7000-306 Team Identification

7000-306 Provincial Games: Team Selection Criteria for Advancement to Provincial Games

Review Date: February 2019                   Effective Date: February 23, 2018

The following criteria shall determine how Special Olympics teams (Basketball, Bocce, Curling, Floor Hockey, Soccer, and Softball) advance to a Provincial Level of Special Olympics competition.

General Principle

Athletes must:

  • Be registered active athletes of Special Olympics Ontario
  • Athlete must be 10 years old for the first day of Provincial Competition
  • Have been training in the sport that they are competing in for a minimum of three sport seasons
  • Have competed in the Provincial Qualifier immediately preceding the Provincial Games


Team divisions are designated as co-ed, and therefore, gender is not utilized as a factor in team identification.


Team divisions are comprised of all age groups, and therefore, age is not utilized as a factor in team identification. All athletes must meet minimum age requirements for Provincial Games, as established by Special Olympics Ontario.


Special Olympics teams that compete in lower and middle skill levels will have as equal an opportunity to advance to a higher level of competition as those teams who participate in a more advance skill level. To ensure that this opportunity is available, team identification is determined by the team’s performance relative to other teams of equal skill level

Team Identification

The process for team identification will incorporate the following parameters:

  • All ability levels have equal opportunity for advancement
  • Various ability levels will be identified from Provincial Qualifiers

Once team quotas have been determined by Special Olympics Ontario, the following identification procedure will be used. Such identification is subject to all other eligibility conditions.

  1. If team quotas are equal to the number of divisions from at the Provincial Qualifier, then the first place teams from each division will be identified
  2. If team quotas are fewer than the number of divisions from the Provincial Qualifiers, then the first place teams from each division will be entered into the tie breaking process
  3. If team quotas are greater than the number of divisions from the Provincial Qualifiers, then the first place teams from each division will be identified, followed by second place teams. If the remaining quotas are not equal to the number of divisions from the Provincial Qualifier Competitions, then all second place teams will be entered into the tie breaking process

Tie Breaking Process

The following is the Tie Breaking process for team identification:

  1. Identify the teams which are tied from each of the divisions, as determined by the circumstances outlines above. Total each team`s win/tie/loss record from their tournament according to the following points system: 3 points for a win, 2 points for a tie, and 1 point for a loss. Divide the point total by the number of games played to determine average points per game. Identify the team(s) with the highest average points per game
  1. If a tie still exists after step one, the first place teams with the lowest “goals/runs/points against” divided by the “number of games played in the tournament” will be identified
  1. If a tie exists after step two, the first place teams with the most “goals/runs/points for” divided by the “number of games played in the tournament” will be identified*
  1. If a tie still exists, teams will be placed in a draw and the team drawn will advance.

* For Curling and Softball, points through 6 complete ends and runs through 4 complete innings will be considered. If all games did not reach a minimum of 6 ends or 4 innings, the highest equal amount of ends/innings that each team has played will be used.

Cancellation of Provincial Qualifier

In the event a Provincial Qualifier is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, team identification will be based on a draw from a hat.

Teams will be placed into divisions based on their competition results from the previous 12 months.

If there is not sufficient quota for all divisions, a draw from a hat as to which divisions will advance.

One team will be drawn from each division until the quota is full.

Athlete / Team Endorsement

While point results may be available at the conclusion of the Provincial Qualifier, a final decision on team identification necessitates a great deal of consultation between SOO, Community Coordinators, Educators (for School Based Teams), Club Coaches, and Parents or Guardians.

Due to the demands that are put on athletes at a Provincial Games and the fact that the experience should be enjoyable for all involved, athletes should have demonstrated the ability to cope with the pressures involved in traveling, staying in the designated Athlete’s Village, competing and being removed from their usual environment for up to a one week period. With this in mind, athletes who have demonstrated uncontrollable problems with social adaptation or behaviour in the past, should not be endorsed. These athletes may deprive other team members of a pleasant and rewarding experience and place undue stress and responsibility upon coaches assigned to their supervision.

Upon receipt of the Athletes Endorsement list, District Developers will confirm the athlete eligibility:

  • Ensure athlete’s name appears on the Athlete Eligibility List provided by SOO
  • Confirm the athlete meets the minimum age requirements

After confirmation of the Athlete Eligibility, the District Developer will continue with the endorsement of the athletes in consultation with Club Coaches, Parents and Guardians to determine each athlete’s suitability as a Provincial Competitor.

Athlete Assistants at Provincial Games

Athletes who require an athlete assistant for support with essential daily living activities may submit a request to SOO three months prior to the Provincial Games.  For more information regarding athlete assistants and what documentation is required in the application please view policy 7000-313.

Athlete Code of Conduct

Athlete must be a member in good standing within their sport club and community. He/ she must be willing to adhere to the Athlete Code of Conduct and Athlete Rights and Responsibilities.

Final Team Identification

Where the identification of the athletes requires a decision, which falls outside of circumstances outlined above, the Competition Developer shall enlist a committee to make the final determination. All decisions of the Identification Committee are final.

No athlete, coach, volunteer or parent/guardian shall presume that a team has been identified to attend the Provincial Games until an ‘OFFICIAL’ Team list is distributed by Special Olympics Ontario

Any individual who informs the athlete/team that he or she has been identified prior to the official notification from SOO will assume responsibility for his/her actions.

Identification Appeals Process

Athletes will have the opportunity to appeal the identification process by submitting an appeal application to the Provincial Standing Appeal Committee. The decision of the Appeals Committee will be final and no further appeals will be considered.