2021 Fall Basketball Challenge

With the fall basketball season here, SOMT is thrilled to launch the 2021 Fall Basketball Challenge.  This year’s Fall Basketball Challenge will be a skills-based competition that will include several team skills options for participation. Working with the Covid-19 protocols released from Special Olympics International, the current case rates in each county, and a large majority of the counties in Montana falling into the “significant” risk category, it has become clear that team play basketball is not feasible this fall.

To ensure the safety of athletes, unified partners, coaches, and volunteers, the Fall Basketball Challenge will be offered in lieu of the State Basketball Tournament that was scheduled for November 4 – 6, 2021 in Butte.

The 2021 Fall Basketball Challenge will allow athletes to compete, from practice, as individuals, pairs, teams of 3, or in teams of 5.  Unified options will be available for all doubles and team levels of competition.  SOMT will continue to offer a “compete from home” option for any athletes unable, or uncomfortable, returning to group practices.  Athletes will be competing for medals and ribbons and will be divisioned against athletes from across the state.

SOMT is proud to have continued programming throughout the pandemic to keep athletes active and engaged.  The organization remains committed to providing safe training and competition opportunities in the spirit of being a responsible community partner.


Athletes competed either at home or in a team practice and competition setting, depending on their level. How an athlete finished in a division, based on their results from practice and competition, determined what award that athlete received. Athletes were placed in a division of their peers for competition based on the following criteria:

  1. The participant’s level. This will be submitted by the athlete’s LPC
  2. The participant’s preliminary score (due October 8th)
  3. The athlete’s gender
  4. The athlete’s age

Games Information Packet and Scores Form

The Games Information Packet is intended to provide all the necessary information about the 2021 Fall Basketball Challenge.

The Preliminary and Final Scores Form is for registered LPCs to use to submit games-relevant information for their teams.

CLICK HERE for Preliminary and Final Scores Form Instructional Video

CLICK HERE to view the nationwide COVID-19 active case tracker utilized by Special Olympics

Highlights and Features

Throughout the season, participating teams and areas will have their hard work and fun highlighted for all to see! Visit the SOMT TV webpage, available at this LINK, to see these features!

Important Dates

  • August 26th- Registration Distributed
  • September 7th- Season Start
  • October 8th- Preliminary Scores and All Individual Paperwork Due
  • Week of October 11th- Divisioning Report Distributed
  • November 12th- Final Scores Due
  • Week of November 15th- Results and Awards Distributed

Competition Levels

This competition is a great way for athletes to stay active, healthy, and engaged while practicing and competing either with their team or at home. There are six competition levels available. All levels are based on individual and team basketball skills, with levels getting progressively more difficult. They are as follows:

Level 1- Compete From Home

This level occurs at home. It consists of the modified and traditional individual skills stations from Levels 2 and 3. It is recommended for athletes who are at a higher-risk of contracting COVID-19 or are not comfortable returning to an in-person setting. It is open to any registered athlete, but athletes must coordinate with their LPC to register. See Levels 2 and 3 for list of events.

Level 2- Modified Individual Skills

This level occurs in a team practice and competition setting. It contains the modified stations and is for athletes who may require partial or full assistance to complete their events. Stations include:

  • Closer Stationary Pass
  • Assisted Speed Dribble
  • Garbage Can Shot

Level 3- Individual Skills

This level occurs in a team practice and competition setting. It contains traditional stations and is for athletes with novice basketball skills and knowledge. Stations include:

  • Stationary Pass
  • Speed Dribble
  • Spot Shot

Level 4- High Performance Individual and Doubles Skills

This level occurs in a team practice and competition setting. It is for participants with intermediate basketball skills and knowledge. Individual skills, as well as traditional and unified doubles are optional events for Level 4. Stations include:

  • Movement Pass
  • Agility Dribble
  • Mid-Range Shot

Level 5- 3-person Team Skills

This level occurs in a team practice and competition setting. It is for participants with intermediate to advanced basketball skills and knowledge. Level 5 consists of traditional and unified events. Stations include:

