Bowling Re-certification is available to those coaches who have been previously certified in the Sport of Bowling. If you have not been to a coach’s certification class in athletics you do not qualify to re-certify. To Re-certify, a coach must make sure that the Volunteer application and protective behaviors training is up to date. Please check the Certified Coaches List found on the Coach’s Corner page. Re-certification is not valid without an up to date volunteer application, protective behaviors class and concussion awareness.

Re-certification should only be done when you are close to expiration of your original certification. Please do not take the course until you have less than 3 months to go on your certification. Please check the Certified Coaches List found on the Coach’s Corner page. Certification is good for 4 years.


Special Olympics Bowling is available to all persons age 8 and above, having been identified by an agency or professional as having an Intellectual disability, or a closely related disability which means having functional limitations in both general learning and in adaptive skills ( such as recreation, work, independent living, self-direction, or self-care), and having registered to participate in Special Olympics.

Application for Participation

The Application for Participation in Special Olympics is commonly referred to as the Medical Release. This form is good for a specific 3 year period. The dates of the forms effectiveness is printed on the top center of the form. It is only good for this time period. Example – September 1, 2010 through August 31, 2013. Coaches should make copies of this form after completing all information. Please do not leave off any information. IF there is information that does not apply please write does not apply in that space. This form must be signed by a Physician, Physician’s assistant, Nurse Practitioner or a Clinical Nurse Specialist. It must also be signed by either an adult athlete ( with witness signature) or a Parent/ Guardian. Athletes will not be able to train or compete without the release. Coaches should have a copy of the medical release with them any time they have an athlete with them. Coaches are also responsible for updating the forms whenever a change has taken place, such as, medicine changes.

Coaches Responsibilities

Coaches have a lot of responsibility. It is imperative that coaches find enough assistant coaches to help cover all of the duties of a coach. The following is a list of responsibilities of the coach. This list will not cover everything a coach has to do in order for the team to be successful.

  1. Coaches must have enough help to supervise athletes at all times.
  2. Coaches must have a proper practice facility that is both safe and meets the needs of the athletes.
  3. Coaches must have medical releases with them at all times. Coaches must be aware of all medical issues of their athletes.
  4. Coaches must know first aid and have a phone available to call for help if needed.
  5. Coaches must train their athletes for no less than 8 weeks prior to competition. The training must be appropriate.
  6. Coaches must select sports and events that are appropriate for their athletes age and abilities.
  7. Coaches must insure that all athletes are uniformed appropriately.
  8. Coaches must know how to complete entry forms and do so on a timely basis.
  9. Coaches will be a positive influence on their athletes.
  10. Coaches must keep a written training plan for all of their practices.


Special Olympics divisions athletes based upon their age, sex, and ability, with ability being the primary indicator. This aspect of Special Olympics is what separates Special Olympics from all other sports organizations. Every athlete will receive an award, however, it could be a participation award.

Divisioning is also the reason that preliminary scores are so important. A bad preliminary score will make heats or divisions unfair to athletes. It is vitally important that coaches submit a good preliminary score each time they enter an event. Coaches sometimes ask “Where do I get a good preliminary score?” The answer is “At Practice”. Coaches should record all scores at every practice in order to present accurate scores for events.


All Special Olympics paperwork is now available on-line. Coaches may complete the entry forms, medical release, down’s addendum, and Coaches card on-line, then print the forms and submit. The medical release and down’s addendum must be signed by an authorized person. All entry forms and medicals are due by the deadline that you will see on the schedule. Most can be mailed in but some must be hand carried. You must pay attention to the directions in the schedule. The deadline is the date that paperwork must arrive, not when it is to be mailed. Mail your forms in time for the paperwork to reach the event director by the deadline.

General Rules

Proper uniforms are required for Bowlers. Collared shirts are not required at this time but are recommended. Bowling shoes are required for anyone stepping onto the wooden lane area.

Foul lights are on. Anyone crossing the foul line while bowling will receive a 0 for that ball.

Athletes must stay at the lane they are bowling on while bowling is in session. If the athlete is not at the lane at their time to bowl they will receive a 0 for that frame.

Volunteers are there to help record scores and to facilitate the bowling. They are not there to handle behaviors or to provide guardianship for the athletes. Coaches are responsible for their athletes at all times.

Bumpers are never used in Special Olympics.

Ramps are for athletes that cannot physically roll a ball. They are not to be used for athletes who just didn’t practice. Please only sign those athletes up for ramp bowling that are not able to roll the ball.

Ramp bowlers must propel the ball themselves. Volunteers may place the ball on the ramp but the Athlete will push the ball off the ramp.

There is to be no food or drink in the wooden lane area.


Athletes should practice bowling 3 complete lines (games). They will bowl 3 games in competition.

Athletes should practice for at least 8 weeks prior to competition.

Coaches should record all scores from practice in order to average for preliminary scores

Athletes should find the right weight ball for them. Lighter balls are not always better.

Coaches should teach sportsmanship, staying on lanes while bowling, and lane Etiquette.

Lane Etiquette is becoming a problem in bowling. Coaches should teach their athletes not to bowl when athletes on lanes on either side of them are bowling. You should practice this every practice and help enforce this at competition.

Teach proper approach and release. Click here for a demonstration of the proper approach and release.

Ramps must remain behind the foul line. The ball should touch the ground when coming off of the ramp before the foul line.

Unified Sports has equal numbers of Athletes and Partners. Unified Double Bowling will have one Athlete and one Partner. Unified Team Bowling will have 2 Athletes and 2 Partners.

Bowling Re-certification Test

Note: If you have not been to a coach’s certification class in bowling you do not qualify to re-certify. To Re-certify, a coach must make sure that the Volunteer application and protective behaviors training is up to date. You cannot re-certify without an up to date volunteer application and protective behaviors class. SOOK only allows a limited number of attempts to take the bowling re-certification test as we are charged for each test that is taken.