Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023


Know your facts:

  • Basketball has been a sport at Special Olympics World Games since 1968
  • Unified Sports? Yes
  • Estimated number of athletes participating: 424 athletes + 136 Unified partners

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Special Olympics Unified Sports.

Special Olympics feature:

Three athletes* and two Unified partners play together on the court. The baskets are hung at a height of 3.05 meters according to FIBA rules. The playing time in the final competitions is two 10 minute halves.


We have four disciplines:

  1. Team competition - Women
  2. Team competition - Men/Mixed
  3. Unified Sports Team Competition - Women
  4. Unified Sports Team Competition - Men/Mixed

By the way:

In the beginning, basketball was played with a soccer and a basket used to collect peaches. The referees had to take the ball out of the baskets every time the players scored.

The photo shows a scene during a Basketball match. The player holds the ball and is on his way towards the hoop.
1  of  10
A Basketball player tries to score during a match.
2  of  10
The photo shows a female player who holds the ball and who is playing against two male players.
3  of  10
In the photo there is a scene in a basketball hall. In the foreground is a female athlete while talking to a man (maybe the coach?) in a wheelchair. Both are laughing happily.
4  of  10
The photo shows a very dynamic scene of a Basketball match in which one player is trying to score while two defenders try to prevent this from happening.
5  of  10
Two Basketball players give each other a fist bump during a match.
6  of  10
In the photo a basketball team is standing in a semicircle on the court. Everyone is cheering joyfully into the camera and one player is holding a basketball. It is not a game situation.
7  of  10
The photo shows a full court perspective of a match scene in basketball.
8  of  10
On the photo, there is a Basketball player who dribbles towards the basket.
9  of  10
The photo shows a Basketball court during a match with three players.
10  of  10
1  of  10

Basketball takes place on the grounds of Messe Berlin in the Halls 21-23.