How to Qualify for the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics is an international organization that allows people with intellectual disabilities to train and compete in sports. The Special Olympics gives 2.5 million individuals in 165 countries the opportunity to become physically fit while engaging in a variety of sports. In order to qualify for participation in the Special Olympics, you must meet certain criteria.
Have an intellectual disability identified by an agency or a professional, a cognitive delay determined by a standardized test, such as an IQ test, or have a closely related developmental disability that qualifies for participation.
Be at least 8 years old in order to qualify for the regular Special Olympics. Children with intellectual disabilities that are between 2 and 7 years old may participate in the Special Olympics Young Athletes program.
Register for the Special Olympics program in your area by submitting the Athlete Registration Form and the Athlete Release Form. The registration form contains medical information that a physician must fill out, and a parent, guardian or adult participant must sign the release form. You can obtain these forms from your local Special Olympics program.
Agree to abide by the Special Olympics' Code of Conduct. Requirements of the Code include practicing good sportsmanship, being respectful, following the rules of the sport and trying your best, among other requirements. If you don't follow the Code of Conduct, you may not participate in the Special Olympics.
Advance to the next level of Special Olympics competition after you've participated in an organized training program for at least 8 weeks and have placed either first, second or third in a lower level competition.