Section Q:
Fall Classic

The 17th annual Fall Classic will be held in Bryan-College Station on October 12-14, 2017.

Five sports are featured at this year’s Fall Classic. In addition, special events such as Opening Ceremonies, Athlete Village, Victory Dance, Closing Ceremonies and various clinics and demonstrations will round out the experience for athletes, coaches and families in attendance.

Athletes may participate in only one sport at Fall Classic, even if competitions are on separate weekends.

This year's sports include: aquatics, bocce, softball, and triathlon.

Golf will be held as a stand alone event in 2017 due to course availability. Golf will be held on October 19 - 21, 2017.

Separate stand-alone sports include: Flag Football, Sailing and Kayaking. Flag Football will be held on December 1 - 2, 2017.

Entry fees will be $30 for each competing athlete and Unified Sports® partner.

Scratches during registration or during games will result in a $15.00 administration fee per athlete and Unified Partner.

Check your area office for the entry deadline. No late entries accepted.

Resource Information

To request specific information on individual sports and competitions, consult the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules, which may be obtained through the area office. Additional information may be obtained from the sport director.

Aquatics (Swimming)

Bob Lang
4149 Lomita Lane
Dallas, TX 75220

dogmatic.lang@gmail.com

214.755.7981

Bocce

Cathy Schreiber
7622 Alcomita Drive
Houston, TX 77083

cathy.schreiber@aliefisd.net

cschre3616@cs.com

281.827.9494 Cell

Flag Football

Chris Gormley
Department of Recreational Sports
800 W. Campbell Road, AB10
Richardson, TX 75080

chris.gormley@utdallas.edu

972.883.7457

Golf

Dennis Wyatt
5501 Pebble Court
McKinney, TX 75070

dwyatt@mckinneyisd.net

Kayaking

Bruce Litton
17135 Ligustrum Trail
Tomball, TX 77377

b.litton@eartthlink.net

832.431.6824

Sailing

Steve Comen
3509 Leighton Ridge Drive
Plano, Texas 75025

steve.comen@gmail.com

214.417.3864

Softball

Al Macias
4300 Newcastle Court
Bryan, TX 77802

strike1@suddenlink.net

979.412.5771

Triathlon

TBD

2017 Chapter Games Sport Maximums

Aquatics - 500 Participants
The aquatics competition at Chapter Games will have a maximum quota of 500 entrants. Quota will be distributed to each area for dispersal before entry deadlines. Quota will be based an area's net participation in aquatics against the statewide total of area level net participants in aquatics.

Advancement to Chapter Fall Classic

For all team competitions in which there are individual skills, SOTX will require a minimum of 8 participants to offer the skills events at Chapter Games. This will be determined at the time entries are due to the Chapter office.

Aquatics (Swimming)

Events Offered

The following aquatics (swimming) events are sanctioned by Special Olympics Texas and may be offered at local, area and chapter competitions. The actual events scheduled and conducted at local, area and/or chapter competitions will be determined by a minimum number of entries in each event.

  • Diving Events:
    • 1m Springboard Dive
  • Individual Events:
    • Freestyle – 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400m
    • Backstroke – 25, 50, 100 and 200m
    • Breaststroke – 25, 50 and 100m
    • Butterfly – 25, 50 and 100m
    • Individual Medley – 100m
  • Relay Events and Unified Sports® Relays
    • Freestyle Relay – 4 x 25m, 4 x 50m
    • Medley Relay – 4 x 25m, 4 x 50m
  • Individual Skills
    • 15m Walk (if facility is able to accommodate this event)
    • 15m Unassisted Swim
    • 15m Flotation Race
    • 10m Assisted Swim
    • 25m Flotation Race

The Official Special Olympics Sports Rules shall govern all Special Olympics aquatics (swimming) competitions. As an international sports program, Special Olympics has created these rules based upon Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA) and USA Swimming, Inc. (USAS) rules for aquatics. FINA and USAS rules shall be employed except when they are in conflict with the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules. In such cases, the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules shall apply.

General Information

  • An emergency action plan shall be in place prior to any Special Olympics participant entering the water for any reason – training, competition or recreation.
  • In general, Special Olympics aquatics follows the rules as set forth by the National Governing Body. However, the modified individual skills events are offered as a developmental level or bridge to the “regular” swim events.
  • In order for diving to qualify as a chapter event a minimum of twelve athletes must register for the event.

Entries

  • An athlete may enter no more than three individual events, one relay event and a diving event. Athletes must compete in regular events or individual skills events. No crossover is allowed.
  • The Sports Management Team has approved the utilization of maximum qualifying times of 3:30.00 (3 minutes, 30 seconds) for all 100 meter events and 7:00.00 (seven minutes) for all 200 meter events.
  • Athletes who exceed these maximum times during competition will be disqualified and receive a participation ribbon.
  • As a reminder, flotation devices are not worn in the 15 meter unassisted swim.
  • To correctly convert a time from yards to meters, multiply the yards time by 1.0936 (not .91). Example: 25 yard time of 00:30:72 = 25 meter time of 00:33:60 (30.72 x 1.0936). To convert a time from meters to yards, multiply the meter time by .91. Example: 25 meter time of 00:36:91 = 25 yard time of 00:33:59 (36.91 x .91). If you have a time in yards that has minutes in it, you have to change the minutes to seconds to be able to use a calculator to multiply the time. If the time was 04:22:89 (4 minutes, 22 seconds, 89 hundredths) you multiply the 4 minutes by 60 to get 240 seconds. 240 seconds + 22.89 = 262.89 seconds. Now you can use a calculator to multiply 262.89 x 1.0936 = 287.50 seconds or 04:27:50 (4 minutes, 27 seconds, 50 hundredths).

