April 3, 2017


General Statement of Eligibility : Special Olympics training and competition is open to every person with an intellectual (learning) disability who is at least eight years of age and who is registered to participate in Special Olympics as required by the General Rules. There is no maximum age limit.

A person is considered eligible to participate in Special Olympics if the person has been identified as having a ‘A significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence) with a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning) which started before the age of 18, with a lasting effect on development’.

In common with other national and international sports organisations, Special Olympics GB deems a person to have an intellectual (learning) disability if they have an IQ score of 75 or lower. IQ tests are acknowledged to be limited, which is why it is important to gather other information from a variety of sources to assist in understanding an individual’s abilities. Examples might include Statements of Special Education Needs, or letters received following the assessment of the athlete by a clinical psychologist, etc.  Full information on the eligibility criteria can be found in our ‘Policies and Downloads’ page