fun and build skills and self-esteem, all while participating in
year-round sports training and competition. Whatever your age or skill
level, with 15 different sports to choose from, we have something for
every athlete. We’ll also help you build character traits that help both
on and off the field of competition. Confidence, self-esteem, teamwork
are just some of the benefits of involvement in sports. For many
athletes, Special Olympics is a path to empowerment, competence,
acceptance, joy and friendship.
Athlete Eligibility Requirements
Special Olympics training and competition is open
to every person with intellectual disabilities who is at least eight
years of age and who registers to participate in Special Olympics.
A person is considered to have intellectual
disabilities for purposes determining his or her eligibility to
participate in Special Olympics if that person satisfies one of the
- The person has been identified by an agency or
professional as having intellectual disabilities as determined by
their localities; or
- The person has a cognitive delay as determined
by standardized measures such as intelligence quotient or "IQ" testing
or other measures which are generally accepted within the professional
community in Virginia as being a reliable measure of the existence of
a cognitive delay; or
- The person has a closely-related developmental
disability, which means having functional limitations in both general
learning (such as IQ) and in adaptive care (such as recreation, work,
independent living, self-direction, or self-care).
- Persons whose functional limitations are based
solely on physical, behavioral, or emotional disability or a specific
learning or sensory disability are not eligible to participate as
Special Olympics athletes.
Steps to Enrollment
- Complete the Combined Release
/ Participation Form. A Parent or Guardian must sign this for
minor athletes. Adult athletes may sign the form themselves. This form
represents that the athlete is physically and mentally able to
participate in Special Olympics activities. It also authorizes
emergency medical treatment and gives permission for Special Olympics
to use the athlete's likeness, name, voice or words for media,
promotional and fundraising purposes.
- Arrange an appointment with a physician to
complete the COMBINED RELEASE / PARTICIPATION FORM. This form asks for
emergency contact and insurance information as well as a health
history. A physician must sign the form to certify that the athlete is
able to participate in Special Olympics activities.
- All completed forms should be returned to:
1036 S. Winchester
Special Olympics Athlete's Code of Conduct
Special Olympics is committed to the highest
ideals of sport and expects all athletes and unified partners to act in
a manner that both contributes to the overall mission of Special
Olympics and follows Special Olympics Virginia policies. All Special
Olympics athletes and Unified Partners agree to the following code of
- I will practice good sportsmanship.
- I will act in ways that bring respect to me, my
coaches, my team and Special Olympics.
- I will not use bad language at Special Olympics
events, training sessions or competitions.
- I will not insult other persons at Special
Olympics events, training sessions or competitions.
- I will not fight with other athletes, coaches,
volunteers or staff.
TRAINING AND COMPETITION
- I will train regularly and commit to knowing
and playing by the rules of my sport.
- I will listen to my coaches and the officials
and ask questions when I do not understand.
- I will always try my best during training,
divisioning and competitions. I will not “hold back” in preliminary
competition just to get into an easier competition division.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY ACTIONS
- I will not make inappropriate or unwanted
physical, verbal or sexual advances on others.
- I will not smoke or chew tobacco at any
training or competition site except in designated smoking areas.
- I will not consume alcoholic beverages and/or
controlled substances during any Special Olympics training or at
- I will not take drugs for the purpose of
improving my performance.
- I will not engage in sexual activities during
any Special Olympics training or at competitions.
- I will obey all laws and Special Olympics
rules, the International Federation and the National
Federation/Governing Body rules for my sport(s).
- I will respect the property of hotels,
dormitories, athletic facilities and dining facilities.
Parent & Caregiver Responsibilities
- If you son/daughter/client signs up for a
sport, then it is YOUR responsibility to see that they attend from the
first practice thru to the last practice scheduled. If they find they
do not like a sport, then notify the coach that they will no longer be
attending. An athlete should not miss more than 2 practice sessions.
- It is YOUR responsibility to go up to the coach
EACH week and find out if there are changes in the schedule or news to
be heard. Do not drop your athlete off, pick them up and expect your
athlete to give you the information. It’s probably not going to
happen! Even though the coach may give out a written notice, it may
not make it to you. Talk to the coach each week.
- If your athlete cannot attend practice, it is
YOUR responsibility to call the coach and let him/her know AHEAD of
time that they will not be there. If you leave a message, ask the
coach to call you if there were any changes made regarding practices
or an upcoming competition.
- If your athlete requires one-on-one and needs
to be encouraged to participate or has some behavior issues, then DO
NOT drop them off and expect the coaches to manage their behavior or
work one-on-one while trying to work with a team or other athletes.
Please be considerate. Your help will be needed.
- If your athlete is new to the program, you need
to stay with your athlete until the staff feels they know the
individual well enough and are comfortable with you leaving them for
any period of time.
- May sure your athlete comes to practice
appropriately dressed. If it’s cold outside, be sure they come with
plenty of clothes on!
- Be on time for practice and when picking up
- Keep the sports schedule on your refrigerator
or in a safe place where you can check on start dates for each sport.
The coach will call ONLY if there is a change in the start date.
- Read the “Code of Conduct” to your athlete and
make sure they understand what their responsibilities are.
- When your son/daughter/client’s medical
expires, they can no longer participate in the program until a current
medical is submitted—there will be no exceptions. If you would like to
know when your medical is due you may call Frances Hall at 248-1118.
Athlete Forms & Downloads:
- Application for
Participation in Special Olympics Form
- Schedule of sports events - (MS
- Athletes Sign-up Sheet & Parents/Caregivers
Activities Sign-up (MS Word)