Rules Highlights

  • In all Special Olympics competitions, each swimmer will be allowed one false start. Upon committing a second false start, that swimmer will be disqualified. In all cases where a false start occurs, the race will be recalled. Any swimmer with two false starts will not be permitted to swim.
  • Currently USA Swimming states that in breaststroke the feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick. A scissors, flutter or downward dolphin kick is not permitted. Breaking the surface of the water with the feet is allowed unless followed by a downward dolphin kick.
    SOTX Modification: If is not possible for some athletes to turn the feet outward, therefore, feet turning outwards during the propulsive part of the stroke is not a requirement. However, a scissors, flutter, or downward dolphin kick is not permitted.
  • The rabbit percentages are now 20 percent for all aquatics events at chapter competitions.
  • Athletes have the option of using starting blocks, deck, or they may start in the water for the beginning of each race.
  • Unified Sports® partners will be allowed to participate in up to two Unified Sports® relays in aquatics competition.
  • The utilization of a prosthetic swimming device in aquatics for athletes who already wear and use a prosthetic device in daily living is allowed.
  • Athletes are not allowed to wear a wetsuit during competition.

Developmental Events

  • Athletes are allowed the option of wearing a proper flotation device in walk events. It was determined that this did not create a competitive advantage and in some cases is a prudent safety measure. Athletes will be heated and divisioned according to ability, age, and gender (like all SOTX events) and shall not be heated separately within the walk event as “flotation” and “non-flotation” – they are all considered “walk” athletes in this event.
  • For flotation races, each athlete is responsible for his/her own flotation device. The device must be of the body wrap around type such that if the athlete was not able to hold on to the device, the device would still support the athlete with the face out of the water. (Flotation devices such as kickboards, inner tubes, or floats that wrap around the arms are not acceptable for use at any time.) SMT determined that ski vests, ski belts and other flotation devices are acceptable if they:
    1. meet the above criteria – wrap around the body and keep the face above water when not holding onto it (when conscious); and
    2. are originally designed by the manufacturer to be worn as a flotation device. (An example of an unacceptable “modification” would be: a water noodle modified to be worn around the waist. This would be an unacceptable flotation device because it was not originally designed by the manufacturer for this purpose.)
  • Due to safety risks, athletes must start in the water for the Individual Skills events, including 25m flotation.

Aquatics (Swimming) Minimum Safety Standards

  • The minimum number of lifeguards at recreational swimming must be one lifeguard for every 25 participants.
  • The volunteer to athlete ratio must be at least 1 to 10, but more volunteers are required for those with physical disabilities.
  • Medical information, which must be on hand, should be discussed with the lifeguard on duty in advance of any activity.
  • If no relief lifeguard is available, the pool must be emptied, even for short durations, when a lifeguard must leave the poolside.
  • A physical examination must be made of the pool area to identify potential hazards. The deck should be clear of obstructions.
  • A copy of the pool’s current rules must be submitted for review prior to entering the pool.
  • Pool depth must be marked and easily visible.
  • The pool depth must be a minimum of five feet for diving racing starts.
  • The Sports Management Team highly recommends coaches be aware of the depth of the pool for diving racing starts and take measures to avoid injuries.
  • Safety lines must be in place to divide shallow and deep water areas.
  • It is important to know the Ph level and the temperature of the water before entering the pool.
  • A first aid kit must be available containing all the appropriate supplies.
  • All electrical outlets and appliances must be properly maintained and protected.
  • There must be a telephone available on site with emergency numbers posted next to it.
  • Indoor and outdoor exits must be clearly marked.

Special Olympics Diving Rules – One meter springboard

  1. Special Olympics diving events will be conducted following the FINA rules of seniorcompetition with the following exceptions:
    1. Divers may choose any of the dives on the FINA degree of difficulty table with the addition of: dive number 100 (forward jump) in the A (straight), B (pike) or C (tuck) position and dive number 200 (back jump in the A, B or C position). Dive numbers 100 and 200 will have a degree of difficulty of 1.0 regardless of position.
    2. Dives may be performed standing or with an approach.
    3. Each diver will compete at one of four skill levels (Level 1, 2, 3 or 4) according to his/her ability.
  2. The following are the recommended elements of each Special Olympics level:
    1. Level 1
      • The diver must be capable of performing two dives.
      • One dive must be a forward dive (number 101) in any position; the second dive shall be any other dive with a different FINA designated number.
      • A change in position shall not constitute a different dive.
    2. Level 2
      • The diver must be capable of performing three dives.
      • One dive must be a forward dive (number 101) in any position; the other two dives shall be selected from any two of the five FINA dive groups (they must be from different groups, but one of them may come from the front group).
      • Each dive shall have a different FINA designated dive number.
      • A change in position does not constitute a different dive.
    3. Level 3
      • The diver must be capable of performing four dives.
      • One dive must be a forward dive (number 101) in any position; the other three dives shall be selected from any three of the five FINA dive groups (they must be from different groups, but one of them may come from the front group).
      • Each dive shall have a different FINA designated dive number.
      • A change in position does not constitute a different dive.
    4. Level 4
      • The diver must be capable of performing five dives.
      • One must be a forward dive (number 101) in any position; the other four dives shall be selected from any four of the five FINA dive groups (they must be from different groups but one of them may come from the front group).
      • Each dive shall have a different FINA designated number.
      • A change in position shall not constitute a different dive.
      • Dive numbers 100 and 200 may not be used at this level.

Bocce

Events Offered

  • Singles
  • Doubles and Unified Sports® Doubles
  • Team and Unified Sports® Teams
  • Half-Court Ramp Singles
  • Half-Court Singles
  • Half-Court Traditional Doubles
  • Half-Court Unified Doubles

At Fall Classic, bocce athletes may now enter two events, provided one event is Singles (Saturday competition) and the other event is a team event (Doubles, Unified Sports® Doubles, Team or Unified Sports® Team - Friday competition). At the area competition level, each area will have the flexibility to determine whether athletes can compete in more than one bocce event.

Note: Sideboards and backboards will be used on all courts at Fall Classic. These sideboards and backboards will be taller than a bocce ball.

Equipment and General Information

  • Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller target ball or object ball called the pallina. There are four balls to a side or team, and they are generally made in two colors to distinguish the balls of one team from those of another team. The large balls are also inscribed with distinctive lines to identify the balls of the players on the same team.
  • Bocce balls may be composed of wood or metal and of equal size. Official league and tournament balls may be from 107 millimeters (4.25 inches) to 113 millimeters (4.5 inches). Note: The new SOI rules state a maximum of 110 millimeters; SOTX will continue to allow up to 113 millimeters. The color of the balls is immaterial provided that the four balls on one team are clearly and visibly distinct from the four balls of the opposing team.
  • Pallina must not be larger than 63 millimeters (2.5 inches) or smaller than 48 millimeters (1.875 inches) and should be of a color visibly distinct from both bocce ball colors.
  • Measuring device may be any device that has the capacity of accurately measuring the distance between two objects, and acceptable to tournament officials.

