To boost the confidence of athletes and foster a sense of community, the Special Olympics program organizes nationwide events in which athletes with and without disabilities play together on the same team. For instance, the 2016 Unified Team Bowling Tournament was held in February at the Starlight Bowling Alley in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. The tournament welcomed 428 athletes to compete.
The tournament teams consisted of at least four members of any skill level. Teams did not actually compete against each other. Instead, bowlers had fun while building their skills and confidence as they strived for the highest average score on their own team. In this way, the participants were competing with people who supported them and celebrated their progress.