Return to Play Guidelines

UPDATE 11.12.2020

SOMO athletes, coaches, and parents,

With the rise and increased positivity rates of COVID cases in Missouri, we are suspending all in-person competitions until 2021.

Your area program staff is currently looking at potential dates to make up the remaining 2020 competitions sometime in 2021, so please contact them with any questions regarding rescheduling of those events.

In the meantime, we are currently putting the final plans together to launch our new Esports program after the first of the year, as well as introducing pickleball as a sport with a Pickleball Invitational scheduled for March at the Training for Life Campus in Jefferson City.

We want to remind you as well that we are NOT training for basketball at this current time; basketball season won’t begin until late 2021. 
We feel it is in the best interest of all those involved in these remaining events, that we take this action to suspend all in-person competitions until 2021. We also would recommend that teams STRONGLY consider moving to a plan that involves at-home training and exercise programs.

There are a lot of recordings of past #SOMOatHome sessions and some Virtual Sports Camp lessons that you and your athletes could recreate at home. Please continue to stay safe by practicing social distancing and wearing your mask as we move into the holiday season.  
Thank you again for your diligence and dedication to SOMO and its mission.
Tim Schuster
Director of Sports and Training
Special Olympics Missouri




Remember, coaches must do the mandatory trainings and everyone must have a COVID Acknowledgement of Risk Form (CARF) signed.  Detailed information for both of these items are below.

Not ready to return to play quite yet?
We've got ways to keep your athletes engaged, see below!

#SOMOatHome video topics include: Health, exercise, cooking, training for competition, workouts, outdoor skills, communication, photography, arts & crafts, and so much more!

We have a large list of past classes that you can watch any time you'd like at 

SOMO Virtual Sports Camp is another way for you and your athletes to watch videos on how to train for a particular sport from the comfort of your own home.

Sessions include: Tennis, flag football, cycling, pickleball, disc golf, volleyball, soccer, bocce, and arts & crafts. You are able to watch all sessions from 2020 Virtual Sports Camp at

Message from Trish Lutz, Vice President - Programs

I would like to welcome you to SOMO's Return to Play (R2P) page on our website. Here you will find guidelines, resources, and tools to assist you in mitigating the risk of COVID-19.

Information on COVID-19 is changing daily. Transmission rates vary across Missouri by city and county. Special Olympics Missouri is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers, coaches, families, officials, staff, and all who contribute to the success of our athletes in training, competition, and events.

The information in the R2P guidelines document and information found on this website are by no means a prescriptive, complete or exhaustive list of Return to Play considerations. We recognize we will learn, adapt, and adjust as we make our way through this pandemic.  

We will make updates to R2P protocols on this page, so please come back often for updates. We will also communicate directly with the coaches with any updates via our coaches' e-communications. Let Trish know if you aren't on the coaches eNews list.

Thank you for being a part of the SOMO family and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Stay safe & healthy,

Trish Lutz

Vice President-Programs

SOMO Return to Play Guidelines

These guidlelines were approved by the Special Olympics Missouri Board of Directors on July 6, 2020. You can download the SOMO Return to Play Guidelines here. While the SOMO COVID Training & Education video outlines these guidelines, you must also read this document as well.

Participation Risk Awareness & Acknowledgement

Prior to returning to any in-person Special Olympics Missouri activity, all participants are to complete an online or hard copy Participant Risk Acknowledgement Form which provides information and guidance on assessing risk and acknowledges that participation could increase risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. To better understand who is at a higher-risk for COVID-19 based on CDC guidelines, please check out this fact sheet.

Coaches' Corner

This section is designed to provide education and training specific to coaches.  However, everyone is welcome to participate and view these trainings, resources, and tools.

Required Coaches' Training

SOMO practices can resume on July 16, ONLY after coaches have completed the following trainings:

  • COVID-19 Training via the Special Olympics North America learning portal. This document will give you instructions for how to register and then submit your training to Trish Lutz at
  • SOMO COVID Training & Education - this training video will walk you through the SOMO Return To Play Guidelines.  Please allow yourself at least an hour to watch the video. At the end of the video, please take the short quiz.  Your results will automatically be sent to Trish Lutz.

Sports Training Considerations

Special Olympics North America has developed some tools for a few of the sports to help coaches plan their practices/training.  These are suggestions of the different ways to plan practices based on the different phases.

Signage for Practice

These downloadable documents can be printed and displayed at your practice venues.

Screening Protocols & Tools

  • In Phase 1 & 2, screening must take place at SOMO practices, competition, and other activities of ALL participants (this includes athletes, coaches, chaperones, volunteers, staff, families/caregivers). You can find the Screening Protocol here. The contact tracing form must be used to track all participants present and record the results of the screening. 
  • In Phases 1, 2 & 3, ALL participants (as outlined above) must be signed in using the contact tracing form. You can download a PDF version here or a Microsoft Word version here.
  • This site will give you a directory of every Local Public Health Agency (LPHA) so you can make contact with them about any county or city guidelines that are in place. You will also want to let them know you are returning to practice and share the SOMO Return to Play Guidelines or this website with them.
  • Here is a short video produced by Special Olympics, Inc. that will provide information on travel to activities & screening protocols.
  • This short video, produced by Special Olympics, Inc. will walk you through the recommended way to prepare any venue for practice, competition or SOMO activity while in Phase 1 & 2.


Linked below are sites that will provide information about COVID, specific to Missouri counties, travel recommendations outside your home community. These resources are a few of the ways we are monitoring COVID and making determinations of phases in counties, how many people to have at a competition, if we can have a competition, etc. All decisions will be based on information available at the time.
  • This site is the Missouri COVID dashboard and gives up-to-date inofrmation on stats related to COVID in Missouri. You can see the breakdown by county, etc.
  • This site gives recommendations for those traveling outside your home community.
  • This site provides a directory for every Local Public Health Agency (LPHA).
  • This site will show what counties have different guidelines than what the state has in place at any given time.
  • This is the State of Missouri Show Me Strong Recovery Plan.
  • This is the site for the White House and CDC guidelines for Opening up America.

SOMO COVID-19 Point of Contact

  • Any questions regarding practice, competition or other SOMO activities should be directed to Trish Lutz at or 573-469-7836.
  • If anyone learns of testing positive for COVID-19 and has been at any SOMO practice, competition or activity, they must contact Trish Lutz at or 573-469-7836.  Your idenity will remain confidential but we are required to report to the local health department and do contact tracing for the safety of others.





Quick Links

Athlete's Oath

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."  


Document Library