Through the power of sports, people with special needs discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence, and fulfillment—on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.
One-on-one opens doors
The key to having an inclusionary sports program is our dedicated Buddies. With passionate volunteers working one-on-one with our RallyPlayers, we are able to open the door to all special needs.
- If a RallyPlayer has a special need that limits their ability to participate in certain aspects of our program, that’s not a problem! Matched up with their Buddy, they can find ways to participate and have a blast no matter what
- If a RallyPlayer has less severe special needs and seems to be more advanced in a sport or activity, their Buddy can challenge them in new and exciting ways
Ability Grouping helps everyone have fun
In order to create a safe and fun environment for all RallyPlayers, it is important to create teams within your sport sessions. Teams will be created based on the level each RallyPlayer can participate in activities. This allows each RallyPlayer to participate at a level they are capable of and be surrounded with other RallyPlayers at their level. A RallyPlayer who is more advanced in a sport or activity will be placed in a team that can help expand their ability within the sport and play with RallyPlayers that have a similar interest. Similarly, a RallyPlayer who is unable to participate in all of the activities will be in a team that can go at a more suitable pace.
Some general guidelines to follow:
- Team assignments should never feel like one RallyPlayer is better than another. We all have special abilities and teams should be created in a way that keeps inclusion at the core
- Focus on a RallyPlayer’s ability to participate in specific activities, not age or gender
- Although in separate teams, be sure to coordinate moments during your sport sessions in which everyone interacts as a whole. This helps create an atmosphere where everyone feels included and together
Your RallyCore will use a Team Assignment Sheet (found in Downloadable Resources) to observe RallyPlayers during your Kickoff and first sport session. As you will find, this sheet is designed to help you create teams without making anyone feel excluded. Once teams have been established, share the team lists with the Buddies prior to the second session. On the Team Assignment Sheet you will find that we have created three distinct teams for the RallyPlayers to be assigned to. You may find it necessary to have fewer or more teams, depending on the total number of RallyPlayers. Here is a simple breakdown of the grouping:
- Green Team - a team for RallyPlayers who are unable to participate in a majority of the activities at a sport session. Green Team Buddies will have unique and exciting activities planned for times when players are unable to participate in a certain activity
- Blue Team - a team for RallyPlayers who are able to participate in a majority of the activities at a sport session, but are not at an advanced level
- Red Team - a team for RallyPlayers who are advanced at the sport activates and who are interested in challenging themselves. Red Team Buddies will be prepared to challenge their RallyPlayers with competitive activities and more advanced sport skills
You can find more details and learn about proper timing in your Getting Started Guide
In order to comply with liability insurance policies and to create a safe and fun environment for everyone, RallyCap Sports is limited to children and young adults ages 7 and up. *If a RallyPlayer is turning age 7 within 1 month of the event or sport season, they will be allowed to join.
Can someone be too old for RallyCap Sports?
The severity of a special need can affect the capacity at which a person functions physically and/or intellectually. With that in mind, we welcome RallyPlayers of all ages (7 and up) to come and have fun.
Message to the parents
It’s important to communicate to potential RallyPlayer families that children and young adults with special needs (ages 7 and up) are all welcome to participate because of our dynamic grouping system. No matter at what level a RallyPlayer is able to participate in activities, they will have a blast at RallyCap Sports!