Athlete Qualifying Information for Special Olympics Ontario

Due to the COVID pandemic and the cancellation of the 2022 National Summer Games, Special Olympics Canada (SOC) has had to modify its advancement process for the 2023 World Summer Games in Berlin, Germany. Rather than hosting centralized National Games, SOC, in consultation with the provincial/territorial chapters, has divided its assigned quota to the various chapters. The quota numbers and advancement processes will look different this season as we continue to feel the effect of the pandemic.  

Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) has received its quota, and has been tasked with determining its own advancement pathways for the quota it was assigned. This website outlines the process SOO will follow to identify athletes to the National Team Program Training Squad. 

SOO has developed a series of qualification plans and contingencies to allow adaptability to the unique effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on a case by case basis. Not all sports may approach qualifying in the same way due to their own unique circumstances and restrictions.

Any questions regarding the advancement process for the 2023 World Summer Games should be directed to: 

General Eligibility and Selection

General Eligibility

Athletes must meet the following criteria to be eligible for advancement to the 2023 World Summer Games.  Individual sports may have additional eligibility requirements.

  • Be 14 years of age as of January 1, 2023
  • Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Submit an Declaration of Interest*
  • Meet the sport specific requirements (events, time standards, ability of play, etc)
  • Must be fully endorsed by their community council and community coach.
  • Spring Sports (10 Pin Bowling, Basketball, Powerlifting, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Swimming):
  • Athletes must have been selected to attend the 2020 Provincial Spring Games in their respective sport
  • Summer Sports (Athletics, Bocce, Golf, Soccer): Athletes must have been included on the 2 Year Eligibility List for the 2021 Provincial Summer Games in their respective sport and have attended a provincial level competition within the past 5 years

Note: Individual sports may have additional eligibility requirements.

*SOO reserves the right to request proof of eligibility and proof of ability to meet the sport specific criteria.  SOO has the sole discretion to decline an athlete’s Declaration of Interest if they do not meet the above stated eligibility criteria.

Selection Process:

  1. Athlete eligibility lists will be distributed to all communities for initial community endorsement.
  2. Athletes on the eligibility list who are interested in being selected for the World Games will be required to submit a Declaration of Interest Form by June 30, 2022.
  3. Declaration forms will be reviewed to confirm eligibility.
  4. Select sports will have random draw #1 that will take place July 4, 2020. 5-8 athletes will be selected in each sport to be invited to proceed through the identification process.
  5. Coach endorsement of the invited athletes will take place.
  6. Sport specific identification criteria to be completed. See sport specific criteria below.
  7. A final random draw will take place in early August to identify the athlete(s) in each sport to advance to the National Team Training Program.
  8. A final parent/guardian endorsement will take place.
  9. September 2022, athlete's names will be submitted to Special Olympics Canada for final review and announcement to the National Team Training Program.

Quota Allocation

The 2023 World Summer Games are in a unique position, with Special Olympics programming across the world being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is no different in Canada, with the cancellation of the 2022 National Summer Games in Medicine Hat, which would normally have served as the advancement competition to the 2023 World Summer Games. 

SOC’s quota was decided and distributed by Special Olympics North America. Allocation of SOC’s quota was decided upon by SOC in collaboration with the various Provincial and Territorial Chapters ensuring representation from every Chapter.  Some key notes on quota: 

  • SOC’s quota has been reduced from previous World Summer Games as a result of program development and growth internationally.  
  • These World Summer Games will not be hosting softball. Softball may be hosted at future World Games. 
  • Team sports will be Pan-Canadian in nature featuring individual athletes from across the country forming Team Canada. 

Quota has been assigned to very specific targets and demographics. Each quota spot is assigned to a particular sport and gender, and many sports have further stipulations on event selection, level or qualifying standards. 

Sport Specific


Basketball Identification Process

Learn More


Powerlifting Identification Process

Learn More

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rhythmic Gymnastics Identification Process

Learn More


Swimming Identification Process

Learn More

Ten Pin

Ten Pin Bowling Identification Process

Learn More


Athletics Identification Process

Learn More


Bocce Identification Process

Learn More


Golf Identification Process

Learn More


Soccer Identification Process

Learn More