Sports Training & Competition

Sport is a powerful force.  It can shift focus from disability to ability, from isolation to involvement.

SONH is a sports organization promoting competition year-round in seventeen sports.  Click here for a list of sports offered and their rules.

At Special Olympics, we have the same expectations of our athletes as we would have of any other athlete: to try hard, to compete fairly, to follow the rules and to do their best.  These expectations help our athletes learn new skills, build confidence and reach their goals – both on and off the playing field.


At age six, athletes may begin to train for traditional Special Olympics programming.  By age eight, they are able to compete.  Athletes begin by joining one of our Local Programs in New Hampshire.  A Local Program is run by a team of volunteers.  Trained volunteer coaches hold practices for ten-weeks prior to State Competition. 

New Hampshire is split into seven areas.  Our goal is that each area will have a management team that works to promote Special Olympics in their part of the state and offers additional competition opportunities through Area Games.

Unified Sports

Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability. That makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away.


Sports training and competition are at the core of Special Olympics New Hampshire.  We aim to provide athletes with quality competition at all levels, where each athlete is encouraged to reach their highest level of athletic achievement.  The more athletes compete, the better they get. Competition serves as a measure of how well the athlete is doing and of what he/she needs to work on next. Through Area competition, athletes can qualify to compete in Special Olympics State Games.  Through State Games, athletes can qualify for USA and World Games. 

We offer 561 competitions annually.  A competition is defined as a competitive event (Traditional and/or Unified) conducted at any level between individuals or teams that normally do not train together. In a multi-sport competition each sport offered is counted as one competition.  If a sport is offered as Traditional and Unified, it counts as two competitions.  Each league match counts as a separate competition.

Visit our Calendar of Events to see a list of our upcoming events.