August Tournament

soma_website_089(august)_smAugust 8th & 9th, 2015

Nearly 1,200 athletes and coaches converge in and around Amherst in August for Special Olympics Massachusetts’ annual August Tournament. The event draws athletes, coaches and partners from across the state to the Pioneer Valley region of Massachusetts, with over 800 athletes and Unified partners taking part in the competition, featuring bocce, cycling, fishing, golf and softball. All sports offered at August Tournament feature Unified Sports and the majority of the teams participating are Unified.

Event Handbook to be published in July 2015

Seasonal Information Packet to be distributed in Spring 2015


Updated list of Venues will be made available in Spring 2015

Planning Meetings

Our August Tournament Management Team meets 3-4 times prior to the event. The meeting is open to any athletes, coaches and family members who are interested in hearing what goes into planning the annual August Tournament. Meetings are held at The Yawkey Sports Training Center starting at 6:45pm.

2015 Planning Meetings are TBD

Schedule of Events


8:30 am

  • Softball Coaches Meeting
  • Boats Launch at Quabbin

9:00 am Softball first pitch

10:00 am Cycling & Bocce start

12:00 pm  First group of golfers tee off

2:00 pm Golf Skills starts

3:00 pm Dorms Open

5:00 pm Dinner Opens at Dining Common

8:00 pm Dinner ends Dance & Movie Start

8:00 pm Torch Lighting Ceremony

9:15 pm Dance & Movie end

*Timeline is subject to change


6:00am Breakfast opens

8:00 am Golf resumes

8:30 am Boats launch at Quabbin

9:00 am Softball, Bocce, Cycling resume

11:30am Lunch opens at all venues

4:00 pm Competition ending

Awards to be handed out at the conclusion of division play.

*Timeline is subject to change

  •  For more specific directions please visit your venue’s website or visit
  • A complete list of venue addresses are listed in the event handbook (coming July 2015)
Special Events

Olympic Town

  • There will be an Olympic Town at Blunt Park, Cycling Fishing (Saturday Only) and Nonotuck Park.
  • Vendors, games and much more to be announced.
  • Special thanks to the Lion’s Club for organizing and running all the Olympic Towns.


Theme – TBD





  • Meals will be provided, starting a with dinner on Saturday evening through lunch on Sunday.
  • For a complete menu please refer to the event handbook (coming July 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.
  • Limited concessions may be available at your venues.

Special Olympics Massachusetts will make every effort to get housing assignments out to programs as early as possible. Please note that we are assigning 1,200 people and it takes time to ensure everyone who requests a bed is assigned one.

Housing requests are due to SOMA by end of July. It takes one week to process and assign all the requests, which are then delivered to UMass. Housing assignments will be available at the same time they are delivered to UMass.

Please note that when it comes to the dorms, SOMA must follow UMass’ rules and  regulations, and floor layouts. SOMA has no control over which sex’s bathroom is on what floor, or how keys are to be checked in and out. We work with UMass to make things easier on our participants, but are guests of the university and have to follow their guidelines and rules.

For 2014 SOMA will be housing in a different section of the Southwest housing area due to construction. This year we will be using Kennedy & Coolidge Towers. Due to this change Please follow the detailed move in and move out instructions that SOMA will send to all teams. We will be working with UMass Police to insure a safe and timely move in and move out of the dorms. Please follow the instructions of UMass Police as you drive in and out of Southwest. Please reference the following map to have an understanding of the traffic flow in and out of the residential area.

There is NO PARKING next to Kennedy & Coolidge dorms. Once teams unload please proceed to Lot 33 off of University Ave. If you park in a reserved parking spot you will be towed at your own expense.

UMass Hockey team will be onsite assisting teams as they unload and move into the dorms on Saturday night.

Assessment Rounds & Invitationals


  • North Region – TBD, Langone Field, North End Boston
  • South Region – TBD, Columbia Cultural Center, Taunton
  • West Region – July 11th , Blunt Park, Springfield


  • July 18th, Cushing Memorial Park, Framingham, MA


  • North Region – TBD, Mt Hood Golf Course, Melrose
  • South Region – TBD, Hyannis Golf Course, Hyannis
  • West Region – TBD, Takoa Country Club, Westfield MA


  • North Region, South Region & all Traditional Teams – July 18th , Framingham High School & Walsh Middle School.
  • West RegionJuly 18th, Blunt Park Springfield
Sports Specific Information

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


  • Bocce Divisions available August 2015
  • Bocce Schedules available August 2015
  • At the assessment round, teams will be required to participate in an assessment test prior to playing a mini round-robin.
  • This years tournament will be  round-robin play throughout the weekend.