  • 3-person Pass and Replace
  • 3-person Weave and Shoot
  • 3-person Defend and Dribble

Level 6- 5-person Team Skills

This level occurs in a team practice and competition setting. It is for participants with advanced basketball skills and knowledge. Level 6 consists of traditional and unified events. Stations include:

  • 5-person Pass and Replace
  • 5-person Weave and Shoot
  • 5-person Defend and Dribble


Athletes and Unified Partners

All athletes and unified partners who plan to compete will be required to be current with paperwork: athlete medical, consent, unified partner application, and athlete code of conduct.

Area Directors, Local Program Coordinators, Coaches, Volunteers

All volunteers (area directors, local program coordinators, coaches, and volunteers) will need to have current paperwork: volunteer application, protective behaviors, and concussion for coaches.

  • They will also be asked to review and sign off on the COVID-19 Code of Conduct and Participant Risk Assessment Form if they are volunteering with the team during the 2021 Fall Basketball Challenge.  This document needs completing only once.  Please be sure to submit both pages, including the checkbox page (pages 1 and 2) of the document.
  • Also required will be the Communicable Diseases Waiver. This document will be required every three years.

Practices and Personal Protective Equipment

Practices and PPE Information

As teams return to activity, SOMT has developed protocols, guidelines, and recommendations for operating practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be needed, based on the Special Olympics International Return to Activity Plan. A few of the protocols for operating practices include:

  1. All athletes and volunteers must be screened before entering practice. Screening includes a temperature check and answering specific survey questions.
  2. Practices sizes of 50 people or less.
  3. All sports equipment and shared surfaces must be disinfected between uses.

To assist teams in returning to practice, SOMT will provide a portion of the personal protective equipment to each team, including:

  1. Thermometers for screening all participants who attend practice.

All teams must submit their PPE request to the state office by September 7th, 2021. Contact the SOMT Sports or Outreach Departments for the link to the PPE request form.

A complete list of details regarding the operation of practices and required PPE can be found in the 2021 Fall Basketball Challenge Games Information Packet

Screening Before Practice

Disinfecting Equipment

Remember to 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 (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 traveling down the arm or pain between the shoulder blades
– Shortness of breath
– A rapid or irregular heartbeat


What is the season for the 2021 Fall Basketball Challenge?

September 7 to November 12, 2021

Who can compete?

Any registered Special Olympics Montana athlete or unified partner.

Who am I competing with?

You are competing with athletes and unified partners from across the state of Montana.

Are there multiple levels of competition available if I want to Compete From Practice?

Yes, there are 5 levels of competition available for those who decide to Compete from Practice. There are modified individual skills, traditional individual skills, high-performance individual skills, as well as doubles and team skills options. The doubles and teams options include unified options.

Do I need specific equipment to participate in the Compete From Home Level?

No. The events do require equipment, but most items, or similar items, can be found around your home.

Does my Local Program Coordinator or Coach need to know I am competing?

Yes. In order to participate in the 2021 Fall Basketball Challenge, you need to communicate with your coach or LPC. They will be submitting rosters and registration, so make sure you’re included!

Will I receive an award?

All athletes competing in the 2021 Special Olympics Montana Fall Basketball Challenge will receive an award(s).  Athletes who choose to participate in Level 1 will receive traditional medals (gold, silver, bronze) and ribbons (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th).  Participants in Levels 2-6 will receive traditional or unified medals (gold, silver, bronze) and ribbons (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th), whichever applies for their level(s) and event(s).

Do I need to wear masks if I'm around others?

Yes, masks are required for participating in the significant risk level, except during times of physical exertion.

Do I need to have current paperwork on file at the state office to compete?

Yes, participants must have current paperwork on file, as well as the Covid-19 code-of-conduct AND communicable diseases waiver signed and submitted before participating.

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