Rules Highlights

(See extensive listing of rules in Official Special Olympics Sports Rules, bocce section, for more information.)

  • Ball Delivery
    All ball delivery attempts must be of an underhand style from behind the 10 foot throwing line.
  • Sequence of Play
    The pallina is rolled or tossed by a member of the team having won the coin toss to start the game. The player tossing the pallina must deliver the first ball. The opposing team will then deliver their bocce balls until the point is taken or they have exhausted their four balls. This "nearest ball" rule governs the sequence of played balls. The side whose ball is closest to the pallina is called the “in” ball and the opposing side the "out" ball. Whenever a team gets “in,” it steps aside and allows the “out” team to deliver.
  • Winning Score
    Singles - first player to 12 points
    Doubles - first pair to 12 points
    Team - first team to 16 points
    Half-Court Ramp Singles - first player to 8 points
    Half-Court Singles - first player to 8 points
  • Scoring
    At the end of each frame all those balls of one team closer to the pallina than the closest ball of the opposing team, which can be determined by an official viewing or using a measuring device. In the event of ties (two balls - one from each team equally closest to the frame), no points are awarded for that frame.
  • Rotation of Players
    The players of any given team may elect to play their ball in any rotation provided the player who tosses the pallina delivers the first bocce ball. The rotation may vary from frame to frame; however, no player may deliver more than his/her allotted number of balls per frame.
  • Please note: The end line is the start line for half-court bocce.
  • Singles (Ramp)
    Ramp bocce players shall compete only against other ramp participants in a separate division. Ramp players typically will not switch sides for each frame. Officials will have the final approval of all ramp devices used for bocce competition.
  • Half-court singles will play by the same modified rules as ramp but will require athletes to throw the pallina instead of using a ramp.
  • Half-court athletes may now enter two events at chapter. Half-court doubles and Half-court singles.
  • Half-court unified doubles falls under the Unified Sports Player Development Model. Level of Competition: Local only.
  • Unified Sports®
    Each Unified Sports® bocce doubles team shall consist of one athlete and one partner. Each Unified Sports® bocce team shall consist of two athletes and two partners.
  • Up to two alternates are now allowed to participate on a bocce team. These athletes have the opportunity to register for singles as well.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Assessment forms/scores are NOT REQUIRED for Fall Classic. We will classify every athlete on Thursday afternoon.
  • SOTX has recommended a standard for athletes who are blind, competing in bocce. The Sports Management Team approves the use of clapping by a volunteer as the recommended audible cue for athletes.
  • An absentee bocce player is not an option since athletes can register for two events at chapter.

Instructions for Bocce Skills Assessments

  1. Place the pallina in the middle of the court at the centerline.
  2. Have the athlete throw only four bocce balls (set one) from the 10 foot line.
  3. Measure the three closest to the pallina. Record in centimeters (cm) on the skills assessment score sheet on the centerline (CL) row. 
    Measure from the center side of the bocce ball to the center side of the pallina. This would be from the 2 closest sides.

    Note: 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters. (If it is easier – record measurements on a copy of score sheet in inches and convert to centimeters later).
  4. Add scores across and record total. This added score = one set.
  5. Repeat steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 – one more time placing the pallina at the centerline plus 10 feet (set two) and recording on the CL+10 ft. row.
  6. Repeat steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 – one more time placing the pallina at the centerline plus 20 feet (set three) and recording on the CL+20 ft. row.
  7. Total all three sets. The total will be this athlete’s entry for placement in the proper division (lower scores will be in higher divisions).

Note: Online metric conversion source: http://www.inches-to-cm.com/  At this site you put in the imperial measurement (inches) and it converts to metric (centimeters) for you.

Instructions for Half-Court Bocce Skills Assessments

  1. Place the pallina in the middle of the court 10 feet from the end line.
  2. Have the athlete throw only four bocce balls from the end line.
  3. Measure the three closest to the pallina. Record in centimeters (cm) on the skills assessment score sheet on the centerline (CL) row. 
    Measure from the center side of the bocce ball to the center side of the pallina. This would be from the 2 closest sides. 

    Note: 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters. (If it is easier – record measurements on a copy of score sheet in inches and convert to centimeters later).
  4. Add scores across and record total. This added score = one set.
  5. Repeat steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 – one more time placing the pallina 20 feet from the end line (set two) and recording on the End + 20 ft. row.
  6. Total both sets. The total will be this athlete’s entry for placement in the proper division (lower scores will be in higher divisions). 

Note: Online metric conversion source: http://www.inches-to-cm.com/  At this site you put in the imperial measurement (inches) and it converts to metric (centimeters) for you.

Flag Football

Events Offered

The following events are sanctioned by Special Olympics Texas and are to be offered at all local, area and chapter competitions. The actual events scheduled and conducted at local, area and chapter competitions will be determined by a minimum number of entries in each event. An athlete may enter team competition, Unified Sports team or Individual Skills.

  • Team Competition - 5-on-5 traditional team
  • Unified Sports - 5-on-5
  • Individual Skills - Run and Catch, Throwing for Accuracy, Throwing for Distance, Agility and Speed: Hand Off, Flag Pulling

General Information

The Official Special Olympics Sports Rules shall govern all Special Olympics flag football competitions (SONA version: May 17, 2015). As an international program, Special Olympics has created these rules based upon the National Intramural – Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) rules for flag football. The National Intramural – Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) rules shall be employed except when they are in conflict with the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules. In such cases, the official Special Olympics Sports Rules shall apply.

Individual Competition

Individual skills contest is a developmental opportunity.

