Special Olympics New Hampshire is an athlete-centered movement that welcomes athletes with intellectual disabilities, as well as Unified Sports® partners, of all abilities to participate in sports training and competition.
During the course of participation in Special Olympics, all athletes may have the opportunity to attend events that include housing in hotels, motels, dorms or other housing facilities that require room sharing.
In order to provide for the health and safety of all Special Olympics participants, and promote a safe and positive experience, the following policy has been adopted to give guidance for housing athletes, coaches and/or LPVs at all Special Olympics New Hampshire events.
Please note that the terms “Special Olympics athlete” and “athlete” refer to persons with intellectual disabilities. The term “volunteer” includes Unified Partners.
When housing athletes at official Special Olympics New Hampshire events, or on sanctioned trips that may or may not involve event activities, the following minimum requirements must be met:
Athletes and volunteers may not share a room with an athlete or volunteer of the opposite sex. The following exceptions, however, may be allowed if determined to be feasible, i.e., space is available and cost is not a factor.
- Married athletes who are both attending the event as members of a registered delegation. This exception does not apply to the spouse of an athlete who is not participating in the event, but attending solely as a spectator.
- Married volunteers who are both attending the event as members of a registered Local Program. This exception does not apply if one of the volunteers is required to share a room with an athlete (other than the married couple’s child) if this scenario will create a situation whereby an athlete is housed with a volunteer of the opposite sex.
- Family members of the opposite sex who serve as a one-to-one chaperone for the related athlete.
- Housing in a facility that has multiple private rooms in addition to living space (such as a condominium or dormitory). Both males and females may be assigned to one condominium, if necessary, but private rooms may not be shared by individuals of the opposite sex. Chaperones must also be housed in the condominium and the chaperone/athlete ratio (as outlined in the supervision section of the policy) must be maintained.
- Use of barracks or another facility (such as a gym) where a large number of individuals are assigned to one room. Athletes and volunteers must be separated as much as possible by gender (for example, females on one side of the gym and males on the other side).
The LPV/athlete ratio of at least one properly registered LPV to every four athletes must be maintained during overnight events. Proper supervision can be maintained without having a chaperone present in the room at all times. All LPVs must be compliant.
Young Athletes® events that involve overnight activities require increased supervision and therefore, Young Athletes participants must be accompanied by a properly registered and screened parent, guardian or an individual designated by a parent or guardian at all overnight activities. Rooming assignments for Young Athletes should be separate from the remainder of the Local Program, whenever possible (for example, separate hotel rooms).
Implementation of Policy
In all cases, the responsibility for implementing this policy shall be the responsibility of the Local Program, whether at an in-state or out-of-state event.