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Two athletes demonstrating a move while the class observes.
Coaching guide, rules, and other materials for coaches.

Coaching Guides 2021

Warm-Up and Cool-Down Guides and Videos

Warm-Up (PDF)

Cool-Down (PDF)

Warm-Up and Cool-Down Videos

Dynamic Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs are an important part of every workout, training session, or competition. Follow along with these videos to learn how to perform the different exercises in the sport-specific warm-up and cool-down guides. Questions? Please email


Sports Essentials


  • 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.


  • Overview of the Coach Development Model This video is an overview in English of the coach development model. It is about 4 minutes long. DOWNLOAD MP4
  • 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.

Sport Rules

  • 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.

Judo Games

Judo Games Manual

Warm up games are an essential part of any class plan - be creative & have fun.

Tag games are ideal for warm ups, coordination, balance, agility and are great fun

Roll and Catch

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Roll and Catch - One person rolls down the mat while their partner (on hand & knees) tries to catch them before they reach the end. The catcher should be encouraged to catch using their body rather than just the hands. This encourages body contact and hold advantage.

Line Tag

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Line Tag - Using the joins of the tatamis, players have to skip sideways up, down and across the lines in all directions to tag each other. This is a good game for the fundamentals of movement.

Worm Tag

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Worm Tag - Crawling on the ground each player has to either avoid or catch the other players. When caught, the player makes a bridge and to get free, one of the other players must crawl under your bridge.

Star Fish

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Star Fish - In groups, each player grips both ends of a belt which is looped through a central ring/belt. The object of the game is to pull their fellow players off their spot/marker. You can play this game with or without floor markers/hoops. It can also be expanded to include uchikomi exercises.

Ball and Fall

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Ball and Fall - Sitting in a circle each player throws a ball to one of the other player and immediately after, rolls back for a backward break-fall. This is great fun and good hand eye coordination exercise.

Pull and Fall

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Pull and Fall - Sitting in a circle each player takes turns in helping others fall over. Falling players deliver a backward break-fall. This game is great as a warm-up and break-fall exercise.

Ball Drop

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Ball Drop - This exercise brings break-falls up level and helps to reduce the fear of falling. This game could be expanded by using space hoppers and introducing a tag element, when caught you have to roll off the hopper into a break-fall.

Kesa Challenge

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Kesa Challenge - Starting lying head to toe, on the start command each player has to sit up as quickly as possible and try and catch their opponent in kuzure-kesa gatame.


Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Octopus - A great newaza game that get both players working hard. One player lying on their back waves their arms and legs around like an Octopus, the second player tries to avoid the moving arms and legs and secure a hold.

Wrestle Ball

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Wrestle Ball - In groups of two or three in a ground position, one of the players holds onto a small ball. The other player(s) have to turn them over and wrestle the ball from them. This game encourages rough and tumble interaction and helps with turnovers.

Heel Ball

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Heel Ball - This game is designed to introduce O Soto Gari in a movement target scenario. A number of players stand with legs apart and place a ball on a cone in between their legs. The player has to approach by hopping on one leg out to the side and heel (backward kick) the ball off the cone. This develops a perfect O Soto Gari leg movement and backward drive.

Hop and Throw

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Hop and Throw - Using floor discs as targets to improve footwork and coordination the player approaches on the disks and executes a judo throw.

Hiza Challenge

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Hiza Challenge - Simple exercise to help with ashi and hiza type throws.

Sweeping Circle

Sample Warm-Up Game Idea: Sweeping Circle - Group exercise, gather in a circle holding onto each other’s sleeves. On the start command each player has to try and sweep their adjoining partner to the ground.
Two athletes competing. One athlete is flipping the other.


This page draws together judo-related information for all of Special Olympics. The coaching materials and other links will help you get a good sense of how this sport contributes to Special Olympics.