General Statement Of Eligibility:
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 as required by the General Rules.
People With Intellectual Disabilities Or Closely Related Disabilities Such As:
- those who have been identified by an agency or professional as having an intellectual disability, or
- those who have cognitive delay, or
- those who have functional limitations in both general learning (such as IQ) and in adaptive skills such as recreation, work, independent living, self-direction and/or self-care are eligible to participate.
The training process for any athlete may begin as soon as a valid, “Medical/Parental Release Form” is on file with the Local Program. Once this is completed the athlete can proceed to:
- Choose a desired sport.
- At a minimum, train for no less than 8 weeks/8 consecutive sessions in any respective sport, either individually or on a team.
- After training the minimum number of practices, the athlete qualifies to participate in a local competition. (Most often, in Arizona, this will be an area or joint area-level competition.)
- After competing at a local (area-level) competition the athlete then qualifies to compete at the state-level competition.
- Athletes may train in different sports throughout the year and may cross-train in multiple sports as needed to allow them access to multiple sport competitions.
- Competitions provide athletes with the opportunity to demonstrate sports skills they have acquired during training.
- Rules are modified, when necessary, in order to maximize the successful participation of all athletes and encourage competition throughout every level of the organization.
- Athletes of all ability levels are encouraged to participate.