FAQs

Who decides which sports Team Montana from Special Olympics Montana can compete in at USA or World Games?

Special Olympics North America or Special Olympics USA determines the sports that will be offered at a USA or World Games. Each program/state is assigned certain sports, and a certain number of slots in those sports, based on their interest level.  It also depends on the number of slots available and number of programs interested in those particular sports.  Larger programs tend to get a larger number of slots than smaller programs, but they try to get programs at least some slots.

How do competitors qualify for USA or World Games?

Athletes and/or unified partners must win a gold medal at the state level to become eligible for USA Games or World Games qualification. Athletes and/or unified partners who are gold medal winners in the assigned sports/events (from Special Olympics North America) will have their names put into a hat.  Then they are drawn out randomly.  We choose an appropriate number of athletes and/or unified partners and begin conducting interviews.  If the first athlete declines, we move on to the next one drawn and so on, until an athlete and/or unified partner is identified.  SOMT determines the final selection for USA Games.  For athletes and/or unified partners that are identified for World Games, they must attend training camp prior to the World Games competition and be formally selected by the SO USA coaches.  SOMT is responsible for making the initial selection only for World Games. Through all these processes, if a gold medal winner is not selected for one reason or another, the process will begin one selection at a time with silver medalists.

What are the perks of becoming a certified coach?

In addition to smaller perks, such as a certificate of completion, having the opportunity to meet and discuss sports with other certified coaches at trainings, etc., there are two main perks to being a certified coach in a sport. 1) Certified coaches receive the privilege to protest at a games if the situation calls for it. Uncertified coaches’ protests are automatically denied. 2) Certified coaches are trained and gain knowledge in the specifics of Special Olympics Montana rules and details, which helps ensure competitor success, as they have the best chance of being prepared for competition.  For example, becoming certified and taking online recertification courses keeps a coach up to date with all sports changes, rule changes, what SOMT is looking for at competitions, etc. 3) Certified coaches have the opportunity to apply for selection to coach at a USA or World Games.

What is the Max Effort Rule?

The Max Effort Rule ensures fair competition and adequate practice for competitors. When teams submit registrations for a State-level games, they include qualifying scores. After the State-level competition is completed, those qualifying scores are compared against the scores competitors recorded at the competition. If the percentage difference exceeds the set limit for that sport, competitors are subject to consequences, including warnings, loss of ability to qualify for advancement, and suspension from a State-level game for the following year.

Which communities host State-level competitions?

Currently, State Summer Games rotates between four communities, every three years. Those communities are Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, and Missoula.

Currently, State Basketball is set to rotate between two communities, every three years. Those communities are Butte and Helena.

Currently, the Bowling Championships are hosted in four communities, every year. Those communities are Bigfork, Billings (two alleys), Butte, and Havre.