Soccer

Soccer is considered the world’s most popular sport for children and adults around the world. Similarly, it is one of the most popular sports for Special Olympics athletes. Athletes are able to improve their overall physical fitness through training and competition and can be played by boys, girls, men and women of just about any physical build and ability.

Soccer programs offered by Special Olympics Howard County are: Individual Skills, 7-a-side Player Development Team, 7 a-side Traditional Team, and 7 a-side Unified Team.
The Unified 7-a-side soccer format features the Special Olympics Unified Sport concept which brings together athletes of similar ages and abilities both with and without intellectual disabilities. This format allows these athletes to train and play together. it also fosters friendships and understanding. Teams consist of 4 SO Athletes and 3 Unified Partners.

The Special Olympics MD Player Development Unified format assures the best competitive experience for athletes who are learning the fundamentals of team play. Soccer games are played in 7-a-side format consisting of 5 SO athletes and 2 Unified “mentor coaches”. The mentors facilitate game play and provide on-field coaching while the game is progressing.

In addition to offering traditional soccer, Special Olympics soccer offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic soccer skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to team competition. These skills include dribbling, shooting, and the run and kick. A player’s final score is determined by adding together the scores achieved in each of the events.

Coordinators:

Soccer Skills:

Sara and Martin Sommerville – sommerville.sohc@gmail.com

Soccer Player Development:

Marianela Estrada – emailnella22@gmail.com

Soccer Unified:

Shirley Duhaney – szduhaney@yahoo.com

Training Times & Locations:

Soccer Skills:
Wednesdays, 6:00pm-7:30pm, Cedar Lane Park Field #8

Player Development:
Wednesdays, 6:00pm–7:30pm, Cedar Lane Park Field #8
Saturdays, 9:30am-10:30am, Centennial Park Field #7

Soccer Unified:
Wednesdays, 6:00pm-7:30pm, Cedar Lane Park Field #8
League Play: Saturdays, 8:00am–1:00pm

Practice Overview:

Athletes participate in drills to learn and practice new skills.
Practice games are held to help athletes learn rules of the game.

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Requirements:

  • Athletes at all ability levels are welcome.
  • Coaches will assess athletes to determine appropriate team/level.
  • Athletes playing on teams must commit to attending required qualifiers and state competition.
  • Competition is optional for Soccer Skills athletes.

Requirements:

Athletes must provide their own soccer shoes and shin guards.

Requirements:

SOHO will provide uniforms for athletes participating in competition.

Requirements:

  • Participation in 4-6 Saturday Tournaments at Cedar Lane Park is required for athletes participating on teams.
  • State Games Tournament is held at Fruitland MD Sports Complex at the end of October.

Requirements:

  • Assist athletes in learning new skills.
  • Unified partners play on teams with athletes and participate in competition.