As one of the world's most popular sports, basketball is a big favorite in Special Olympics. Athletes learn teamwork while improving their athletic ability. Special Olympics basketball includes over 69,000 athletes in over 40 countries, including every US program. As in all Special Olympics sports, basketball teams are grouped in competition divisions according to the athletes' and team's ability level, age, and gender. Basketball is one of the first sports for Special Olympics, dating back to the 1968 Special Olympics World Games.
Unified Sports™ teams combine athletes with and without intellectual disabilities [mental retardation] onto one team. This allows brothers and sisters as well as peers to compete with their family member, schoolmate, colleague, and/or friend with intellectual disabilities [mental retardation].
In Texas, basketball is a summer sport with statewide competition held at the Summer Games in May. The following events are sanctioned by Special Olympics Texas and are to be offered at all local, area and chapter competitions. The actual events scheduled and conducted at local, area and chapter competitions will be determined by a minimum number of entries in each event.