Sports & Coaching

For all of our recognized and official sports, find coaching guides, development models, photos and videos and other related materials. You can also find information on locally popular sports in the mix.
Sports Essentials
Sport Rules, Sport Rules Article 1 & More
Sport Fact Sheets Master list of the fact sheet for our recognized and official sports.
Sport Rules The heart of Special Olympics is competitions, the races, matches, tournaments and games for people with intellectual disabilities. In many ways, these competitions are like sports run by any other organization, but there are some key differences.
Sport Rules Article 1 The Official Special Olympics Sport Rules (“Sport Rules”) provide standards for Special Olympics training and competition. Sport Rules Article I provides general principles established by the Special Olympics Official General Rules (“General Rules”) that are not found in the sport-specific rules.
Divisioning The fundamental difference between Special Olympics competitions and those of other sports organizations is that athletes of all ability levels are encouraged to participate, and every athlete is recognized for his/her performance.
Coaching Resources
Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Special Olympics Coaches are the heartbeat of our movement. Without coaches, we have no sports programmes for the more than 6 million Special Olympics Athletes and Unified Partners who train and compete every day, all around the world.

We know that you, the coaches, always strive to provide the best possible opportunities for your athletes and on this page we share all the resources, tools and guides which have been created to support you in your vital role.
Online Coach Education Course by Course Overview

If you are a coach or you are thinking about becoming a coach, read on to learn more about what courses we have and who each course is designed for.

Scroll to the end of the page to see which languages are available for each course.
HOD Materials
Athlete & Coach Development
Athlete Development Model The Special Olympics Athlete Development Model (ADM) is a support plan designed to empower each of our athletes. The model promotes motor and skill development as well as health and fitness, while preparing athletes for competition at all levels.
Coach Development Model Our volunteer coaches help Special Olympics athletes reach their best level of skill and performance. These resources can be used by Program sport directors to recruit and train coaches to reach their own heights of achievement.
Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Special Olympics Coaches are the heartbeat of our movement. Without coaches, we have no sports programmes for the more than 6 million Special Olympics Athletes and Unified Partners who train and compete every day, all around the world.

We know that you, the coaches, always strive to provide the best possible opportunities for your athletes and on this page we share all the resources, tools and guides which have been created to support you in your vital role.
Anti-doping Policy
Sports A to Z
Participants in the 2022 World Winter Games will compete under the 2018 versions of the Sport-specific Rules.
Access Artistic Gymnastics 2011 – 2018, Men's Artistic Gymnastics 2019 – 2027, and Women's Artistic Gymnastics 2019 – 2027.
Two athletes standing up and paddling on long board in the water.
Stand-up Paddling
1 Min Read