For more information
Contact Matt Ruxton by email or call 508-485-0986 Ext. 222

Summer Games

The official start of the Special Olympics Massachusetts Summer Games begins with the traditional Opening Ceremony at Boston University. Highlights included remarks from special guests, one of our ATHLETES acting as master of ceremonies, the Parade of Athletes, the Special Olympics Massachusetts flag relay and presentation and finally the culminating Torch Lighting Ceremony, by the Guardians of the Flame–our partners in the LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY.


June 5th -7th, 2015


2014 Summer Games competition results here

Event Handbook

2015 Event Handbook to be published May 2015



2015 Updates

Aquatics Season Overview

Athletics Season Overview


Summer Games are the oldest and most traditional competition of Special Olympics. Though the organization has grown, Special Olympics is recognized world-wide for its Olympic-style competition, introduced at the first international Summer Games in 1968. Here in Massachusetts, Summer Games first began in 1971.

Saturday morning the games begin on the grounds of the Harvard University athletic facilities, surrounding historic Harvard Stadium. Over 1,900 ATHLETES compete in the sports of aquatics, gymnastics, powerlifting, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

The weekend’s events also include FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS, games and performances at Olympic Town, the LAW ENFORCEMENT CRUISER CONVOY and a street fair, followed by a dance at Boston University hosted by the Parrott Heads Club of Eastern Massachusetts.

Planning Meetings

Our Summer Games Management Team meets multiple  times prior to the event. The meetings are open to athletes, coaches, family members who are interested in hearing what goes into planning the annual Summer Games. Meetings are held at The Yawkey Sports Training Center starting at 6:30pm, with the exception of our final meeting which will be held at the Harvard Athletic Complex.


2015 Meeting dates are TBD

General Schedule of Events




3:00 pmAthletes & Coaches check in Opens6:00 amBreakfast Opens6:00 amBreakfast Opens
3:00 pmHealthy Athletes Screening at BU Begins6:30 amVolunteer   Registration at Harvard Opens6:30 amVolunteer Registration at Harvard Opens
4:00 pmShuttle Bus service from Warren Towers Begins6:45 amShuttle Bus Service to Harvard Begins6:45 amShuttle Bus Service to Harvard Begins
5:30 pmPre-Opening Entertainment Begins8:00 amCOMPETITION Begins8:00 amCOMPETITION Resumes
7:00 pmHealthy Athletes & Pre Opening Ends10:00 amOlympic Town Opens10:00 amOlympic Town Resumes
7:30 pmOpening Ceremony11:00 amLaw Enforcement Cruiser Convoy arrives at Harvard11:30 amLunched Served
9:00 pmShuttle Bus service to Warren Towers11:30 amLunch Served4:00 pmCompetition Ending
12:00 amBU Residence Halls are locked1:30 pmLunch ends
5:00 pmShuttle Bus service from Warren towers
5:30 pmDinner Opens
6:30 pmStreet Fair Begins
7:00 pmDance Begins
9:00 pmDance Ends
12:00 amBU Residence Halls are locked
 *Timelines are subject to change



For more specific directions please visit the Boston University or Harvard Athletics website or 

A complete list of venue addresses will be listed in the event handbook (coming May 2015)

Public Transportation:

  • Boston University
    Green Line Train B
    Bus #8, # 57, #60, #65
  • Harvard Athletic Complex
    Red line to Harvard Square
    Bus #66 & #86

Boston University

Parking at Boston University is available at the following lots: Babcock St Lot, 808 Commonwealth Ave, CAS Lot (24 Bay St Rd)


Parking is available at the Soldiers field Parking Garage off Western Ave. Parking is $6 for the day. Families Volunteers, & Spectators can pre purchase a discounted parking pass  by visiting the Harvard Parking Office. Please follow the instructions to on the site and print up your parking pass. If you plan on attending you will need a pass for both days.

Please be aware that there are other events at the Harvard Business School and the City of Cambridge that weekend that utilize the parking lots at Harvard University. Please allow for plenty of time to get to this year’s Summer Games and be patient with the parking staff, as they work to park everyone in a quick, orderly and safe manner.

