Athlete Resources

Just ask any of the 8,716 athletes who currently enjoy the life-changing benefits of participation in our free sports training and competition programs throughout the year. Studies have shown that participation in Special Olympics results in improved health and well-being, increased social skills and self-confidence, and even an increase in work skills and the ability to contribute to the community. We see those same results at every practice, qualifier and competition we host – when SOMD athletes are given the opportunity to excel, it doesn’t matter what the final score is, the end result is always a victory. We have free programs available to all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, beginning as early as age 2.

Be a fan of fun, dignity, empowerment, and strength, and get involved today!

Athlete Code of Conduct

Special Olympics is committed to the highest ideals of sport and expects all athletes and Unified partners to honor sports and Special Olympics. All Special Olympics athletes and Unified® partners agree to the following code:


I will practice good sportsmanship.

I will act in ways that bring respect to me, my coaches, my team, and Special Olympics. I will not use bad language.

I will not swear or insult other persons.

I will not fight with other athletes, coaches, volunteers, or staff.


I will train regularly.

I will learn and follow the rules of my sport.

I will listen to my coaches and the officials and ask questions when I do not understand. I will always try my best during training, divisioning, and competitions.

I will not “hold back” in preliminary competition just to get into an easier finals competition division.


I will not make inappropriate or unwanted physical, verbal, or sexual advance on others.

I will not smoke or use vaping products (e-cigarettes, etc.) in non-smoking areas, including all Special Olympics training and competition venues.

I will not use or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs (including cannabis products) at Special Olympics events. I will not take drugs for the purpose of improving my performance.

I will obey all laws and Special Olympics rules, the International Federation and the National Federation/Governing Body rules for my sport (s).

I understand that if I do not obey this Code of Conduct, I will be subject to a range of consequences by my Program or a Games Organizing Committee (GOC) for a World Games up to and including not being allowed to participate.