Basketball Overview


WELCOME TO SOMO BASKETBALL! SOMO is  proud to support many different basketball teams and formats, offering athletes of all ages and skill levels an opportunity to play. Please read the following descriptions of the age and ability opportunities carefully.  SOMO offers YOUTH LEAGUES and COMMUNITY LEAGUES:

  • Our 3 YOUTH BASKETBALL LEAGUES (Landon Elementary League, Landon Middle School League, and High School Unified CLUB League at Blessed Sacrament) train and play in the Player Development Unified Format* and are not rostered to qualify or compete in Maryland State Games.  The focus of the YOUTH LEAGUES is to provide sound youth player development through training and game play at a local level. Our YOUTH LEAGUE training prepares  young players for State competition training as they transition out of  their high school years. Our YOUTH High School Unified CLUB offers a low-key opportunity for the high school player to play “pick-up style” basketball games with Unified Partners of their same age – giving them a forum for  getting fit and making new friends with high school peers with and without disabilities. This Unified CLUB is open to High School age players with and without disabilities ages 14/15 through high school years to age 21/22.
  • Our many COMMUNITY LEAGUES train and play in either Traditional (all players on the team are Special Olympic athletes) or *PDU (Player Development Unified) in either a 3v3 (half-court) or 5v5 (full-court) team. The teams are rostered for, train for, and qualify for competition in Maryland State  Basketball Competition. Roster sizes and team age groupings are specific and limited. We can only offer the number  of teams and age grouping of teams that player interest and Coach interest can support. Additionally, the number of teams that we can offer is limited by facility limitations as basketball court time is limited and expensive!
  • We currently do not offer Individual Skills Training (ISC) or Competition or Unified Teams (we offer * Player Development Unified Teams), but can consider those programs as they are needed and supported with coaching.
  • *Player Development Unified (PDU) is a format unique to Special Olympics and the Special Olympics UNIFIED SPORT concept. While Unified Sport is defined as having “players  with and without disabilities (Unified Partners)  – of similar age AND ability training and playing together is approximately equal numbers – all with equal roles on the team”, PDU offers a more supportive and mentoring training option. PDU is defined as having players with and without disabilities training and playing together BUT in PDU: the Unified Partners are referred to as Unified Mentors and have more defined roles on the team. They serve in a “mentoring /coaching” capacity and although ideally of similar age, are of a higher ability. Their competitive roles also differ: the PDU Unified Mentor does not score and does not play aggressive defense. Their role is to “guide and shape ” the game and provide coaching, guidance and support to the SO players on their team. In 3v3 PDU there would be 2 S.O. players and 1 Unified Mentor playing. In 5v5 PDU, there would be 3 SO players and 2 Unified Mentors playing.
  • The PDU format in both 3v3 and 5v5 has proven to be an excellent transition for players who are learning the game of basketball and can benefit from having Coaches/Mentors on the court with them. The PDU format  is the most sound developmental concept for youth players as they have the ability to have Unified Mentor Peers on the court with them: building their skills and building friendships!

Details about each league may be found on the individual sport pages (links provided below). 

Please select from our teams below to find out more information about each and specific locations and dates for each team:

  • YOUTH Basketball Leagues
  • COMMUNITY Basketball Leagues:
    • Seniors and Young Adult 3v3 – Barrie School     (Seniors: Age 45+) (Young Adult: Age 21-45)
    • Seniors and Young Adult 3v3 PDU  –  Barrie School  (Seniors: Age 45+) (Young Adult: Age 21-45)
    • High School 3v3 – Barrie School   (There must be enough player and coach interest and support to offer a HS 3v3 Team: ages 1516-21)
    • High School 5v5 & Young Adult PDU* – Barrie School ( High School: Age 15/16-21) (Young Adult: Age 21-45) * There must be enough player and coach interest and support to offer a High School 5v5 PDU team.
    • Young Adult Traditional 5v5 – Potomac CC  (Ages: 21-45). The first try-out on Jan 5th is at Potomac Community Center. Once the teams have been formed, 2 of them will train weekly at the Potomac Community Center and the third team ( newly formed from previous High School players who have “aged up” to 21 and older) will likely train at The Barrie School. If you are age 20/21- 45 and interested in playing on a 5v5 Traditional Team you must attend this try-out. 
    •  IMPORTANT NOTE!  If coaches feel that you would be better served on either a Young Adult 3v3 team or on a Young Adult 5v5 PDU team, you will be asked to attend the Barrie School try-outs on this same day from 12:30-2:30. PLEASE PLAN FOR THAT POSSIBILITY!
    • All athletes AND volunteers must SIGN UP ONLINE prior to attending practice, and as in all other sports programs athletes must have a current SOMO Medical  on file, and volunteers at all levels must have a current volunteer application on file. Links to ONLINE SIGN UP are found at the bottom of each sport’s web page. Registration process and forms are found on this website

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