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16th Annual Fall Classic September 24-26, 2021
New Updates for Observing COVID-19 protocol (UPDATED AUGUST 29, 2021 8:10PM)

1. Two-day event being held on Friday September 24 with singles tennis competition starting at noon and Saturday September 25, 2021 doubles tennis competition starting at 9:00 a.m.

2. Elimination of overnight stays for local athletes. Out of town participants should contact Jim Hamm about accommodations

3. Limit field size to 112 athletes. All match play levels offered. First registered; first served. Names will be added to a wait list if filled.

4. Reduced registration fee to $30 per athlete to include t-shirt; player bag, medal, Saturday lunch. Payment of registration fee will be made at the check-in at the Fall Classic tournament.

5. No rain date set.

6. Offer on-site lunch on Saturday for volunteers and unified partners that are scheduled for more than one 2-hour sessions

7. Recommended for athletes to wear a mask when not competing. Recommended for all volunteers, coaches, and spectators to always wear a mask.

8. Signature for waivers and temperature check of each person will occur at designated area for all entries and re-entries.

9. Hand sanitizer available at each tennis court being played.

10. Singles, Unified Doubles, and Traditional Doubles play will be offered.

11. Limit 4 ball persons per court

12. No handshaking throughout the match. Rackets bumps are suggested.

13. Umpire at each tennis match

14. Five-minute warm-up with 30 – minute timed match. Up to 10-minute transition and rest interval available following matches one and two.

15. Awards ceremony at completion of division play immediately following match three

16. When possible, it is preferred that athletes/unified partners vacate the premises following the receipt of his/her award.

17. When possible, it is preferred that volunteers vacate the premises following the conclusion of his/her shift.

Athletes & Coaches


Special Pops primarily follows the rules of eligibility as established by Special Olympics North America. Special Pops requirements are:

  • Minimum age requirement to train is age 6
  • Minimum age to compete in a tournament event is 8
  • Person must have a diagnosed intellectual disability
  • Current medical registration on file at Special Olympics office within a reasonable period after participation begins
  • Able to provide his/her own transportation

Skill Levels:

Tennis experience and competency is not a qualifier to participate in Special Pops as either an Athlete or a Volunteer.

The most important characteristics are:

  • Interest in the sport
  • Best effort


Athletes and volunteers are not required to bring any specific tennis equipment. The minimum requirement for each is to have court-approved footwear.


At each of our events, we utilize volunteers in on-court and off-court capacities. Tennis experience and knowledge is a plus but not a requirement for all activities. Your involvement and passion for helping others is far more valuable than your knowledge or skill level as a tennis player. Tennis teams, school groups, families, neighborhoods, and individuals are all encouraged to get involved.

Volunteer Requirements:

  • Passion for the population and helping others
  • Energetic
  • Availability
  • Tennis skill and knowledge of the game required for some on-court volunteers

Volunteer opportunities:

  • Training athletes: instructor, ball feeder, court control
  • Ball person
  • Umpire
  • Unified partner (please see specific requirements below)
  • Coach
  • Site coordinator
  • Chaperon
  • Administrative support

Events include: 

  • Training academies: 8 weeks during spring- locations throughout metro Atlanta. Some locations provide an extended schedule for training.
  • League Play: Early Fall
  • Special Olympics Georgia State Games: May/June (see requirements below)
  • Annual Fall Classic Adaptive Tennis Tournament
  • Fundraising events
  • Other – If you have expertise you’d like to share, please contact Special Pops at [email protected]

Enjoy the thrill of making a difference in the lives of our athletes while enriching your own life. For more information about volunteer opportunities with our organization and the programs we offer, please contact us