Participating in Special Olympics helps athletes get fit physically and mentally.
Athletes also have the chance to meet new friends and learn to reach for their dreams in your every day life. The information and forms found on this page will help you know what is expected of Special Olympics athletes, and what forms are required prior to participation.
All prospective athletes must register to participate in Special Olympics. There is no cost to participate.
Who is eligible to participate in Special Olympics?
Persons are eligible for Special Olympics competition provided they are
Special Olympics training and competition is open to every person with an intellectual disability (mental retardation or closely related cognitive delay) who is at least eight years of age. Children ages 6 – 7 may participate in training and other non-competition activities. Children ages 2 – 7 may participate in the Young Athletes Program. There is no maximum age limit for participation in Special Olympics.
- The program is open to all eligible participants without fee.
- Every athlete who is training and competing in Special Olympics must have valid Special Olympics Virginia Participation and Release Forms on file in the SOVA office. Every athlete in the Young Athletes Program must have a Young Athletes Registration Form on file in the SOVA office.
- Athletes in training under the umbrella of a school district or other agency that are not traveling to train outside their school or agency do not need to have Participation and Release Forms on file. They must, however, be registered via a Registered Training Program (RTP) Form. Also, they must have valid Participation and Release Forms on file in order to participate in competitions outside of their school district or agency.
- No Special Olympics Virginia program may exclude or isolate from participation in any training or competition any athlete who is known to be a carrier of a blood-borne contagious infection or virus, or otherwise discriminate against such athletes solely because of that medical condition.
- Participation is open to all eligible athletes regardless of race, religion, gender or national origin.
- Athletes charged or convicted of a criminal offense are subject to SOVA’s Participation Policy.
* Athletes age 2-7 are eligible to participate in our Young Athletes® program.
Athlete Release & Participation Form
To participate in training and competition, all athletes are required to complete this formwhich includes a physical examination performed by a doctor. Once a registration form has been submitted, the next step is to select and sign up for a sport. Contact the Local Coordinator of the sport to sign-up — this information is provided in the Local Programs section.
Be sure to check out our offered sports section for each area as well.