In-Person Training

Safe in-person training activities facilitated by a Class A Coach

Spring Training Begins March 15

What is In-Person Training?

Safe in-person training activities facilitated by a Class A Coach at select training sites. Please contact your Local Program or Coach to express an interest in our winter season sports offerings. Check back for more information.  Click here to learn more about the Spring Commit to Fit initiative.

What is Return to Activities?

Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA), like the rest of society, needed to determine the safest and most prudent way to reopen after the shutdown caused by Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). After thorough consultation and deliberation, a Return to Activities plan was developed which prioritizes the health and safety of everyone involved.

Guidance is based on current medical information available at the time of publication. As knowledge of COVID-19 is changing rapidly, guidance will evolve. Guidance takes a phased approach that is dependent on local transmission rates as well as testing, monitoring, contact tracing and health system capacity.

Any participant who is considered as high risk is not currently permitted to return to SOPA in-person activities.

Please find in-person sports guidelines below and visit our Sports Offered web page for additional resources including videos, webinar recordings and more!

Ratios, CLASS A & Athlete Requirements:

  • Ratios:

    • The 1:4 coach to athlete ratio must be maintained during the fall in-person season.

    • Coaches should ensure that the number of athletes they are working with is manageable
  • Coaching:

    • Coaches MUST BE CLASS A volunteers
    • Continue to work with your typical coaching team
      • Divide tasks and work together: Practice Planning, Managing scores and information, Connecting with athletes
  • Athlete Requirements:

    • Athletes must have current SOPA athlete application (medical) on file with the local program

How Does Scoring work?

Scoring:

  • Qualifying scores will be submitted by coaches to their Sport and Competition Director and then sent to the SOPA Competition Team for Divisioning
  • Final scores will be submitted by coaches to their Sport and Competition Director and then sent to the SOPA Competition Team for award placement
  • The Coaches Honor Code and Athlete Honor Code MUST be followed - final scores will not always be as good as or better than entry scores
  • Official Special Olympics medals will be awarded.

How Does Divisioning Work?

Divisioning:

  • In-Person Divisions to ensure scores are compared appropriately
  • Standard Divisioning process: ability, age, gender

Important Information:

  • In-person sport training can begin Monday, March 15th.
  • 2021 Sport Specific Guidance
  • In-person sport training, competition, meetings and social gatherings may be conducted by SOPA Local Programs in counties designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as having low or moderate levels of community transmission of COVID-19.
    • Participants will not be able to cross county lines for in-person activities if their county of residence is designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as having a moderate level of community transmission of COVID-19.
  • In-person activities ARE NOT permitted in counties designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as having substantial levels of community transmission of COVID-19.
    • No SOPA in-person activities are permitted to be conducted at a training or competition facility located in a county designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as having a substantial level of community transmission of COVID-19.
    • If a county is designated as having low or moderate levels of community transmission of COVID-19 and then reclassified as substantial, SOPA programs in that county must return to Phase A, at-home virtual training.
  • The COVID-19 Coordinator must submit the Site Registration and Advancement Form. This form must be completed and submitted by the COVID-19 Coordinator prior to the start of the in-person activity.

Because the virus situation is changing so rapidly, we anticipate our guidance will continue to evolve and that we will be providing additional resources, so please refer to the COVID-19 page regularly.