Team Competition

  • Special Olympics Flag Football is non-contact.
  • A Special Olympics Texas Flag Football Team Evaluation Questionnaire is required to be submitted with all area, regional and chapter competitions.
  • Roster maximum is 12 and minimum is 5.
  • Playing uniform consists of matching shirts with numbers on front and back. The shirt must remain tucked in at the waist throughout the game.
  • All players must wear athletic shorts without pockets.
  • Players must wear rubber-cleated or flat-soled athletic shoes. Metal cleats, spikes, hiking boots or other equipment deemed dangerous by officials will not be allowed.
  • All players must wear a mouthpiece.
  • An intermediate (youth) size football will be used in all divisions.
  • A one-piece, Triple Threat flag belt will be worn during the game at all times; this will be the only belt allowed for SOTX competitions.
  • Playing field is 60 yards long (including end zones) and 25 yards wide.
  • The game will consist of two halves, each twenty minutes. Halftime will be five minutes.
  • Scoring: Touchdown is six points. Extra point from the 5-yard line is one point, from the 10-yard line is two points. Safety is two points.
  • If a game is tied at the end of regulation play then an overtime period will be played. In overtime, each team receives two plays from midfield and the team gaining the most points or gaining a yardage advantage is awarded one extra point and wins the game.
  • Due to safety risks, assisted devices such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs and service dogs are prohibited from use in team sports. Athletes who require assisted devices may compete in Individual Skills contests if they meet the performance requirements.

Unified Sports® Flag Football

  • Teams follow the NIRSA and Special Olympics rules.
  • Partners must be identified on lineups and lineups must be exchanged between coaches.
  • Teams must have three Special Olympics athletes and two partners on the field at any time. Teams may play with fewer partners - one.
  • Failure to adhere to the required ratio results in a forfeit.
  • Partners as quarterbacks may NOT pass to another partner.
  • Partners MAY handoff to another partner.
  • Partners shall NOT dominate play.
  • Unified Sports® teams are expected to comply with these rules without intervention by officials. Failure to "self-patrol" will be considered unsportsmanlike, and will be penalized accordingly.
  • A non-playing, dual-certified bench coach must be designated at the beginning of the game. The coach may not be listed as a player for that game or enter the game as a player.
  • Dominant play will be a judgment call determined by the officials on the field. Penalty will be a verbal warning and subsequent calls may result in disciplinary measures; see Disciplinary Measures on page E-4.

Dominant play is defined as: an action or play by a player that does not allow another teammate to play their position. All players shall be allowed meaningful involvement and play.

Additional information on Unified Sports® can be found in the Unified Sports (Section K) section.

The National Football league has partnered with SOTX to support the growth of Unified Flag Football teams. Teams can apply to grants through the NFL to help with uniform and equipment cost.

Golf

Attire

By the nature of the sport, proper attire during all golf competition is expected: no denim or blue jeans, no cut off shorts, no high top tennis shoes, no sleeveless shirts (men). Proper attire is a collared shirt, shorts or slacks, and soft spike golf shoes. Tennis shoes are acceptable. Wind suits and other outer gear for weather conditions are recommended.

Events Offered

The following events are sanctioned by Special Olympics Texas and are offered at local, area, regional and chapter competitions. The actual events scheduled and conducted will be determined by a minimum number of entries in each event, evenness of competition and ultimately the competition committee.

Level 1 (Individual Skills Competition)

  • Short Putt
  • Long Putt
  • Chip Shot
  • Pitch Shot
  • Iron Shot
  • Wood Shot

The purpose of the Individual Skills competition is to allow athletes to train and compete in basic golf skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing on to Level 2 play.

Individual Skills Reminders

  • Entry scores for Individual Skills competition shall consist of the total average of the six skills.
  • Short putt, long putt and chip shot - any ball coming to rest in the path of the next attempt will be removed by volunteers.
  • Chip shot and pitch shot - teeing the ball will NOT be allowed.
  • Iron shot and wood shot - the athlete or coach may request that the volunteer tee the ball.
  • Iron shot and wood shot - a "rescue" club can only be used once. The same club cannot be used for the iron shot and the wood shot.
  • It is recommended that athletes have their own clubs. The competition format for each round may require a delegation/team be at several skills stations at the same time. Proper supervision of athletes need to be considered for this possibility as well.
  • A coach or chaperone may “direct” an athlete who has a visual impairment in the direction of the shot on the first of the five attempts.
  • No coaching of athletes is allowed, verbal or physical, after the first attempt at each skill.

Level 2

  • 9-hole, Alternate Shot Team Play (NOT considered Unified.) Partners and athletes must remain the same throughout an entire competition.

Level 3

  • 18-hole, Unified Sports®, Alternate Shot Team Play. Partners and athletes must remain the same throughout an entire competition.

Level 4

  • 9-hole, Individual Stroke Play (Must have a current Class A volunteer caddie.)

Level 5

  • 18-hole, Individual Stroke Play (Must have a current Class A volunteer caddie.)

Reminders:

  • Official Special Olympics Sports Rules shall apply and are based on the rules of golf as written by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA).
  • Substitute Unified Level 3 partners are allowed ONLY if the new Unified partner competed at an area competition (even if it was with a different athlete) and three rounds of scorecards played as the new team can be submitted prior to Fall Classic.
  • Entries shall consist of six scorecards, with all six cards totaled, averaged and played in the format in which the individual or team is competing. Score cards can be scanned copies as long as they are legible.
  • The “Ten Stroke Rule” will be enforced. If a ball is not holed on the tenth stroke, play is discontinued for that hole, the ball is picked up, and a 10x is scored.
  • Partners and athletes must remain the same throughout all Level 2 and Level 3 competition.
  • Rule 6-7. Undue Delay; Slow Play: it is expected that a 9-hole round be no more than two and a half hours, thus an 18-hole round be no more than five hours. The Competition Committee shall enforce this rule by assessing penalties and disqualifications, if necessary. A course marshal shall use any means necessary to determine fault and only penalize the offending individual, team or group. Penalties could include added strokes and disqualification.
  • The Competition Committee reserves the right to move teams or individuals, if necessary. For example:
    • A team competing in Level 3 that is obviously not ready for that level of golf (indicated by score or pace of play), could be moved to Level 2 competition.
    • An individual in Level 5 who is obviously not ready for that level of golf, could be moved to Level 4 competition.
    • An individual in Level 4 who is obviously not ready for that level of golf, could be moved to Level 3 competition.
  • The "Seven Stroke Rule." At all area and chapter competitions, a Level 2 or 3 team can only score seven strokes better from day 1 to day 2 of competition. For example, day 1 scores are used as the qualifying score and the first of the two scores for a total of the two rounds that are played. If team A scores an 81 on day 1, the best they could score on day 2 would be a 74. If they shot a 71, a 74 would be recorded.
  • Coaches and caddies should review the USGA rule book for limitations and responsibilities for caddies.
  • A GPS (with no slope rating) is allowed.
  • As of January 2015, athletes and Unified Partners that enter averages over the maximums listed below will not be able to enter and play in that level of competition. Athletes and Unified Partners that shoot over these averages during competition will be disqualified and will receive a Participation ribbon.
  • >Level 2 – average of 75 or lower
    Level 3 – average of 120 or lower (18 holes)
    Level 4 – average of 70 or lower
    Level 5 – average of 120 or lower
  • Teams are required to provide caddies for their Level 4 and Level 5 athletes who are competing at area, regional and chapter competitions. The caddies will need to be registered as Class A Volunteers with Special Olympics Texas and included on the Athlete Entry Form with the role code Caddie.
  • Golf maximum averages for Chapter Games will be enforced. Competition management, to determine placement in golf levels at Chapter, can use area results.
  • If a substitution is required in Level 2 and Level 3, the alternate participant must have been listed on the original entries for that competition as an alternate.

Unified Sports® Golf

All partners must have a Unified Sports® Partner Form on file with the chapter office. This requirement even applies to those partners who are playing Level 2 Alternate Shot Team Play (formerly known as Partners Team Competition).

This level of play is designed to give the Special Olympics golfer an opportunity for transition from skill to individual play, and progress under the guidance of a partner whose ability and knowledge of golf is more advanced than that of the Special Olympics athlete. As a result, this level does not function in the traditional Unified Sports® model where teammates are expected to be of similar ability. The partner serves as a coach and mentor, so that the Special Olympics golfer becomes self sufficient on the golf course.

Additional information on Unified Sports® can be found in the Unified Sports section.

Kayaking

The Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for kayaking shall govern all Special Olympics Texas competitions. As an international sports program, Special Olympics has created these rules based upon the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Flatwater Rules for kayaking found at www.canoeicf.com. ICF or National Governing Body Rules shall be used except when they are in conflict with the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for kayaking or Article I. In such cases, the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for kayaking shall apply.

Entry fees will be $30 for each competing athlete and Unified Sports® partner. A $15.00 per scratch (at registration or onsite during games) will result in this administration fee per athlete and Unified Partner.

Events Offered

The following events are sanctioned by Special Olympics. The range of events is intended to offer competition opportunities for athletes of all abilities. Programs may determine the events offered and, if required, guidelines for management of those events. Coaches are responsible for providing training and event selection appropriate to each athlete's skills and interest.

  • Singles Tourist Kayak - 200m and 500m
  • Doubles Tourist Kayak - 200m and 500m
  • Unified Sports® Doubles Tourist Kayak - 200m and 500m

Equipment

  • Standardized touring kayaks and paddles are to be provided by delegations or by each athlete for training and competition. All kayaks and/or paddles must meet ICF specifications.
  • Helmets may be deemed necessary by the event director if the course is in moving water, or if there are obstructions in the water where a capsizing athlete might strike his/her head.
  • Personal flotation devices (PFD) are required and must meet local standards set by National Governing Bodies (NGB) for water safety.
  • Aqua shoes are optional for athletes in practice and competition.
  • Rules

    • At the start line, athletes should be able to control the kayak, point to the proper direction of the finish line and keep the kayak stationary until the start of the race. Adaptations will be utilized for difficult weather conditions.
    • The start of all races will begin with the starting signal by a shot or a short, powerful sound. The starter will announce the time remaining before the start to the competitors by saying, "Start within 10 seconds." Also, a drop with a white flag (60cm x 40cm) from the shoreline will indicate the start of the race, along with the starting signal. If a competitor starts to paddle away before the start signal has been given, he/she will be charged with a false start. Automated starting systems may also be used.
    • Athletes must remain inside their assigned lanes or they will be disqualified.
    • If an athlete crosses the lane barrier and impedes the other athlete, this move will provide justification for disqualification through the protest procedure. The athlete who was impeded will have the option of starting the race at a later time for a proper score.
    • Coaches are allowed to assist athletes in and out of the kayak. Once the athlete is in the kayak and called to the start, the coach must report to the shoreline. No coaching is permitted from the shoreline; however, encouragement is always allowed.
    • Coaches will not be allowed to have a kayak in the water while competition is underway.

    Sailing

    The Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for Sailing shall govern all Special Olympics competitions. As an international sports program, Special Olympics has created these rules based upon the Racing Rules of Sailing of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) found at http://www.sailing.org/. ISAF or National Governing Body (NGB) rules shall be employed except when they are in conflict with the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for Sailing or Article I. In such cases, the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for Sailing shall apply.

    Refer to Article 1, http://resources.specialolympics.org/article1.aspx for more information pertaining to Codes of Conduct, Training Standards, Medical and Safety Requirements, Divisioning, Awards, Criteria for Advancement to Higher Levels of Competition, and Unified Sports.

    Entry fees will be $30 for each competing athlete and Unified Sports® partner.

    A $15.00 per scratch (at registration or onsite during games) will result in this administration fee per athlete and Unified Partner.

    Official Events

    • A regatta shall consist of at least three races.
    • The Competition Committee shall provide potential competitors with a notice of race and racing instructions.
    • Racing for all levels of competition shall be available at regattas.
      • Level I — Unified Sports team: the Special Olympics athlete member(s) of the crew will have responsibility for head sail trim.
      • Level II — Unified Sports team: a Special Olympics athlete shall control the helm for 100 percent of the race commencing at the warning signal throughout the complete race until clearing the finish line.
      • Level III — All Special Olympics athlete team with an on-board coach. The athletes have complete control of the boat. The coach can offer verbal assistance. If, for any reason, the coach becomes physically involved with the sailing of the boat, the team must retire from the race and will be scored a “did not finish” (DNF).
      • Level IV — The entire team consists of Special Olympics athletes (no coach will be on board).
      • Level V — Special Olympics athletes shall compete single-handed.