Special Events
  • Opening Ceremony
    • Featuring: Law Enforcement Flag Pass & Torch Run.
    • Entertainment: TBD
  • Olympic Town
    There will be an Olympics Town at both Harvard and Boston University (Nickerson Field). O-Town will include vendors, games and much more.
  • Dance & Street Fair
    Dance Theme – TBD
  • The Street fair will be held outside the West Campus Dinning Halls
  • Movie
  • Healthy Athletes
    Special Smiles, Health Promotion, Opening Eyes, TRAIN
  • Meals will be provided starting a with breakfast on Saturday morning through lunch on Sunday.
  • For a complete menu please refer to the event handbook (coming May 2015)
  • If you have athletes with special dietary needs please plan accordingly and have that athlete bring his/her own meal.
  • Meals will be made available to credentialed athletes, Unified partners and coaches FIRST! After athletes, partners, and coaches are served, lunches will be made available to volunteers and for sale to family members.
  • Concessions will be available at Harvard.

Special Olympics Massachusetts will make every effort to get housing assignments out to programs as early as possible. Please note that we are assigning over 2,000 people and it takes time to make sure everyone who requests a bed is assigned one.

Housing requests are due to Special Olympics Massachusetts on MAY 2015

It takes one week to process and assign all the requests, which are then due at Boston University by May TBD. Housing assignments will be available at the same time they are delivered to Boston University.

Special Olympics Massachusetts must follow Boston University’s dorm rules, regulations and floor layouts. Special Olympics Massachusetts has no control on what sex’s bathroom is on what floor, how keys are to be checked in and out and to how many bags a person can carry on an escalator. We work with the BU to make things easier on our participants, but  we are guests at BU and have to follow university guidelines and rules.

Families interested in housing through Special Olympics, please click on the Families Information tab below. 

Olympia Moving will be on hand to assist all programs moving out of the dorms. They will transport and store all your luggage.


Sport Specific Information

All Special Olympics official rules can be found here

Special Olympics rules have been created based on National Governing Body (NGB) rules and shall be employed except when they are in conflict with Special Olympics’ modifications.


  • USA Swimming is the NGB for the United States. The Summer Games State Aquatics Competition will be officiated by USA Swimming and will follow USA Swimming rules and guidelines.
  • Common aquatics disqualifications here.
  • Special Olympics Massachusetts is working in conjunction with USA Swimming to update our race schedule for the 2015 Summer Games.
  • Special Olympics Massachusetts is working with USA Swimming to get certified officials at all qualifying events
  • Updated swimming schedule can be found in the event handbook (coming May 2015)
  • Floatation and Assisted races are on Saturday
  • The condensed heat sheet packets will be made available to programs June 2015

Athletics (Track & Field)

  • Athletics Program will be made available in May of 2015. The program contains order of events with corresponding heats, and  staging locations for each event.
    • All track programs will also be receiving an track alpha list that lists each track athlete, their events and staging locations & times
  • It is highly encouraged that athletes competing in the 50M dash with a score/time faster than 10 seconds have mastered this event and should be pushed to achieve success in a new event.
  • All field events (Long Jump, shot put, softball throw, tennis ball throw, turbo jav) must be measured in meters.
  • Athletes competing in the softball throw with a score greater than 30 meters must pick a new field event.
  • We will be using an electronic starter pistol, one where we can control the volume of the bang. Please prepare your athletes accordingly.
  • We will be offering an assisted 100M dash.
    • Guided 100M dash is for athletes who are capable of running a 100M dash, but need physical or verbal prompting.
    • Not for athletes with walkers or canes. Athletes who need physical equipment should enter an assisted walk.
  • Turbo Jav size will be 400g
  • Shot put sizes:
    • 8 lbs – Males ages 12+
    • 6 lbs – Females ages 12+ and Males ages 8-11
    • 4 lbs – Females ages 8-11
  • All coaches will receive an alpha report for their team that lists each of your athletes events, division and approximate time.


  • Schedule will be published in the event handbook (coming May 2015)

Power Lifting

  • Athlete must compete in both the bench press & dead-lift or may compete in the combination event which includes bench press, dead-lift & squat.
  • SOMA will be inviting other Special Olympics chapters to attend.


  • Tennis Divisions will be made available in May 2015
  • Tennis Schedules will be made available in May 2015

Unified Team Track & Field

  • Full listing of events offered, meet schedule and scoring system can be found in the event handbook (coming May 2015)


  • Volleyball Divisions & Schedules will be made available in May 2015
  • Volleyball Modified Serve Results will be made available in May 2015
  • Updated Special Olympics MA modified volleyball rules
Families Information

Dinner and Dance

  • Families will be responsible for their own meals throughout the weekend. All meals provided by Special Olympics are for credentialed athletes, unified partners, coaches & Chaperones.
  • Due to space limitations, families will not be able to purchase dinner at the B.U. Dining Halls
  • There are a variety of restaurants with in walking distance for families to visit

Housing for Families

Families will be able to request housing through Special Olympics starting in the Spring of 2015.


