Volunteers FAQs

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  • 17,143 Total Volunteers
  • 5,197 Coaches
  • 11,946 "Day Of" Event Volunteers

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What is Special Olympics?

Special Olympics is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing year--round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities by giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

What are the sports offered at Special Olympics?

Special Olympics offers 11 sports.  Aquatics, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Floor Hockey, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Track & Field, Tennis and Volleyball, Some sports may not be offered in all counties based on athlete interest and facility availability.  

Does Special Olympics offer programs for athletes of all levels and abilities? 

Special Olympics prides itself on providing programs for all skill levels.  We create competition environments based on each athlete's abilities by creating competition groups based on preliminary scores and times.  This ensures that athletes compete based on skill, age and gender. 

What are the volunteer opportunities available?

Special Olympics volunteers come from all walks of life, a income brackets and all age groups.  Some bring specialized skills to their work, while others sign on to learn new things.  The important point is this: with more than one million athletes world-wide and a total of 170 million who could benefit, there's plenty of need for whatever role you'd like to play at the local, state, national or international level. For more information about volunteer opportunities and categories, please click on Become a Volunteer. 

What is the minimum age for a Class A Volunteer, such as a coach?

Class A volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Volunteers between the ages of 14-17 can be coaching assistants as well as provide event, administrative and competition support under the supervision of an adult Class A Volunteer. Head coaches must be at least 18 years old.

What is the minimum age for a coach?

Assistant coaches must be at least 14 years old. Head coaches must be at least 18 years old.