will awards be given out?

Yes! You’ll get a digital award in an email the week after Virtual Summer Games. 

How do I watch the Opening Ceremony?

There will be a Virtual Summer Games Opening Ceremony video posted on our website and shared on social media at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 5th. Following the video, join in on a virtual dance party starting at 8:00 p.m.

How can I watch the Virtual Summer Games recap video?

The Virtual Summer Games recap video will be released following the conclusion of the event. All registered participants will receive more information via email, and you can also keep an eye on Special Olympics New Jersey’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts for a link to the video when it’s ready!

I have additional questions/need more help!

Please contact us at SPORTSinfo@sonj.org

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: 

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

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

  1. discomfort or pain 
  1. 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 
  1. shortness of breath 
  1. a rapid or irregular heartbeat