Volunteer Information

It takes over 1,400 volunteers to execute the annual Summer Games. Summer Games Online Registration will reopen for the 2015 Games in early spring 2015. If you are interested in volunteering at another  Special Olympics Massachusetts event or with a program in your community, sign up for our newsletter .

Special Olympics Massachusetts is grateful to all our volunteers — we could not do this without you!

Below is a list of the volunteer opportunities and descriptions, for our annual Summer Games along with a few video tutorials. You will be assigned a job within the sport/category you sign up for, based on the need when you arrive and sign in.

Volunteer Categories

Click on the category you are interested in volunteering for to learn more.

 Logistics Team 
 Meals Distribution 
 Olympic Town 
 Parking & Safety 
 Power Lifting 
TennisTrack & FieldVolleyball
Volunteer Team

Walk-On Volunteer


Volunteer Descriptions


  • Awards – Assist awards team with management of awards tent and presentation of awards.
  • Timer – Time all races.
  • Escort – Escort and supervise a group (heat) of athletes from staging area, to starting blocks and to awards area.
  • Equipment Porter – Collect athletes’ gear, sandals, towel, t-shirt at starting block, post-race return it to athletes so they can dry off and head outside for awards.


  • Scorekeeper – Keep score of gymnastics routines.

Logistics Team

  • Set Up – Assist in set up of games.
  • Water Team – Distribute water throughout the day.
  • Logistics team – Deliver equipment, t-shirts, meals, etc. to venues throughout day, pick up trash and general support of games.
  • Break Down – Assist in packing up of all equipment, tables, chairs, etc., once event has ended.

Meals Distribution

  • Lunch – Help distribute lunches to all the athletes and teams in an orderly fashion. Lunch counts and sign-out sheets will be provided.
  • Dinner – Help distribute dinner to all athletes and teams. Serve food to athletes so they do not overfill their plates and food is not wasted.


  • Overnight Coverage – Certified RN’s to stay overnight in dorms, administer medication to athletes, administer medical aid and treat injuries.
  • Games Coverage – EMT’s, First Responders, Nurses, and Physicians, etc. needed to administer medical aid and treat injuries if they arise.

Olympic Town

  • Games – Run games & activities in Olympic Town area.

Parking & Safety

  • Parking Attendant – Work with director of transportation to make sure shuttle buses are coming to pick up volunteers, families and athletes to bring them to Harvard Stadium. Also provide directions to those who choose to walk to stadium.
  • Crossing Guard – Man the crossing points along bus route inside Harvard Athletic Complex so participants, spectators, etc., cross active bus route in a safe manner.
  • Transportation Aid – Assist athletes on and off the buses.

Power Lifting

  • Spotter – Spot athletes as they are lifting to make sure athlete is doing lift in a safe environment.
  • Racker – Place the correct amount of weight on bar bells for athletes to conduct lift.


  • Scorekeeper – Keep score of match.
  • Lineman – Watch line and determine if ball stays inside of playing area and retrieve any balls that leave the playing area
  • Net minder  – Retrieve balls that hit net and make play/point determined over and retrieve any balls that leave the playing area
  • Skills – Conduct tennis skills and drill sessions for lower ability or beginner athletes.

Track & Field

  • Timer – Time all races.
  • Measurer – Measure jump or throw in meters.
  • Clerk – Record result of the best jump or throw.
  • Vector/Pit Boss – Run throwing vector or jump pit.
  • Raker – Rake long jump pit after series of jumps to a level surface.
  • Escort – Escort & Supervise a group (heat) of athletes from staging area to starting line or vector/pit to awards area.
  • Pentathlon – Escort pentathlon athletes from event to event, you stay with the same group of athletes all day long.
  • Picker – Assist Fine line to determine order of finish.
  • Awards – Assist Awards team with management of awards tent & presentation of Award.s
  • Water Station – Pass out water to athletes as they exit track on their way to awards.


  • Scorekeeper – Keep score of match.
  • Lineman – Watch line and determine if ball stays inside of playing area.
  • Official – Officiate match. Volleyball official or coach certification and/or knowledge of the rules is required.
  • Announcer – Announce all athletes prior to match, during match announce plays

Volunteer Team

  • Escort – Escort groups or individual volunteers from volunteer registration to their venue and introduce them to the venue coordinator. Once introductions are made, make your way back to volunteer registration to meet a new group of volunteers.

Walk-on / Day-of Volunteer

  • Anyone who is not preregistered and arrives day of to volunteer may be assigned to any of the roles listed above.

Volunteer Video Tutorials


Long Jump

Throwing Events