Volunteer as a Coach or Official

Special Olympics sports officials ensure adherence to the rules and safe competition, and are necessary to ensure the integrity of the sport.


Becky Fischer of Special Olympics Pennsylvania (USA) and Susan Mitchell (right) were floor hockey officials at the 2005 Special Olympics World Winter Games. Fisher, a former Special Olympics athlete, became an official through the Special Olympics Officials Program for Athletes.

We encourage everyone officiating Special Olympics competitions to become certified in their sport and provide an opportunity for anyone interested, including Special Olympics athletes, to become a certified Special Olympics sport-specific official.

The Special Olympics Officials Training and Certification process consists of three parts.

Officials with a National Governing Body (NGB) officials' certification and/or an International Sport Federations (ISF) officials certification should participate in Part 1, which provides an introduction to Special Olympics, officiating Special Olympics events and any necessary rules and sport equipment modifications, and Part 3, which entails officiating 10 hours or five Special Olympics sport-specific competitions under the observance of an experienced Special Olympics official and/or competition staff member.

Those individuals with neither a NGB nor an ISF officials certification must also complete Part 2 of the process, which focuses on the competition venue, games management and the various officiating positions of the sport.

When participants in the training process have completed all the requirements, they must complete the Special Olympics Sports Training Certification form; have a local Program staff member sign off on the completion requirements; and send the completed form to the Program office

To locate an Officials Training Workshop near you, find Special Olympics near you.

Volunteer Code of Conduct

Volunteer Agreement

As a Special Olympics volunteer, I agree that while serving as a volunteer, I will:

•  Provide for the general welfare, health and safety of all Special Olympics athletes and volunteers.
•  Dress and act in an appropriate manner at all times.
•  Follow the established rules and guidelines of Special Olympics and/or any agency involved with Special Olympics.
•  Report any emergencies to the appropriate authorities after first taking immediate action to ensure the health and safety of the participants.
•  Abstain from the consumption or use of all alcohol, tobacco products and illegal substances while involved with any Special Olympics event, competition or training school.
•  Not engage in any inappropriate contact or relationship with athletes, volunteers or other participants of Special Olympics

Volunteer Training Resources

Volunteers enable Special Olympics to offer sports training and competition to individuals with intellectual disability across the globe. Special Olympics would not exist today – and could not have been created – without the time, energy, dedication and commitment of the more than 800,000 volunteer that we have today. Click here for all the resources you need for a Volunteer Training program.