Rio Rancho Rockets
Special Olympics, Rio Rancho, NM
Special Olympics
New Mexico
Inspire Greatness
Special Olympics Rio Rancho is a delegation of Special Olympics New Mexico.  We are a non-profit organization that provides athletic training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Our athletes enjoy camaraderie and gain a sense of pride and accomplishment through participating in our events.
Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

Athlete Eligibility
Any person with a diagnosed mental disability who is at least eight years of age (no maximum age) and a resident of Rio Rancho may participate in Special Olympics Rio Rancho.  Six- and seven-year olds may join us for practice but are not eligible to participate in competitions until they turn eight.  Please visit the Athletes page for more information.

Recognizing the sometimes overwhelming time demands on families with special athletes, we allow you to set your own limitations on how many sports in which you chose to participate.  Whichever sports are chosen, Special Olympics New Mexico (SONM) participation standards dictate that athletes must attend a minimum of 50% of the practice sessions to be eligible for competitions.  We at Special Olympics Rio Rancho encourage 100% attendance to provide maximum continuity in our team development.

Sports Offered
Special Olympics Rio Rancho has a year-round program that offers many sports.  Each sport offers a variety of events for all skill levels.  Practice sessions are held locally and and are generally held two days a week for an hour to an hour-and-a-half per session.  Please go to our Sports page for detailed information about our sports program.

Each Athlete enrolled in a sport and planning to compete in the competitions will be given a numbered Special Olympics Rio Rancho tee shirt.  The shirt is the permanent property of the athlete.  Family members may purchase unnumbered tee shirts.

NOTE:  We never want an athlete to miss a competition due to a lack of funds.  For assistance, please speak with the appropriate Coordinator - all arrangements will be kept confidential.

Registration, Lodging and Meals at Competitions
Each sport has an Area Meet approximately mid-way through the season and a State Competition at the end of each season.  In order for an athlete to be eligible to participate in the State Competition, they must first participate in the Area Meet.  Rio Rancho is in Area 5.  (see the SONM Areas page and Area 5 page for more information about SONM Areas).

All registration fees are paid by Special Olympics Rio Rancho. Athletes and partners who do not cancel their entry by the deadline for scratches for State Competitions and do not attend will be asked to reimburse the team for the non-refundable registration fees lost due to the their cancellation / absence.

When lodging is required, our policy is for athletes to stay with their families.  A list of the hotels selected by the team will be provided in advance to the families.  Parents are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements and payment.  Following the event and upon submission of a receipt by the stated deadline, families will be reimbursed for an amount equal to 50% of the cost for a coach's room which will vary per event.

For registered coaches and athletes there is no charge for meals.  In some instances families may be offered free meal tickets or may purchase meal tickets for a fee at the discretion of Special Olympics New Mexico.

Participant Guidelines
All personnel (Coordinators and Coaches) participating in Special Olympics Rio Rancho are volunteers: no one is paid for their participation.  If you would like to be a coach, volunteer or unified partner, please visit the appropriate web page on this site.

Athletes' safety is paramount.  Head Coaches will, at their discretion, cancel a practice if they feel that the safety of the athletes is at risk.

Everyone is asked to keep their hands to themselves and not touch or pester others.

In the event that an athlete exhibits undesirable behavior, parents may be asked to intervene.

Parents are encouraged to be considerate of the volunteers and be timely when picking up athletes after practice.  When practice is held at an outdoor venue, parents are asked to be aware of weather changes that may cause practices to be cancelled or end early, and pick up their athletes accordingly.

Parents are encouraged to become active in the program.  If you are interested in helping, please contact the appropriate Head Coach.

Athlete enjoyment and fun are our primary goals.  Improvement of the athletes' skills is often the product of having a fun time.