We thank you so much for being interested in volunteering your time with our talented athletes. We are the Springfield Agency (44.036) and our goal is to consistently improve and expand our area. The key to that happening is YOU, by you joining us we will be able to offer more sports and at a higher quality. We appreciate your time and dedication to our program; it is our promise that this experience will be rewarding and loads of fun!
This page was created to help you get started and to lay out what you can expect during this season. If you have any questions please reach out to Kristin or Andrea! The sport updates section and the calendar will be your friends :) Once we have your info (name, phone, email, etc.) we will give you access to our shared google folder that has all the individual sport info and forms you will need throughout your season. We are here for you, but we are also expecting you to be the coach of your team and make sure they are ready for competition.
Training & Time Commitment
Becoming a coach takes time, organization, and commitment. For each sport that you wish to coach count on an hour per week for practice and then 3 weekends within the season for tournaments. Before you can start coaching you must first do SOMO CPR/First Aid training and for that specific sport. Typically we will schedule one training session per season and train for the sports offered. These trainings do not take a lot of time but are necessary since SOMO regulations differ from High School or College level sports.
SOMO has 3 seasons which culminate in a State Games competition, within each season there are anywhere from 2-5 sports. The seasons and sports look like this:
Winter (Indoor State Games) October–March – Basketball & Bowling
Summer (Summer Games) March–June – Powerlifting, Volleyball, Aquatics, Athletics, and Soccer
Fall (Outdoor State Games) July–October – Bocce, Flag Football, Golf, and Softball
We will work with you to locate and secure a practice space for your team. Once you have a location decided on you will need to communicate with the coordinator in order to have the calendar updated. If ever you cannot make it to practice, make every effort to find a coach who can run your practice before cancelling. Occasionally canceling a practice is acceptable and it is understood that it might need to happen, please communicate this with the Springfield coordinator as well. However, Athletes MUST have the opportunity to practice a minimum of 8 times per sport. (If your practice falls on a holiday it is acceptable to cancel.) Equipment for each sport can be found at the SOMO storage unit (A to Z Storage, 2001 W Catalpa St, Springfield, MO 65807). Andrea or Kristin will meet you there to get what you need prior to your first practice.
Physicals are VERY important. Most of your athletes will already have a current physical but it is all of our jobs to make sure they are up to date. Every athlete needs to have a current physical before they start practicing with your team. You can see if your athletes have a physical and if it is current by checking the master list on Google. If you have a new athlete and are unsure if they have a physical, contact Andrea/Kristin and they will help you. This needs to be figured out at the very first practice or meeting of the season. The coach should have a copy of each athlete’s physical with them at all Special Olympics practices, games, and events with athletes in case of emergency.
Games & Tournaments
All games/tournaments for the current season are on the Springfield calendar. You are required as the coach to attend all games/tournaments or find a coach who can take your place; this is your responsibility. Whoever your replacement is must have a Class A form on file and should have coaching knowledge. Before games/tournaments you will need to get jerseys for your team at least a week in advance as you will have to meet Andrea/Kristin to get them. PLEASE do not wait until the last minute to do this. These jerseys need to be washed and returned in the same condition after each sporting event.
Contact Andrea/Kristin with a total headcount for your out-of-town event a month prior to your tournament so that transportation can be reserved. We have a contract with Fisk Limo that provides vans for our use. We will get you signed up as an approved driver and someone will go with you the first time you have an out-of-town tournament or game.
The southwest area has a Facebook page “Southwest Area Special Olympics.” We will get you added to this page for easy communication to athletes. No changes will be made to your sport without your knowledge.
Paperwork (rosters, meal/room counts, etc.) for your sport have a deadline to be turned in to the main office. Look at the calendar to see when your paperwork is due. You will need to send it to Kristin the night before it is due so she can send it in. You will have to assess your players at the beginning of the season, after that you will only have to turn in the number of meals you need for each game and the number of rooms you need if you are staying the night.
Throughout the season we will have fundraising opportunities for the athletes. The number depends on how many are set up. Feel free to set up a fundraiser for your team or ask an athlete to set one up. You are required to attend some of the fundraisers as you are a part of the team. Each athlete will have to pay a fee to play for the season. The fee is either $30 or $60 depending on if they have to spend the night over state weekend.
Please give the athletes someway to contact you so that they can ask questions. Feel free to give them parameters of when and how they can contact you.
Thank you again for all that you do! – Springfield Special Olympics