Types of Competitions

Special Olympics Inc. has approved 30 Olympic sports for participation by individuals with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics New Jersey offers 24 (including Motor Activities) of the 30 as Chapter-level competitions.

Special Olympics New Jersey conducts four major events annually:

Levels of Competition

Athletes advance to higher levels of competition, as described below, through criteria established by the previous level of competition in accordance with Special Olympics policies and procedures.

Area Events

Area events are local events held within the county or counties the area is comprised of. Competition must be conducted in compliance with official Special Olympics Rules. Area events may be conducted as qualifiers in order to meet the criteria for advancement to the next level of competition.

Invitational Events

Invitational events may be conducted to include two or more Local Training Programs or Areas. These events do not qualify athletes for advancement in their sport, but simply serve as another competition opportunity.

Sectional Events

Sectional events are conducted as qualifiers in order to meet the criteria for athletes to advance to Chapter-level competition. Competition is conducted in compliance with Official Special Olympics Rules. Sectional Events are regional competitions held throughout the state.

Chapter Events

Chapter events are state-wide competitions conducted at the culmination of each sports season and serve as qualifiers to meet the criteria for athletes to advance to the National level of competition. Chapter events are the highest level of competition offered for athletes within the state. Chapter competition is conducted in compliance with Special Olympics rules.

National Games

National Summer Games are conducted every four years. Each Chapter of the United States sends a delegation representing their state. National Games are conducted as qualifiers in order to meet the criteria for athletes to advance to the World Games level of competition.

World Games

World Games are offered every two years on an alternating Winter Games and Summer Games basis. The United States are represented as one delegation under TEAM USA.