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** This information is specific to Oklahoma High Schools competing in our pilot Unified State league of Rocket League. For all other states looking to compete in Unified you can find that info HERE**

PlayVS Partnership

In September 2021, PlayVS launched a national partnership with Special Olympics North America. The partnership is focused on growing Special Olympics Unified esports, which combines students with intellectual disabilities (Special Olympics athletes) and students without intellectual disabilities (Unified partners) on inclusive esports teams. Through the strategic and innovative collaboration, PlayVS will serve as the official operator for the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® national high school esports league in the US.

How it Works

A Unified esports option has been integrated into PlayVS. Unified teams will register, enroll and participate using the existing processes in place. The Unified league is offered to Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools at no additional cost.

All teams must be high school-based, and have an adult head coach with all participants being at least 13 years of age or older. Teams may participate at school or virtually from home. For the Fall season, schools will have the ability to compete in 2 titles, Rocket League and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Rocket League teams are composed of 2 Special Olympics athletes and 1 Unified partner. Rocket League is rated E for everyone and is available to play for free on a variety of gaming consoles and personal computers (PC). Schools can have multiple Unified teams participate.

Interest Form

Spring 2023 Season - Key Info

Rocket League

  • OK State League (Pilot)

  • Match Day: Thursday

    • Match Times: 4 pm CST

Coach Training Webinars

  • Special Olympics Oklahoma Unified Esports - Getting Ready for the Spring 2023 Season

  • Thursday, Jan 26, 3pm CST

  • RSVP

Schedule

  • Enrollment opens 10/10/22

  • Registration deadline: 2/3/23

  • Preseason: Weeks of 1/23/23 &1/30/23

  • Regular Season: Weeks of 2/6/23 - 3/27/23

  • Playoffs: Weeks of 4/3/23 - 4/10/23

  • Spring Championships: 4/15/2023

    • Will be an in-person event. Details to be shared shortly.

Equipment Requirements

Rocket League - Teams of 3 (2 Special Olympics athletes + 1 Unified partner)

Minimum (Total of 2x Consoles or 2 PCs)

  • 1x console (Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4) or PC & Monitor/Television per 2 players

  • 1x compatible controller (console or PC) or 1 keyboard & mouse per player (PC)

  • 1x Online Membership IF on console (Free versions)

    • Xbox Live Silver

    • Nintendo Online,

    • Playstation Online

    • Epic Account

  • 1x Rocket League Game per console or PC (Free download)

Suggested (Total of 3x Consoles or 3 PCs)

  • 1x console (Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4) or PC & Monitor/Television per player

  • 1x compatible controller (console or PC) or 1 keyboard & mouse per player (PC)

  • 1x Online Membership (Free versions)

    • Xbox Live

    • Nintendo Online,

    • Playstation Online

    • Epic Account (PC)

  • 1x Rocket League Game per console or PC (Free download)

Access to standard high-speed internet is also important as well as working with the school/district IT department to ensure the proper restrictions are removed to allow students to play online if they are competing at school.

Team Naming

During the enrollment process, the coach will need to create team names for each team they enroll. Please use the following naming convention: School name, mascot, Unified. For example, the Central High School Bobcats would use this name:

Central High School Bobcats - Unified

If a school has more than one team, please add a number, letter, or color after “Unified” to delineate, for example:

Central High School Bobcats - Unified Green

Central High School Bobcats - Unified Gold

Doing so is very important for us to be able to confirm your intention to participate in our Unified league!

Expectations

PlayVS will provide:

  • Direct support to Unified esports coaches with enrollment, team setup, technology troubleshooting, and league support/guidance throughout the entire season

  • Educational materials and webinars for coaches

  • Weekly email for Unified coaches with league updates (during each season)

  • Weekly email for Special Olympics Program staff with league updates and the current list of enrolled schools for that season

  • Scheduling of all matches and playoffs

  • The publishing of league standings & results

  • Broadcasting finals

Coach Responsibilities:

  • Attend training sessions conducted by PlayVS

  • Register the school/team on PlayVS by the season’s enrollment deadline

  • Recruit at least one team for Rocket League

  • Commitment to a full season of weekly matches & practices (if participating in league option, 10-12 weeks, 2-4 hours a week)

  • Ensuring all teammates are equipped with the required technology per esport.

    • Work with school IT and/or other school esports coaches

  • Support students with getting registered on PlayVS and organizing them into teams

  • Communication with other coaches on match day and for rescheduling

  • Support players with match-day readiness and logistics

  • Provide adult oversight during all practices/matches and set positive team culture

  • NOTE: previous esports coaching experience is helpful, but not required!

Rules & Sportsmanship

  • Rocket League Rule and requirements

    • Unified will follow the Rocket League Game Day Protocol and Rocket League Rulebook.

    • The in-game ratio of teammates is:

      • 2 Special Olympics athletes (students with an intellectual or developmental disability) and 1 Unified partner (student without an intellectual or developmental disability)

      • If a team cannot field all 3 players with this ratio, please reschedule, or talk with the opposing coach to drop the match to 2v3 and play with 1 athlete/1 partner.

    • Note: There are no scoring restrictions or other modifications for Unified partners, however, coaches are expected to adhere to good sportsmanship and the Special Olympics philosophy of meaningful involvement.

  • Meaningful involvement & sportsmanship

    • All coaches shall work to achieve meaningful involvement for all students on both teams. The principle of meaningful involvement ensures that every player is given an opportunity to contribute to the success of his or her team through their unique skills and abilities.

    • To the greatest extent possible, all players on a team should be within a similar ability range.

    • To avoid player domination, varsity-level or other highly skilled Rocket League players are typically not a good fit to participate as a teammate in this league.

    • Please keep sportsmanship in mind and know that each team has very different experience levels with Unified esports.

    • Unified Esports coaches must follow the general PlayVS Coach Code of Conduct.

Additional Resources

Rocket League

League Info Links

General info landing page: https://www.playvs.com/so-unified


Contact Info

Aaron Kelley, PlayVS - aaron.kelley@playvs.com

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