- Support Programs
- Unified Sports®
Special Olympics Arizona offers over 24 Olympic-type individual and team sports which provide meaningful training and competition opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities, including age-appropriate activities and activities for lower ability athletes.
The Official Special Olympics Sports Rules provide standards for Special Olympics training and competition. All Special Olympics training and competitions shall be conducted in accordance with the Sport-Specific Rules. The Sports Rules may be amended from time to time both nationally and at the state level. SOAZ sport-specific rules addendums can be found at the bottom of this page.
Article I includes a number of provisions from the Special Olympics Official General Rules (as adopted by the Board of Directors of Special Olympics International) that apply to sports training and competitions. It also provides guidelines to help implement some of the general principles established by the General Rules. Please visit the Special Olympics International Website to download Article 1, or a summary of the most recent changes and additions made to Article 1.
The fundamental difference that sets Special Olympics competitions apart from those of other sports organizations is that athletes of all ability levels are encouraged to participate, and every athlete is recognized for his or her performance. Special Olympics competitions are structured so that athletes compete with other athletes of similar ability. Matching athletes with appropriate competitors is done using a process called "divisioning," whereby athletes at all levels of participation are afforded fair competition.
An athlete's ability is the primary factor in divisioning Special Olympics competition. The ability of an athlete or team is determined by an entry score from a prior competition or is the result of a seeding round or preliminary event at the competition itself. Other factors which are significant in establishing competitive divisions are age and gender. Ideally, competition is enhanced when all divisions accommodate at least three and no more than eight competitors or teams of similar ability. In some cases, however, the number of athletes or teams within a competition will be insufficient to achieve this goal.
The process of divisioning, and all the rules governing it, are outlined in detail in Article 1. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please review the guidelines set forth in Article 1. If there are still issues of concern, you may contact SOAZ's Director of Operations, Nadine Armstrong, for clarification.
Cheerleading Rules (PDF)
Flag Football Rules (PDF)
For additional information contact:
Director of Operations
|602.230.1119 - direct line|