Game On: Learn about the divisioning process that differentiates Special Olympics from other sport organizations.
- SONC Rule Modifications
- SOI Official Sport Rules for Swimming
- USA Swimming (National Governing Body) Rulebook
SONC offers competition in 33 different swimming events, ranging in distances from 15 meters to 1,500 meters, and featuring all strokes (backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle).
Individual events are offered for all strokes, and relay events are offered to athletes in all levels. SONC offers walking and flotation events for athletes of lower ability.
SONC also offers relay events in the Unified Sports model, featuring athletes with and without intellectual disabilities (called Unified Partners) to compete together.
Athletes may select up to three events from Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3, but must stay within their level. Athletes competing in all levels are eligible for one relay team event.
|15m Assisted Swim||25y Kickboard||25y Freestyle|
|15m Walk||25y Floatation Device||25y Backstroke|
|15 Unassisted Swim||25y Assisted Swim|
|25/50y Backstroke||25/50y Butterfly||100y Individual Medley|
|25/50y Breastroke||25/50y Freestyle|
|50/100/200y Backstroke||50/100y Butterfly||100/200y Individual Medley|
|50/100/200y Breastroke||50/100/200/500/1000/1650y Freestyle|
Relay Team Events (Traditional & Unified Sports)
|4×25/4x50y Freestyle Relay|
|4x50y Medley Relay|
Click here to find your coach certification status.
- Swimming Calendar
- SONC Summer Games Order of Events
- USA Swimming Disability Resources Web page (mostly geared towards physical disabilities and hearing/visually impaired, but still good information)
- USA Swimming Webinar on Swimmers with Disabilities
- Special Olympics Quick Start Coaching Guide
- Special Olympics Coaching Guide
- Other SOI Coaching Resources
Always communicate with your local coordinator if you are interested in submitting registration for an event.
Summer Games/Invitational Registration Forms
- Swimming Individual Registration Form
- Swimming Relay Registration Form
- Summer Games Deck Pass Application
Swimming Improved Performance Form (will be posted after registration is due for Summer Games) – must submit by May 23, 2019. Only submit this form if the time for an event is faster than the one submitted for registration. The decision to change a division for an athlete will be decided by the competition management team, and/or SONC staff.
SONC Summer Games will be held May 31 – June 2, 2019, in Raleigh.
Athletes and partners also have the opportunity and are encouraged to participate in various local invitationals. Check the swimming calendar for upcoming invitationals being hosted by local programs. If you are interested in hosting an invitation please contact the sports department at email@example.com.
Special Olympics U.S. Southeast Swimming Invitational in Greensboro
Don’t miss the premier swim meet of the season! Featuring Special Olympics programs from the southeast U.S., competition will be exciting! This event will be held on Sunday, April 28, 2019. Please visit the Special Olympics U.S. Southeast Swimming Invitational web page for more detailed information.
Host an Invitational
Local programs are encouraged to invite neighboring counties to participate in invitationals, scrimmages, or leagues. Click here for some basic steps on how to get started.
About Swimming: Swimming is one of the most popular sports in the world. Unlike other sports, swimming is a life skill that is taught, first, to ensure safety and, secondly, for sports and competition purposes. Swimming covers a great variety of swimming skills, from short sprints to longer events and relays.
Differences of Special Olympics Swimming: The Meet Referee has the discretion to allow for certain modifications/interpretations of the current technical rules of Swiming. Standing on the bottom of the pool during freestyle events or during the freestyle portion of the medley events shall not disqualify a competitor, but he/she shall not walk. Assistant starters may be allowed to assist a swimmer during their start if the swimmer has a hearing or vision impairment.
History: Swimming was first introduced to Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) in 1974, making it one of the oldest competition events.
By the Numbers:
- Special Olympics North Carolina sent eight athletes and two coaches to the 1991 International Summer Special Olympics Games in Minneapolis, MN.
- 1992 marked the first year of mandatory regional qualifiers for athletes to attend prior to state-level events.
- Athletes from Onslow and Dare counties were the first to compete out of state in the Virginia Special Olympics Swim Invitational in Norfolk, VA in 1991 and 1992.
Sport Development Teams (SDT) are responsible for assisting with local and state-level programs and competition, educating coaches and officials, and promoting active engagement among athletes throughout the year. Click here for more information.
Colleen Gillan, Swimming SDT Director
Certified Clinicians receive additional training in presentational skills to conduct training schools in their community. In order to become a Certified Clinician one must have a Special Olympics North Carolina level 2 sport certification in this sport.
For more information on becoming an SDT member or a Certified Clinician, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.