- Special Olympics is a year-round program offering 19 sports at a variety of competitions.
- To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, you must be at least 2 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specially designed instruction.
- Children ages 2 through 7 participate in The Special Olympics Young Athletes™ program. Athletes ages 8 and older participate in traditional sports.
- Individuals with profound disabilities can participate in the Special Olympics Motor Activities Training Program (MATP), developed by physical educators, physical therapists and recreation therapists. The MATP emphasizes training and participation rather than competition.
- SODE programs are primarily school-based and Area-based, with some sports (golf, equestrian, skiing and figure skating) are independently run through the state office. An athlete can participate in one or all three types of programs depending on interest level.
- Generally, there is no cost to participate in Special Olympics. However, some sports -- bowling, for example -- because of the nature of their training do require a small fee to participate. However, no athlete will be denied the opportunity to participate based on an inability to pay. There is never a fee to attend a competition.
- SODE provides all basic training equipment and competition uniforms free of charge (and is the only state in the country to do so).
- A valid medical form is required for participation and must be renewed every three (3) years. The only acceptable medical form is the one provided by Special Olympics Delaware.