General Coaches Certification

Step 1: A coach must be a registered Class A Volunteer.


Step 2: Click here to take the General Coaches’ Certification. Coaches will be required to complete the general certification every three years. General certifications expire on December 31 of the third calendar year from the date the certification was completed.


Certification Requirement Changes

Beginning with the 2015-2016 program year, the required certification process will require all coaches to complete the SOWI on-line general coaches’ certification rather than a sports-specific requirement. The general coaches’ certification will replace the sports specific certification as the requirement for advancement to the state games. All currently certified coaches may continue to advance with their current sports-specific certification until their certification expires at which time they will be required to complete the general certification.


State Games Certification Requirement

Advancement to State-level competition requires certified coaches to be registered as part of an advancing delegation. Each team advancing to State is required to have a certified coach (i.e. for two basketball teams advancing to State, two certified individuals are required). Likewise, each individual sport that advances to State-level competition is also required to have a certified coach. Coaches may only serve as the certified coach for one sport at the same State tournament. Certification must be completed on-line and must be competed no later than the Thursday following the State Games registration deadline in order to attend that State Games event. Teams or groups of individuals who do not have a certified coach who can be in attendance at the Games will not be allowed to advance to the State level. Teams or individuals found to be without the certified coach in attendance at the Games will be ejected.

Sport-Specific Certification

Sports- specific certification will continue to be offered, but will no longer act as the requirement to advance to the state games. However, sports- specific certification will be required for all coaches wishing to attend National or World Competitions (USA Games, National Invitational Tournaments, etc.). To become sport-specific certified, a coach must be a registered Class A volunteer, complete the SOWI General Coaches’ Certification online, and attend a sports-specific Certified Training School. Coach certifications expire on December 31 of the third calendar year from the date of the sport-specific coaches training that was attended.

Minimum age to act as a coach for SOWI is 16

Class A Volunteers who are 16 or 17 years old and wish to coach at each practice and competition must be under the supervision of a SOWI registered Class A volunteer who is 18 years or older (the Class A volunteer need not be a certified coach). In order to act as the certified coach at State Games Tournament, a minor coach must complete the General Coaches’ Certification. Minor coaches may not act as a chaperone. Athletes must be chaperoned by a registered Class A volunteer who is 18 or older under the 1:4 chaperone to athlete ratio.

Certified Training Schools

All SOWI Certified Training Schools (CTS) include SOWI information, risk management, safety, Code of Conduct, policies, etc., as well as a sport-specific component. There will be a certain number of CTS opportunities in every Region for volunteers to attend. When possible, CTS opportunities will be advertised on the events calendar on the SOWI website and additionally, a CTS flyer will be sent to Agency managers to advertise to their volunteers. Agency managers and coaches are able to request a CTS opportunity for their Agency and/or community by clicking on the “Training School Request Form” button on the Coaching Resources page of our website.