    Composition of Teams (Level 1 and 2)

    • Crews shall be comprised of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities.
      • If the boat is typically raced by a crew of two, one member will be an individual with intellectual disabilities.
      • If the boat is typically raced by a crew of three or more, the majority of the crew shall be individuals with intellectual disabilities.
    • All crew members shall be able to swim, while wearing a PFD, a minimum of 10 meters.
    • All seizure-prone crew members shall be seizure free, with the aid of medication, for a minimum of one year.

    Divisioning

    • Each division should have no fewer than three boats and no more than eight.
    • If it is a one-day regatta, the scores of the first race are used for divisioning.
    • If more than three races are completed in a multi-day regatta, divisioning will be calculated on the first three races. If fewer than three races are completed in a multi-day regatta, the first race will be used to determine divisioning.
    • The race committee (competition committee) may elect to carry over the other medal round the score(s) from the divisioning races.

    Rules of Competition

    • Every racer shall wear a PFD at all times.
    • All regattas shall be conducted in accordance with racing rules of sailing.
    • The Competition Committee will publish a Notice of Race.
    • Scoring shall be in accordance with Racing Rule of Sailing Appendix A, Low Point System, except Rule A2 the exclusion of the boat’s worst score. Scores from the race or races used to determine divisioning will be included in the series score, based on the boat’s finishing position within their division.
    • If, for any reason, the coach becomes physically involved with the sailing of the Boat or the crew does not follow the rule for the Level of the competition, the team shall retire from the race and will be scored points for “did not finish” (DNF).

    Sailing Area and Facilities

    • Facilities used to host regattas need to provide safe access to the boats for all athletes, coaches and volunteers.
    • Scoring shall be based upon numerical order of finish: one point for first, two points for second, and so on.
    • All race courses shall be laid out as modified Olympic triangles.
    • The distance from the windward turning mark to the leeward turning mark shall be no greater than 2000 meters.
    • Race courses will be selected from the standardized course configurations for SOTX. These are:
      #1 - S A C F
      #2 - S A B C F
      #3 - S A B C A C F
      #4 - S A C A C F
      #5 - S A (Maximum distance of 1,000 meters and a Finish Line at A.)
    • S = Start; F = Finish; A = Windward Mark; B = Jibe Mark; C = Leeward Mark
    • All marks shall be left to port.
    • The distance from the windward turning mark to the leeward turning mark will be no greater than 200 meters.
    • Technical delegate may suspend racing due to weather conditions.

    Safety

    • Level 1 teams may elect to use Safety Officers (SO); and if they do, those teams are to be divisioned separately.
    • The role and responsibility of the SO is:
      • To ensure the well-being of the crew after collision or capsize.
      • At all other times, they serve as movable ballast and only under the direction of the crew.
      • Any other assistance provided by the SO will result in the team being disqualified for that race.
      • Competitors with seizure disorders, serious asthma, heart, or other ailments that could impact on their typical sailing performance shall provide information about these conditions to their coach and the Organizing Authority for the event. As a guide all single handed competitors should be seizure free, with or without the aid of medication, for a minimum of one year. Competitors who suffer minor asthma and other minor ailments may compete provided they have notified the Organizing Authority in writing. Competitors who suffer minor seizures should be cleared by a physician prior to participation. Where an Athlete’s coach is concerned about the Athlete’s ability, the coach should recommend the Athlete be accompanied by (a) another Athlete, (b) Unified Partner or (c) Coach as care giver.
      • All crew members shall be able to swim a minimum of 10 meters while wearing a Personal Floatation Device (PFD). The coach shall attach a statement to the registration form attesting to the athletes’ competence in this skill.
      • The Race Committee will consider safety first in making all decisions in conducting the regatta and running races
      • A safety and rescue officer shall co-ordinate all safety, rescue and emergency response operations. Race officials and safety boat personnel should be trained in operating powerboats and in man overboard drills.
      • Every competition venue will supply motorized support boats, with safety officers aboard, to provide assistance when needed. The ratio shall be at least 1 dedicated safety and rescue boat for every 8 racing boats. Rescue boat shall accompany all racing boats from the time they depart harbor until their return after racing.
      • Every support boat will be equipped with a first aid kit and appropriate rescue equipment. Sailboats should consider similar recommendations in accordance with the class rules.
      • Every competitor shall wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) certified by a national authority at all times while afloat and on the dock and staging areas except briefly while changing or adjusting clothing or personal equipment for safety or for comfort.
      • Coaches may go to the assistance of their competitors if they consider that the safety of the sailor is at risk. Once assistance is provided, the competitor should retire immediately from the race and notify the race committee.

    Softball

    Events Offered

    The following events are sanctioned by Special Olympics Texas and are to be offered at all local, area and chapter competitions. The actual events scheduled and conducted at local, area and chapter competitions will be determined by a minimum number of entries in each event.

    • Individual Skills 1: Base Race and/or Bat for Distance
    • Individual Skills 2: Base Running, Fielding, Hitting, Throwing
    • T-Ball Competition
    • Coach Pitch Team Competition
    • Co-Ed Slow Pitch Team Competition
    • Slow Pitch Team Competition
    • Unified Sports® Slow Pitch Team Competition

    General Information for All Events Offered

    The Official Special Olympics Sports Rules shall govern all Special Olympics softball competitions. Special Olympics worked with the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) to create these rules.

