Volleyball Re-certification is available to those coaches who have been previously certified in the Sport of Volleyball. 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 Volleyball 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 valid for a specific 3 year period. The valid dates are 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 athlete’s age and abilities.
  7. Coaches must ensure 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, gender, 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. Athletes disqualified will receive a participation award.

Volleyball Divisioning is done through a bracket system. Many times this will be either round robin or double elimination. The event director will determine the type of bracket to fit the needs of the teams and event. The sport of Volleyball may not allow the event director to split Athletes by age and sex, which is acceptable. The numbers of teams will determine how divisioning will take place.

Volleyball Individual skills will be divisioned into heats based on age, gender, and ability. The number of athletes competing will determine how many athletes are in a division. The event director may not be able to separate every athlete based on their age or gender.


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 syndrome 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 delivered. 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
  • Special Olympics Oklahoma offers two formats of Volleyball competition. The first is Individual Volleyball skills, the other Unified Team. Athletes may compete in either Skills or Unified Team – but not both.
  • In Individual Skills, athletes compete in low or high skills against other athletes of similar age and ability. Skills include serving, passing, spiking, bumping and a volleyball juggle for control. These skills are designed to improve an athlete’s skill level to the point where he/she will be able to advance to Team play sometime in the future. Only Special Olympics Athletes may participate in Ind. Skills.
  • Unified Team competition brings together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities, playing as a team. Teams compete in either low or high ability divisions. Modifications are made for low level competition involving the serving line, type of ball used, prohibiting spiking and limiting the number of consecutive serves to 5.
  • Unified Volleyball is a sport played by 2 teams on a playing court divided by a net. Teams play 3 sets in a match. This is a game of fast-paced action involving all players on the court.
  • The objective of the game is to send the ball over the net in order to ground it in the opponent’s court, and to prevent the same effort by the opponent. After the serve, each team has 3 hits to return the ball over the net.
  • The ball is put in play with a service; hit by the server over the net to the opponents. The rally continues until the ball is grounded on the playing court, goes ‘out’ or a team fails to return the ball properly.

Volleyball Rules You Need to Know

The Coach

  • Prior to the match, provides a roster with the names & numbers of players on the scoresheet for the score table
  • During the match, requests time-outs & substitutions; gives instructions to players on the court

Playing the Ball

  • A hit is any contact with the ball by a player in play
  • The ball may touch any part of the body
  • A player may not hit the ball 2 times consecutively – it is a fault
  • The ball must not be caught or thrown – it is a fault
  • The ball must cross over the net, between the antennae and their imaginary extensions and below the ceiling
  • While crossing the net, the ball may touch it – including serves
  • Server must wait for the referee’s signal before serving
  • When the ball is driven into the net & causes it to touch an opponent, no fault is committed
  • If a player touches or hits the net on his/her own during play – it is a fault
  • After the 1st service in a Set, when the receiving team wins the rally, it gains the serve – and will rotate before actually serving
  • Players may not block or spike a serve
  • After a block, the blocking team is still entitled to 3 hits to return the ball
  • The first hit after the block may be executed by any player – including the one who touched the ball during the block
  • Substitution & Time-outs requires the referee’s authorization
  • Participants must accept referees’ decisions with sportsmanlike conduct, without disputing them
  • Participants must behave respectfully & courteously towards the referees, other officials, opponents, team-mates & spectators.
  • In Volleyball, any team winning a rally scores a point – called Rally Scoring. When the receiving team wins a rally, it gains a point and the serve, and its’ players rotate one position clockwise.
  • A Set is won by the team first scoring 25 points, with a minimum lead of 2 points. The Match is won by the team that wins 2 of the 3 sets.
  • The court measures 59’ x 29’6”. The net height is 7’4”. Antennae attached at the outer edge of the side band of the net define the playing area over the net.
  • At all times, there are 3 front line players and 3 back line players on the court. Back line players receive the serve. There must be 3 Athletes & 3 Partners on the court at all times.
  • Uniforms are shorts & t-shirts, shoes, socks and kneepads. T-shirts must be numbered on the center front (6”) & center back (8”). Shirt numbers must be 1 – 18. Hair must be off the face, and jewelry should be removed.


Athletes must practice a minimum of 8 weeks prior to competition. Practice should consist of warm-ups, stretching, sport skills, competitive experience and a proper cool down.

Volleyball Re-certification Test

Note: If you have not been to a coach’s certification class in Volleyball 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 volleyball re-certification test as we are charged for each test that is taken.