Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) is committed to the highest ideals of sport and expects all coaches to honor sport and SOPA. All Special Olympics coaches agree to observe the following code:
Respect for Others
- Respect the rights, dignity and worth of athletes, coaches, other volunteers, friends and spectators in Special Olympics.
- Treat everyone equally regardless of gender, ethnic origin, religion or ability.
- Be a positive role model for the athletes I coach.
Ensure a Positive Experience
- Ensure that for each athlete, the time spent with Special Olympics is a positive experience.
- Respect the talent, developmental stage and goals of each athlete.
- Ensure each athlete competes in events that challenge that athlete's potential and are appropriate to that athlete's ability.
- Be fair, considerate and honest with athletes and communicate with athletes using simple, clear language.
- Ensure that accurate scores are provided for entry of an athlete into any event.
- Instruct each athlete to perform to the best of the athlete's ability at all preliminary competition and finals competition in accordance with the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules.
Act Professionally and Take Responsibility for My Actions
A coach’s language, manner, punctuality, preparation and presentation will demonstrate high standards.
- Display control, respect, dignity and professionalism to all involved in the sport (athletes, coaches, opponents, officials, administrators, parents, spectators, media, etc.).
- Encourage athletes to demonstrate the same qualities.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol, smoking or taking illegal drugs while representing Special Olympics at training sessions or during competition.
- Refrain from any form of personal abuse towards athletes and others, including verbal, physical and emotional abuse.
- Be alert to any form of abuse from other sources directed toward athletes in my care.
Quality Service to the Athletes
- Seek continual improvement through performance evaluation and ongoing coach education.
- Be knowledgeable about the Sports Rules and skills of the sport(s) I coach.
- Provide a planned training program.
- Keep copies of the medical, training and competition records for each athlete I coach.
- Follow the Special Olympics, International Federation and National Federation/Governing Body rules for all sport(s).
Health and Safety of Athletes
- Ensure that the equipment and facilities are safe to use.
- Ensure that the equipment, rules, training and environment are appropriate for the age and ability of the athletes.
- Review each athlete's medical form and be aware of any limitations on that athlete's participation noted on that form.
- Encourage athletes to seek medical advice when required.
- Maintain the same interest and support toward sick and injured athletes.
- Allow further participation in training and competition only when appropriate.