Section W:
Glossary of Terms

Arc, The (formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens)
Agency for people with developmental disabilities.
The geographical division of the state. Special Olympics Texas has 19 areas.
Area Competition
Special Olympics competition within a certain area.
Area Conference
Meeting of all certified coaches in each area to maintain their certification. At the meeting, rule changes, policies and procedures, new sports, calendar of events, etc. will be discussed.
Athlete in Training (AIT)
A person with intellectual disabities who trains in a Special Olympics sport but has not competed during the calendar year.
A severe form of Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
Certified Coach
A person who has attended a Special Olympics Texas approved eight hour training school, completed tenpracticum hours and submitted an Application for Sports Training Certification.
A person who oversees athletes at Special Olympics events; must be at least 18 years of age. A 4 (athlete) to 1 (chaperone) ratio by gender must be adhered to for all SOTX events.
Official Special Olympics organization within a state or country.
Chapter Games
Official Special Olympics sport competitions held at the chapter level, sanctioned by Special Olympics Texas and held three times a year in February, May and October (Winter, Summer and Fall).
Chapter Office
Home office of Special Olympics Texas, located in Austin.
Class A Volunteer
A person who has regular, close physical contact with athletes, is in a position of authority or supervision (real or apparent), is in a position of trust, or handles substantial amounts of cash ($15,000 or more annually) or other assets of the program.
Class B Volunteer
A person who only has limited contact with athletes or who has contact with athletes accompanied by coaches and chaperones.
Coaches Certification
A Special Olympics Texas approved eight hour training school, completion of ten practicum hours with Special Olympics athlete and completion of Application for Sports Training Certification.
Coaches Training School
Sport specific instructional session to educate those people interested in coaching Special Olympics athletes.
Competition Director
Person responsible for conducting a particular sport competition.
Demonstration Sports
Potential official Special Olympics sports.
Down syndrome
A congenital condition characterized by moderate intellectual disabilities.
Emotionally Disturbed (ED)
Persistently exhibits inappropriate behavior.
Refers to Special Olympics competitions from the local to the international level.
Games Director
Person responsible for conducting and overseeing a Special Olympics games/competition.
General Orientation
A general orientation of Special Olympics approximately 90 minutes. Required for all Class A volunteer applicants and recommended for anyone interested in volunteering with Special Olympics Texas.
Global Messengers
Special Olympics athletes trained as public speakers to promote the outreach effort.
Head Coach
Primary coach of a Special Olympics team, must be certified.
Head of Delegation (HoD)
Person ultimately responsible for a Special Olympics team. Must be certified in at least one Special Olympics sport.
Hearing Impaired (HI)
Serious hearing loss even after corrective medical treatment and amplification.
Individual Education Plan (IEP)
A plan for special education students in the school system.
Individual Transition Plan (ITP)
A plan for special education students beginning at age 16 to begin to transition out of school.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Federal law #101-476 mandating services for persons with disabilities.
Intellectual Disabilities
Significant subaverage intellectual functioning and marked impairment in adaptive behavior. The terminology is synonymous with mental retardation.
International Headquarters
Home office of Special Olympics, Inc. located in Washington, D.C.
Learning Disabled (LD)
Difficulty in information processing.
Local Competition
One local competition and two scrimmages are required in order to participate in area and/or regional competition between two teams who do not usually train together. Two local competitions are required in order to participate in area and/or regional competition.
Motor Activities Training Program (MATP)
A developmental training program for Special Olympics athletes with low functioning levels that cannot participate in other Special Olympics competitions.
Multiply Impaired (MI)
Person with more than one disability.
National Games
National Special Olympics competition held every four years, usually in the summer.
National Governing Body (NGB)
Sports body governing specific sports. Special Olympics rules are based on National Governing Body rules.
Official Sports
Sports officially approved by Special Olympics, Inc. Special Olympics Texas offers 21 official Special Olympics sports.
Program to expand participation of athletes and volunteers in Special Olympics.
Protective Behaviors
A brief SOI training for all Class A volunteers regarding preventing physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of Special Olympics athletes. The training must be retaken every three years to maintain Class A status. It is available online at
Specific areas of Special Olympics Texas – north, south/central, east and west.
Regional Competition
Special Olympics competition within a specific region.
Approval to authorize Special Olympics Texas athletes and volunteers to participate in a specific clinic, exhibition, training school or competition.
Special Olympics, Inc. (SOI)
Sanctioning body for all Special Olympics programs worldwide.
Sport Director
People (volunteers) that are proficient in a particular sport oversee specific sport areas within Special Olympics Texas.
Sports Management Team
A committee of people (volunteers) consisting of representatives for competition and training, both area and chapter levels.
Sports Skills Guides
Sport specific teaching guide designed to provide specific information about training Special Olympics athletes.
Sport Specific
Refers to a particular Special Olympics sport.
State Games
See Chapter Games.
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX)
Sanctioning body for all Special Olympics programs in Texas, headquartered in Austin.
Team Evaluation Questionnaire (TEQ)
Required team assessment form for basketball, softball, soccer, and volleyball.
Single sport competition at any level.
Training Schools
Various Special Olympics trainings for athletes, coaches and volunteers.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A disability resulting from an injury to the brain.
Unified Sports®
Special Olympics team and individual sports that combine Special Olympics athletes with athletes without intellectual disabilities of similar age and ability.
Visually Impaired (VI)
Serious vision loss even with correction.
World Games
International Special Olympics competition held every four years, usually February/March and June/July (winter and summer).
Young Athletes™ Program (YAP)
An innovative sports play program for children with intellectual disabilities, designed to introduce them to the world of sports prior to Special Olympics eligibility at age 8.