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Dear Program Managers and Competition Coordinators:

I am pleased and excited to announce that we are creating a new Indoor Winter Games (IWG) to enhance competition opportunities and improve the athlete and volunteer experience. 

Here are key points about the new event (and additional details are provided below):

  • The first IWG will be hosted March 2-3, 2019 in York, PA.   
  • This new state-level competition will include Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Floor Hockey and Bowling.
  • Competition dates and locations for Speed Skating, Bowling, Floor Hockey and Figure Skating will remain unchanged in 2018.
  • Bowling Sectionals will move to the end of January starting in 2019 (Please note: various dates in December and January were considered for Sectionals.  January was ultimately selected based on local Program feedback.  This means there should be no 2018 budget impacts for local Programs due to changes driven by IWG.)

Based on Program feedback initially provided in the 2011 Sports Survey, various alternatives and competition changes were considered over the last several years before landing on the Indoor Winter Games concept.  The concept was shared during the Leadership Conference in August, and feedback was gathered there as well as via online surveys of volunteers and athletes.  Finally, before making a decision to move forward, all of this information was presented to our Board Programming Committee which unanimously supported this decision. 

The feedback from volunteer leaders, coaches, and athletes showed overwhelming support for this change.  While the majority embraced this change, for those of you who did not agree or who raised concerns, we appreciated your input and we listened to your feedback.  We took your feedback into consideration and made adjustments as the details for IWG were finalized.  And, I believe we ultimately came up with a better plan based on that input.  

I hope that in coming years, we all help IWG develop its own unique “personality” and it becomes a competition as popular and meaningful for our athletes as Summer Games, Winter Games, and Fall Festival are today.  So, thank you all and I hope you join me in looking forward to our first Indoor Winter Games in 2019!

Thank you,

Matthew B. Aaron

President & CEO

Special Olympics Pennsylvania, Inc.

Additional Details:

  • Competition dates and locations for Speed Skating, Bowling, Floor Hockey and Figure Skating will remain unchanged in 2018 (Speed Skating at Winter Games, Bowling sectionals in the Spring culminating at the 2018 Summer Games and Floor Hockey and Figure Skating remaining as standalone events). 
  • Starting in 2019, “Outdoor Winter Games” will include alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
  • All Competition Changes will be rolled out in 2019:
    • Bowling Sectionals will move to the last two weeks in January.
    • Bowling, Floor Hockey, Figure Skating and Speed Skating State Competitions will move to the Indoor Winter Games
  • Indoor Winter Games Information:
    • York Expo Center will be the main hub of Indoor Winter Games. It will host:
      • Delegation Check In
      • Opening Ceremony
      • Floor Hockey Competition
      • Olympic Village
      • Saturday Dinner
      • Athlete Dance
    • Competition Venues:
      • Floor Hockey: York Expo Center
      • Figure Skating and Speed Skating: York Ice Arena
      • Bowling: Colony Park Lanes and Laser Alley
    • All hotels will be within 15 minutes of the York Expo Center

In closing, we couldn’t do what we do without you.  I appreciate your patience as we vetted the concept and evaluated the impact of implementing Indoor Winter Games. I hope you feel that your feedback was heard and valued in this process. If you have questions or concerns about Indoor Winter Games, or the other resulting changes, please direct those questions to Gina Reid, Sr. Competition Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..