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Special Olympics is the world's largest program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than 10,600 Special Olympics Athletes competed in over 170 competitions last year in Arizona alone!
Athletes advance to higher levels of competition, as described below, through criteria established by the previous level of competition in accordance with Special Olympics policies and procedures. For more information on upcoming competitions, use the SOAZ Calendar and filter by the event type you're interested in, or download the .pdf version of the 2010 State Competition Calendar, and the updates to that calendar, on the Forms page.
In order for an athlete to compete at their Area competition, they must complete eight weeks of training. Area competitions are local competitions held within the county or counties the area is comprised of. Competition must be conducted in compliance with official Special Olympics Rules. For more information on area competitions, please visit your Local Area Program page or filter the SOAZ Calendar for events near you.
In order for an athlete to compete at a State Sectional competition, the athlete must complete eight weeks of training. Competition is conducted in compliance with Official Special Olympics Rules. Sectional Competitions are regional competitions held throughout the state.
In order for an athlete to be eligible to compete at a State competition, the athlete must compete at their Area or State Sectional competition. State competitions are state-wide competitions conducted at the culmination of each sports season and serve as qualifiers to meet the criteria for athletes to advance to the National or World level of competition. State competitions are the highest level of competition offered for athletes within the state. State competition is conducted in compliance with Special Olympics rules.
In order for an athlete to be eligible to compete at an Invitational competition, the athlete must compete at their State competition. The majority of Invitational events are held out of state and funding is mostly the responsibility of the Areas. These events do not qualify athletes for advancement in their sport, but simply serve as another competition opportunity.
In order for an athlete to be eligible for the drawing for a possible slot to compete at Nationals, the athlete must compete in the State competition AND receive a gold medal. National Summer Games are conducted every four years. Each Chapter of the United States sends a delegation representing their state.
In order for an athlete to be eligible for the drawing for a slot to compete at World Games, the athlete must compete in the State competition AND receive a gold medal. World Games are offered every two years on an alternating Winter Games and Summer Games basis. The United States are represented as one delegation under Special Olympics TEAM USA.
For additional information contact:
Director of Operations
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