Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Sports Essentials

Sport Impact Standards

The Sport Impact Standards are enhanced processes of both written and implemented protocols that produce high quality sports competition. At Special Olympics World Games and International Single Sport Invitational events, the optimum athlete experience is driven by unprecedented standards of quality across four essential pillars: Optimum Performance Environment, Presentation of Competition, Quota Allocation Refinement, and General Sport Operations.

Sport Impact Standards in Special Olympics Sports

As Special Olympics reflected on over 50 years of competition, athletes are demanding a higher quality of sport training and competition opportunities. They want to exceed expectations on the playing field and achieve higher levels of personal physical, social, and emotional well-being. These athletes want their stories to be told through statistical performance milestones and be recognized as inspirational athletes because of their dedication and personal bests.

The new Sport Impact Standards will set protocols for training, optimum environment for performance, and provide in-depth recognition of achievements allowing sport heroes to emerge. The development of the Sport Impact Standards has moved the conversation past acceptance, enabling Special Olympic athletes to earn respect and inclusion which they so deserve.

It is critical that athletes are afforded a protocol that not only keeps health and safety as priority, but also enhances their preparation and recovery so they can perform at their best throughout the competition. A main component of Sport Impact Standards is embedding elements of health and fitness during training and competition. This will reduce injuries and support performance.

The Sport Impact Standards will allow Special Olympics International to develop and define the parameters for each sport competition at the World Games and International Single Sport Invitational events. These protocols will ultimately improve the athlete experience, guarantee fair competition, and give each athlete the opportunity to train and compete at the highest level of competition.

Implementation of the Sport Impact Standards

At the Special Olympics World Games Berlin in 2023, six sports will be operating according to the Sport Impact Standards. Those sports will be athletics, badminton, basketball, football, swimming, and tennis. The remaining twenty sports offered for the Berlin 2023 program will be operating under the previous World Games competition model.