Special Olympics Kentucky offers training and competition opportunities in 15 sports. Sports are listed below with the corresponding SOKY Sport Season. (See Games & Competitions for registration information).
Track & Field
Athletes MUST participate in a Sanctioned event held within the respective sport season in order to qualify for the State Level competition. SOKY recognizes and supports those athletes who train year-round in their respective sport(s).
Within the state of Kentucky, competitive opportunities are offered on many levels: Local, County, Regional, Area and State. In the sports of Bowling and Track & Field, athletes must qualify at the Area level in order to qualify for the State Competition. In all other sports, athletes must participate in a sanctioned Regional or Invitational in order to qualify for State competition.
National Games: Special Olympics offered its first National Games in 2006 in Ames, Iowa, and followed with the second National Games in Lincoln, Neb., in 2010. The program continues to offer other National level competition on a sport by sport basis. Not all sports have National level competition but, for the sports that do, an event is held on an annual basis. As of right now, participation at the National level is not mandatory for advancement to World Games. However, a quota system is used and each state may be limited to the number of athletes allowed to participate. Therefore, registration for National events will be done through the State Office in Frankfort. Special Olympics will hold the third USA National Games in the Summer of 2014 in Princeton, N.J.
World Games: World Games are the highest level of competition for Special Olympics. There are World Winter Games held every 4 years and World Summer Games held every 4 years. They are on a schedule so that every two years there is a World Games. Athletes are selected for World Games by nomination. A nomination process generally starts approximately 12-15 months prior to the start of the Games.