      • Due to safety risks, assisted devices such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and service dogs are prohibited from use in team sports. Athletes who require assisted devices may compete in Individual Skills contests if they meet the performance requirements.
    • Area & Chapter Entries:
      • A Special Olympics Texas Softball Team Evaluation Questionnaire (page M-16) must be submitted with entries for all area, regional and chapter competitions for all events with the exception of Individual Skills 1 & 2.
      • The roster maximum is 20; the minimum is 10.
    • Equipment:
      • 12 inch Easton Incrediball will be used for T-Ball Competition and Coach Pitch Team Competition.
      • Softballs used at area, regional and chapter competitions should be COR .52 (300 compression) for Co-Ed Slow Pitch Team Competition, Slow Pitch Team Competition and Unified Sports Slow Pitch Team Competition.
      • Helmets are mandatory on offense. Any defensive player may wear an approved helmet of similar color of the team uniform.
      • Catchers must wear a mask with throat protector and approved helmet. It is recommended that catchers also wear a body protector.
      • Metal cleats may not be worn at any time.
    • Field of Play:
      • The Official Diamond shall have pitching distance at 50ft and 40ft in Co-Ed Slow Pitch Team Competition, Slow Pitch Team Competition and Unified Sports Slow Pitch Team Competition.
      • Bases should be at 65’ but may be modified to 60’.
      • A safety home plate will be used at all area and chapter competitions. The safety home plate should be located 8’ back from the regulation home plate. The Commit Line should be located 20’ up the third base line measured from the back point of the regulation home plate. Information on the safety home plate can be found in the Official Special Olympics Softball Sports Rules.
    • Competition Information:
      • Suggested game time for local and area competitions is a maximum of one hour and 15 minutes in length. (At Fall Classic game time is 55 minutes.)
      • Batters will start with a 1-1 count in Co-Ed Slow Pitch Team Competition, Slow Pitch Team Competition and Unified Sports Slow Pitch Team Competition.
      • There is no courtesy foul allowed in T-Ball Competition or Coach Pitch Team Competition. At Fall Classic a courtesy foul is allowed in Co-Ed Slow Pitch Team Competition, Slow Pitch Team Competition and Unified Sports Slow Pitch Team Competition. After a batter has 2 strikes, if the batter hits a foul ball, the batter is not out. However, if the batter hits a second foul ball after 2-strikes, the batter is out.
      • Base runners cannot lead-off from a base or steal.
      • Batters may not bunt.
      • 6-9 Run Rule per Half Inning: In lower divisions of Slow Pitch Team Competition, Co Ed Team Competition and Unified Sports® Slow Pitch Team Competition, the classification team can determine that a run limit of six to nine runs per half inning be put into effect in order to speed up play and allow each team an opportunity to play more innings.
      • In the event of a tie, teams will play extra innings. The offensive team shall begin its turn at bat with the last batter from the previous inning being placed on second base. The batter starts with a 1-1 count in Co-Ed Slow Pitch Team Competition, Slow Pitch Team Competition and Unified Sports Slow Pitch Team Competition.
      • Mercy Rule: All games will be called if a team is winning by 15 runs after 3 innings or winning by 10 runs after 5 innings.

    Individual Skills

    • Entry scores for Individual Skills competition are required on athlete entries.

    T-Ball Competition

    • A “neutral zone” will be marked in an arc of 14 meters (45 feet, 11 ¼ inches) from home plate.
    • The batter must hit the ball within the foul lines and beyond the 14 meter neutral zone to be ruled a fair ball. If a batted ball does not leave the neutral zone, and the defensive player does not touch it, the ball will be called a foul ball.
    • A regulation game consists of six innings. A time limit of one hour shall be in place for all games.
    • The batting team’s half of the inning shall end when three outs have been made or the batting order is complete.

    Coach Pitch Team Competition

    The goal of this program is to develop the offensive and defensive skills required to progress from T-ball Competition to Slow Pitch Team Competition. The rules are presented in three parts: general, defensive and offensive. Unless covered in these modifications or the modified rules of Special Olympics, the rules of the National Governing Body shall be followed.

    Coach pitch softball cannot be played as a part of the Unified Sports® program.

    • General Rules
      • A batter will have five pitches to hit the ball in fair territory. Five pitches will constitute a strike out. There will be no walks. Foul balls will count as a pitch. If the fifth pitch is a foul ball, the batter will be out.
      • The umpire will ensure that the coach pitcher does not take an undue amount of time between pitches nor that he/she “coach” while pitching. The coach pitcher may encourage his/her batter to swing and to hit the ball. Once the batter hits the ball, coach pitcher must not move or give instructions to the batter until the play is over. To do so will bring one warning and the next infraction will cause the batter to be called out.
    • Defensive
      • The defense shall consist of 10 players stationed at regular softball positions with the exception being the pitcher. The pitcher will stand on either side of or behind the coach pitcher, but not in front of him/her.
      • The pitcher may not move once he/she has positioned him/herself until after the ball has been hit, the batter has swung or the catcher touches the ball (if there is no swing).
      • The coach pitcher shall not interfere with a ball that has been placed in play by a batter or by a defensive player trying to make an out. If a hit ball is touched in any way by the coach pitcher, the hitter is out and no runners may advance. If a ball thrown by a defensive player hits the coach pitcher, it will be up to the umpire to determine if interference is warranted.
      • The coach pitcher will position him/herself no closer than 36 feet from home plate. The coach pitcher must stand and throw the ball in an underhand motion consistent with the rules of the National Governing Body. In a standing position, the coach pitcher may not move in the way of the pitcher going for the ball. This will be called interference.
    • Offensive
      • A pitched ball that hits a batter is counted as a pitch. The batter will not be given first base.
      • The coach pitcher may encourage a batter to hit but may not leave the mound to encourage the batter.
      • The first and third base coaches will provide all instructions to the batters and the runners. Instructions such as positioning the batters, discussion with the batter or the changing of bats will require a time-out.
      • Play is stopped when either all runners have stopped, or a defensive player has the ball at a base in front of all runners. A runner shall not try to advance a base if the ball is at a base past the one he is approaching.
      • A team may decide to use a team member to act as the coach pitcher. In this case the same rules apply to him/her.

    Co-Ed Slow Pitch Team Competition

    • Team lineups must consist of 50 percent male and 50 percent female athletes.
    • Defensive Positioning.
      • 2 male, 2 female outfielders.
      • 2 male, 2 female infielders.
      • 1 male, 1 female in the battery (pitcher and catcher).
      • Alternate male and female in batting order.
    • Male athletes that walk will be awarded two bases. The runners on base may only advance if forced to do so.
    • After two outs if a male athlete walks, then the next female athlete in the batting order shall have a choice to walk or hit.

