Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout


Presented by the State Farm Holiday Classic and S.O.A.R.

On October 13, 2005, the Classic Tournament, Inc. lost a very special and vital part of our event.  Ron Knisley, Director of Sports and Competition for Special Olympics Illinois (SOI), lost his battle to cancer.

Named the Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout in memory of our dear friend, Ron volunteered his time as a Holiday Classic committee member for ten years and was a constant around Horton Field House as a venue supervisor.  Through the years, he assisted with the scheduling of athletic trainers, helped create the Classic scholarship program, and most importantly oversaw the coordination of the Special Olympics Shootout.


Now in its 12th year of existence, the Shootout takes on a new format this year with eight local teams participating in the  S.O.A.R. Play Day on Saturday, Dec. 28, and eight high school teams from across the state participating in the Shootout on Monday, December 30. Championship night (Dec. 30) will once again witness the Shootout teams in 8-minute exhibitions on the main Shirk Center floor during half-time of one of the Classic championship games.

If you find yourself at Shirk Center on the last two days of the Holiday Classic, please take the time to check out this great experience and support these athletes.

SOAR Game Day teams – Saturday, December 28

  • CUSR Lady Mustangs
  • CUSR Yellow
  • HISRA Med/low
  • HISRA High
  • SOAR 1
  • SOAR 3
  • SOAR 4
  • Springfield High
  • Springfield Med                

Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout teams – Monday, December 30

  • Rushville High School
  • HISRA (Peoria Special Recreation program)
  • Lincolnway  (2 teams)
  • Thornwood High School
  • Champaign/Urbana Special Recreation
  • SOAR (2 teams)