INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) in partnership with Special Olympics, will host the fourth-annual Unified Sports Bowling Championship, Sunday, April 8 at 1 p.m., hosted at the Expo Bowling Center (5261 Elmwood Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46203).
During the event, over 115 athletes from Special Olympics chapters in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky and student-athletes from HCAC member institutions will team up in an effort to bring home the HCAC/Special Olympics Unified Bowling Championship.
"We are very excited about this event as a part of our conference's continuing partnership with Special Olympics", stated HCAC Commissioner Chris Ragsdale. "It is a rare and very special moment when you are able to create a sporting championship event (unified bowling) where Special Olympics athletes and intercollegiate athletes are able to share in a competitive experience. The experience of sharing in the joy and excitement of competition together is a moment neither group will soon forget."
Teams finishing first, second, or third in their flight will receive gold, silver, and bronze medals, respectively. Fourth through fifth places will receive ribbons. The institution with the highest score including handicap will be awarded the HCAC championship trophy. This trophy will reside with the award winning team and institution for the year.
The athletes will also be competing for All-HCAC honors at the event. The top nine individuals in the standings will be awarded All-HCAC. The HCAC MVP will be the highest individual bowling score with handicap of the tournament.
Unified is a term that reflects athletes with intellectual disabilities and without intellectual disabilities competing together on a team. Each team will have four total members, two with intellectual disabilities and two without intellectual disabilities, with each HCAC member institution sponsoring three teams at the event.
"The HCAC Championship Unified Bowling Tournament is a first-of-its-kind event", said Michael Furnish, President/CEO of Special Olympics Indiana. "After several years of supporting Special Olympics as volunteers, the HCAC's student-athletes have taken a big step in making our athletes their teammates. It's now time to Play Unified!"
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (SUNDAY, APRIL 8)
12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Registration
12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Practice Bowling
1:00 p.m. - 1:10 p.m. Opening Ceremonies
1:15 p.m. Competition begins
3:00 p.m. No division starts a 3rd game if all bowlers haven't
finished a second game.
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Awards Ceremonies