    Slow Pitch Team Competition

    See SOI Summer Sports Rules and General Information above under "Softball."

    Unified Sports® Softball

    • Partners, people without intellectual disabilities, must be identified on lineups and lineups must be exchanged between coaches.
    • Teams should have five Special Olympics athletes and five partners on the field at all times. The SOI rules state that if a team plays shorthanded with either three in the infield or outfield, at least two of the three must be athletes and at least one of the three must be a partner. Team must play shorthanded if they cannot field 5 Unified Partners and must always field 5 athletes. An inability to follow these rules, due to injury or removal of a player including ejection by the umpire, will result in forfeiture.
    • Athletes and partners must be in the following fielding positions:
      • Outfield: Two Special Olympics athletes and two partners.
      • Infield: Two Special Olympics athletes and two partners.
      • Pitcher/catcher must be athlete/partner or partner/athlete.
    • If at any time, field positions are not correct, the game will be stopped and players placed in the proper positions.
    • Athletes and partners must alternate in the batting order.
    • If a team uses an extra player they must use two (one athlete and one partner).
    • Score keeper must keep up with substitutes. The athletes may only substitute for athletes and partners only for partners.
    • A non-playing, dual-certified bench coach must be designated at the beginning of the game. This coach may not be listed as a player for that game or enter that game as a player.
    • Dominant play will be a judgment call and will be made by the umpires on the field. Penalty will be a verbal warning and subsequent calls will result in disciplinary measures; see Disciplinary Measures on page E-4.
    • Any walk to a partner, intentional or otherwise, will result in a two base award. The next batter, an athlete, will bat. The exception is with two outs, the athlete batter has the option to walk or bat.
    • Home Run Rule: A limit of over-the-fence home runs will be used in all Unified divisions. The following limitations are per team per game: Two (2). Both athlete and partner home runs count toward the Unified limit.

    Dominant play is defined as: an action or play by a player that does not allow another teammate to play their position. All players shall be allowed meaningful involvement and play.

    Additional information on Unified Sports® can be found in the Unified Sports (Section K) section.

    Triathlon

    Fall Classic will offer the following three Triathlon events:

    • Level 2 Individual Triathlon - one individual competes in all three events.
    • Level 2 Traditional Triathlon Relay - three athletes each competing in one leg of the three events.
    • Level 2 Unified Sports® Triathlon Three-Person Relay - two athletes and one Unified Sports® partner each compete in one of the three legs of the three events.

    Events Offered

    Individual

    Level Swim Bike Run
    Level 1 50m 2 miles 800m future
    Level 2 100m 4 miles 1 mile current chapter event
    Level 3 250m 8 miles 2 miles future

    Three-Person Relay

    Level Swim Bike Run
    Level 1 50m 2 miles 800m future
    Level 2 100m 4 miles 1 mile current chapter event
    Level 3 250m 8 miles 2 miles future
    Level 4 500m 12 miles 3 miles future
    Level 5 750m 15 miles 3.1 miles future

    General Information

    • Swim portion of triathlon shall be conducted in closed course pools (indoor or outdoor pools) with all proper aquatics safety considerations in place.
    • Bike portion of triathlon shall be conducted on a closed course.
    • Run can be held on track, closed road or cross-country style course.
    • All participants and coaches should receive detailed course information prior to the event.
    • All transition stations (from swim to bike and from bike to run) for individual and relay events will be set up similar to governing body sanctioned events.
    • Athletes training to compete in individual races should select the proper competition level with the consideration of the cumulative effects of triathlon participation.
    • Until further notice, only Level 2 will be offered at Fall Classic.
    • There are two coach certification options to be a triathlon coach: one coach approach and multiple coach approach. One coach approach: the coach must be triathlon certified, aquatics certified and either athletics or cycling certified; also, the coach must be Unified certified if coaching a Unified Sports three-person relay. Multiple coach approach: if more than one coach will be training the triathlon athletes, the triathlon certification, aquatics certification and either athletics or cycling certification must be held by one or more of the coaches; also, one must be dually certified in Unified Sports and one of the triathlon events if they are coaching a Unified Sports three-person relay.
    • In an effort to grow the number of athletes participating in triathlon, the Chapter Sports Management Team has agreed to the following:
      • The East Region has scheduled their Regional Triathlon Competition after the date of Fall Classic.
      • Athlete entries for the regional competition must be submitted to the area office at the same time as chapter entries.
      • Since athletes will not have the area competition as a pre-qualifier for chapter competition, they instead will need to compete at the area level in two out of the three sports throughout the year: aquatics, athletics or cycling.
      • Any athlete who competes at Fall Classic in triathlon, who does not attend the regional competition that follows will not be allowed to register the next year in triathlon at Fall Classic.

    The Sports Management Team has approved to allow triathletes to participate in one aquatics relay event at Fall Classic barring any scheduling conflicts.

    Unified Sports® Triathlon

    • Level 2 is the only level currently conducted - 100 meter swim, four mile bike and one mile run.
    • A three-person relay team MUST consist of three people - this applies to both Unified Sports® and traditional relays (no person can do two of the three legs).
    • A Unified Sports® three-person relay team consists of two athletes and one partner.
    • A Unified Sports® partner may compete in ANY of the three events in the Unified Sports® relay.
    • Relay times are based on cumulative score - the sum of the swim, bike and run times. Entries should include individual times for each person as well as the combined score.
    • A Unified Sports® coach may compete as a Unified Sports® partner in triathlon. A non-competing adult representative must be on-site to assist with any trouble-shooting that may occur while the coach is involved with competition.
    • Coach certification options to be a Unified Sports® triathlon coach:
      • – One Coach Approach: the coach must be certified in Unified Sports®, triathlon, aquatics and either athletics or cycling.
      • – Multiple Coach Approach: if more than one coach will be training the triathlon athletes, one or more of the coaches must hold certifications in triathlon, aquatics, and either athletics or cycling. One coach must be dually certified in Unified Sports® and one of the triathlon events.
    • The event code for Level 2 Unified Sports® triathlon three-person relay is: TRIUNR.

    Additional information on Unified Sports® can be found in the Unified Sports section.