The health and safety of the Special Olympics Northern California community, including our athletes, coaches, volunteers, and employees, are our top priority.

After consulting with our health partners, local authorities, and public health officials, we are extending the suspension of all in-person sports training, coach training, and competitions through March 2021. We believe this is in the best interest of the Special Olympics Northern California community.

All Special Olympics Northern California in-person activities are suspended through March 2021.

We will update you if other Special Olympics Northern California programming is modified and new public health conditions occur.

Return To Play  |  March 2021

For 2021, we adopted a phased Return to Play Plan schedule. Special Olympics Northern California will offer various sports and fitness programs that are most suitable for the safety of our athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supporters. However, based on Special Olympics Northern California general funding availability, local conditions, local resources, and public health mandates, we reserve the right to adjust the following Return to Play program schedule.


PHASE 1 | Winter 2021 (January 2021—March 2021) 

  • Virtual Programming and Training Only:  No in-person activities
  • Sports:  Basketball
  • Training:  Training @ Home program
  • Competitions:  Virtual Tournaments


PHASE 2 | Spring 2021 (April 2021—June 2021) 

  • In-Person Group Activities:  Groups of 50 or less to gather in controlled settings
  • Sports Offered:
    • Track & Field
    • Bocce
    • Tennis (Unified Options)
    • Swimming
  • Training:  In-person, small group practices (6-weeks)
  • Competitions:  Local competitions within controlled training sites
  • Summer Games 2021 | June 2021


PHASE 3 | Summer 2021 (July 2021—September 2021) 

  • In-Person Group Activities:  Groups of 250 or less to gather in controlled settings
  • Sports Offered:
    • Golf
    • Softball
  • Training:  In-person regular practice season (8-weeks)
  • Competitions:
    • Softball   |  Scrimmages—small & Local One-Day Events
    • Golf (Unified Options)   |  Virtual Golf Tournaments 


PHASE 4 | Fall 2021 (September 2021—November 2021) 

  • In-Person Group Activities:  No limit on Group Size gatherings
  • Sports Offered: 
    • Soccer
    • Bowling (4-Weeks)
    • Flag Football (Unified)
  • Training:  In-person regular practice season (8 weeks)
  • Competitions:  Local and Regional Competitions




  • The sports identified above are the only approved sports during each Phase.


  • All Special Olympics Northern California locations (Areas/Counties) will Return to Play simultaneously.
  • We may need to adjust the Return to Play program schedule, as required by local health guidelines, recommendations, and/or mandates.


  • The State of California stopped funding Special Olympics Northern California for 2020-2021. The elimination of this vital funding resulted in reducing and/or eliminating many Special Olympics Northern California programs, including local program offerings. 
  • We may need to adjust the Return to Play program schedule based on the reduced Special Olympics Northern California budget.


  • Special Olympics Northern California monitors the State of California, County, and Local public health guidelines and recommendations. 
  • We may need to adjust the Return to Play program schedule, as required by local health guidelines, recommendations, and/or mandates.


  • We will have limited virtual Health and Fitness @ Home programs for those who may not be ready to Return to Play.



What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Patients with coronavirus (COVID-19) have mild to severe symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC website.

Know How it Spreads

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
    - Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    - By respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.


Take Steps to Protect Yourself

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.


Avoid close contact


Take Steps to Protect Others

Stay home if you’re sick


Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.


Wear a facemask around others

  • You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
  • Learn what to do if you are sick.


Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources

COVID-19 eLearning Course from Special Olympics
With the help of athletes and Program Staff, we have developed a 30-minute eLearning course for our Special Olympics community about COVID-19. This course is designed to cover the basic information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) including: what is the coronavirus, what are the symptoms, how does it spread, and how you can protect yourself. We encourage the entire Special Olympics community to complete this module at Please see instructions for accessing this course.

Special Olympics:

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