Unified Bowling


On May 29, 2021, the KSHSAA agreed to partner with Special Olympics Kansas (SOKS) to encourage and develop Unified Bowling through school memberships in Kansas.

Purpose of Unified Sports®
Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports® joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. Having sports in common is just one way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away.

Unified Sports - Special Olympics Unified Sports® is an inclusive activities program that combines an approximately equal number of Special Olympic students with intellectual disabilities and students without intellectual disabilities on teams for competition and inclusive activities fostering an environment of social inclusion. Unified Sports at the high school interscholastic level is a school athletic/activity program that is co-supported by the Kansas State High School Activities Association and Special Olympics Kansas. These teams are administered and supported in a manner similar to other interscholastic athletic teams and activities programs in the schools.

Athlete – must be a bona fide undergraduate student in the member school; must have a recognized intellectual disability defined within 42 U.S.C. Section 12102(ADA).

Partner – must be a bona fide undergraduate student in the member school.

Coach – must be employed by member school; must meet requirements of Rule 10.

Team – “Trio teams” may be comprised of up to five players, three are designated as competitors and the remaining two as substitutes. The three competing students must include two athletes and one partner. The coach may allow for a fourth competitor. Teams may be co-ed.

Athlete – must meet all KSHSAA individual eligibility requirements; must have pre-participation forms completed and on file at member school for which they will participate.

Partner – must meet all KSHSAA individual eligibility requirements; must have completed pre participation physical exam on file at the member school for which they will participate.

Coach – must meet all requirements of Rule 10; must complete NFHS course: Coaching Unified Sports; must complete KSHSAA Unified Bowling rules test.

2024-25 Season
- The opening practice date for Unified Bowling is Monday of SCW 13 (September 30, 2024).

- The first competition date is Monday of SCW 15 (October 14, 2024).

- Regional Qualifying Tournament shall be held during SCW 19 (November 11-16, 2024).

- State Championship Tournament shall be held SCW 20 (week of November 18, 2024).

- No student may participate in more than four (4) Unified competition days during the season exclusive of regional/state.

- Members of the Unified Bowling team are not subject to the limitations detailed in Buffer Week.

- All competition will follow Baker format with 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th frames bowled by the partner and 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th frames bowled by the two athletes.

- Substitutions may be made during the match or between games with an athlete replacing another athlete and a partner replacing another partner. Once a player is removed from a game, they may not re-enter that game.

- Matches will consist of six (6) games, with the total of all games bowled as the team score; the highest total pinfall is declared the winner. In the case that the total pinfall is even, a tie is declared (there are no tiebreaking protocols).

- All members of the team bowl on the same lane. The first three (3) games are bowled on one lane. After three (3) games, teams switch lanes with an opposing team.

- Schools may compete in duals, triangulars, quadrangulars or tournaments.

- Bumpers are not used.

- Schools participating in unified bowling will be placed in one classification.

- Cooperative agreements may be in place between member schools.

- The eight-semester rule may be waived for athletes, however, they may only participate for a maximum of four seasons in their high school career.

- All students are subject to age requirements. Athletes may only participate beyond designated age provided an AGE Hardship is approved, student has four or fewer seasons, and the student has not turned 21.

- During the regular season, a school determines how many teams they will maintain.

- During postseason (regional/state) only one team will be entered in and represent the school in competition.

- This activity will be conducted in partnership with Kansas Special Olympics



State Unified Bowling