  • 2015 Course is TBD.


  • Fishing will begin at 8:00 am on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Schedule of events is listed in the event handbook (Coming July 2015).


  • 2015 Tee Times  available in August 2015
  • All golf teams and individuals must have a current up-to-date handicap assigned to them through the Mass Golf Association.
  • To keep your handicap current, or to obtain a handicap, submit all your golf scorecards to Special Olympics MA, The Yawkey Sports Training Center, ATTN: Andrew MacLeay, 512 Forest St, Marlborough, MA 01752.
  • Returning teams/individuals only need to submit 4 cards to keep their handicap current. New teams must submit 6 cards to obtain a handicap.
  • All Scorecards must be submitted by July 2015, exact date is TBD and is determined by the Mass Golf Assoc.
  • Level III golfers will play 18 holes.


  • 2015 Softball Schedule  available in August 2015
  • Softball rules and modifications here
  • Only wooden bats will be allowed. if you need more or new wooden bats contact Dream Bat, the official bat provider of Special Olympics Massachusetts.
  • SOMA will have some bats on hand for teams to use, but teams are responsible for their own equipment.
  • Special thanks to USSSA for their support and umpires.
Families Information

Restaurants in the Amherst Area

  • Rafters 422 Amity St, Amherst 413-549-4040
  • Hanger University Dr, Amherst (Next to Rafters)
  • Bub’s BBQ Rte 116N, Sunderland 413-548-9630
  • Amherst Brewing Co. 10 University Dr, Amherst 413-253-4400

Places on Route 9 Heading out to N. Hampton

  • The Diner Stop and Shop Plaza
  • McDonald’s 377 Russell St Hadley 413-586-9878
  • Burger King 353 Russell St, Hadley 413-584-5110
  • Taco Bell 367 Russell St, Hadley 413-584-2877
  • KFC 3 S Maple St, Hadley 413-586-5723
  • Wendy’s 376 Russell St, Hadley 413-586-4885
  • Applebee’s 100 Westgate Ctr Dr, Hadley 413-253-5799
  • Friendly’s 455 Russell St, Hadley 413-253-7640
  • Chili’s 426 Russell Street Rt 9, Hadley 413-253-4008
  • Panera Bread 351 Russell St Rt 9, Hadley 413-387-6336
  • California Pizza Kitchen 367 Russell St Rt 9, Hadley


  • Bertucci’s 51 E Pleasant St, Amherst 413-549-1900
  • Subway 4 Main St, Amherst 413-256-1919
  • Antonio’s Pizza N. Pleasant St, Amherst
  • Bueno y Sano 46 Main St, Amherst 413-253-4000
  • Pasta e Basta 26 Main St, Amherst 413-256-3550

If you are planning on attending one of these restaurants, please call ahead for availability.


Volunteer Information

August Tournament  Online Registration will reopen for the 2015 Games in late 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 August Tournament You will be assigned a job within the sport/category you sign up for, based on the need when you arrive and sign in.


  • Official – Officiate bocce match according the the rules that govern the sport
  • Scorekeeper/Timer: keep score of match and official time of match
  • Measurer- Assist Official with measuring of balls thrown during match


  • Course Marshall – assist race director by manning certain points on the course that the athletes may need guidance on. Also cheer athletes as they go through course
  • Timer: Time racers as they go through the course


  • Caddie: assist keep score of round, track down missing golf balls, deliver clubs to athletes during play
  • Spotter – go ahead of athlete on course to help spot the ball prior to athlete arriving to area to hit next shot. this helps  to keep play moving and limit the time athletes are searching for golf balls
  • Course Marshall- keep place of moving, make sure rules of golf are properly being followed, assist in rules clarifications.


  • Boat Captain:  provide your own boat and take a Special Olympics athlete out fishing.Assist athletes with casting and catching & releasing of fish all Boat Captains must submit to a CORI check
  • Mate: Assist Boat Captain with running of the boat, assist athletes with casting and catching & releasing of fish. All Mates must submit to a CORI check


  • Timer: Keep track of the official time of the game
  • Scorekeeper: Keep official score of the game
  • PA Announcer: announce line ups and game play by play
  • Bat Boy / Girl:
  • Umpire; Officiate game according to rules that govern the sport

Venue Help

  • BBQ: assist in the cooking of Sunday BBQ and passing out lunches
  • Dining Common: assist getting athletes through Dinning Common. Help pass out dinner to keep lines moving
  • Logistics team: Help get venues set up, deliver equipment, water distributed through out day, assist with trash removal
  • Move in: help unload athletes luggage and bring up it up to athletes dorm room

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