Hosting a Competition General Package







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 Competition    3

STEP 2 – Choose a Date & Location    3

STEP 3 – Organize your Committee    3

STEP 4 – Prepare a Competition Budget    5

STEP 5 – Determine Invitees    6

STEP 6 – Book your Officials    6

STEP 7 – Work through the Pre-Competition Checklist    7

STEP 8 – Work through the Day Of-Competition Checklist    9

STEP 9 – Post Competition Wrap Up    9








STEP 1 – Choose your Competition


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.


STEP 2 – Choose a Date & Location


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.


STEP 3 – Organize your Committee

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.





Competition Host

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

Books facilities

Prepares Competition Evaluation

Accounts for Risk Management

Volunteer Coordinator

Determine need for volunteers.

Recruit volunteers

Host volunteer orientation (if possible)

Volunteer recognition


(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

Sport Technical

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




STEP 4 – Prepare a Competition Budget


Four weeks prior to the completion, the competition host is expected to submit a Projected Budget for approval. For Invitationals / Conference Competitions, this is submitted 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.

Budget Guidelines;


  • 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


  • 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


STEP 5 – Determine Invitees

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


STEP 6 – Book your Officials & Medical Personnel

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

STEP 7 – Work through the Pre-Competition Checklist

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)

Book Facilities


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
See Appendix D for an invitation sample

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

Book Officials


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 Awards/Ribbons


Order ribbons for participants from Special Olympics Ontario

Send an e-mail to 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

Receive Registrations


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

Collect Supplies


See Appendix L for suggested supplies


Resource & Links


Links and information

See Appendix M for a list of resources and links





STEP 8 – Work through the Day Of-Competition Checklist


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

Opening Ceremonies


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

Competition Results


Set up a station where competition results are posted- communicate location to coaches

Closing Ceremonies


Awards Presentation and thank you’s

Wrap Up


Collect competition evaluations and tear down


STEP 9 – Post Competition Wrap Up

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