Opportunities for players with intellectual impairment
In 2019 Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport established a partnership with EDGA, a European-based international organization that promotes golf for players with disabilities through their “WR4GD” and “Access” Pass initiative. Golf is one of the most popular participation sports worldwide, and the aim of this collaboration to increase both the number of players and the competitive opportunities available.
While players with physical impairment apply directly to EDGA for a pass, athletes with intellectual impairment apply for Virtus Eligibility through their Virtus Member Country organization — here in the US that’s us! Athletes Without Limits. We’re working closely with the United States Golf Association (USGA) to help guide U.S. players with intellectual impairment through the eligibility pathway and to develop opportunities.
In order to apply for a WR4GD Pass for intellectual impairment (required for entry to the new USGA Championship), athletes should apply for Virtus International Level II1 Eligibility. This includes players with Autism*, Down Syndrome**, Intellectual Developmental Disorder, or other diagnosis who meet the three criteria below:
1. IQ of 75 or Lower
Full scale IQ score of 75 or lower on a WAIS, WISC or Stanford Binet within the last 5 years (provide psychologists report and summary of scores)
2. Significant Limitations in Adaptive Behavior
At least one domain score of 70 or lower (or overall score of 70 or lower)
on a Vineland, ABAS, DABS or AAMR Adaptive Behavior Assessment within the last 5 years (provide psychologists report and a summary of scores)
3. Age of onset prior to age 18
Provide report that references to IQ score or other evidence that disability was present before age 18.
In addition players will need to submit a headshot, and copy of Passport (or state ID if no Passport).
A coaches survey is also required (but is not part of the eligibility review therefore is not time sensitive) — rather it’s used by Virtus as research on how best to serve athletes with intellectual impairment.
(The USGA will cover the $150 International Eligibility Application Fee for up to 20 applications per year.)
STEPS TO APPLY:
- Complete Athletes Without Limits Virtus International Level (II1) Application on our Eligibility webpage. Depending on the information and assessments an athlete has available. Some athletes may require a new IQ or Adaptive Behavior assessment to meet International Level requirements.
- Athletes Without Limits will work with you to review your application and determine if any additional information is needed. We will then endorse the application and submit it to Virtus International on your behalf.
- The Virtus Eligibility Committee will review and confirm eligibility, post athletes to the Virtus Eligibility Master List, and assign a unique Virtus Athlete Number that can be used to register for a WR4GD pass (this is referred to as “Virtus Certificate”) on the EDGA Registration Website:
- Should I apply for National or International Level Eligibility?
Players should complete our application for International Level Virtus eligibility, so they can be added to the Virtus Master List and then register for a WR4GD Pass. The USGA will cover the $150 International Eligibility Application Fee for up to 20 applications per year.
- Which Virtus Eligibility Groups can apply for a Wr4GD Pass in Golf?
You’ll notice three eligibility groups on the Virtus application (II-1, II-2 and II-3) — athletes must be eligible for the Virtus II1 Intellectual Disability group to apply for a WR4GD Pass. There may be other participatory and competitive opportunities for II-2 and II-3 athletes so please reach out and/or apply!
- Are athletes with High Functioning Autism eligible for the WR4GD Player Pass?
While athletes in the Virtus II3 competition group for athletes with High Functioning Autism (IQ of 76 or higher) are not eligible for a WR4GD Pass there may be other participatory and competitive opportunities through EDGA for II-3 athletes so please reach out and/or apply!
- Which Virtus eligibility group should players with Down Syndrome apply for?
- To register for a WR4GD Pass players with Down Syndrome should apply to the Virtus II1 Group for Intellectual Impairment by providing the required IQ and Adaptive Behavior documentation listed above. There may be other opportunities for athletes with Trisomy 21 or Translocation Down Syndrome to compete separately in the Virtus II2 competition group so we recommend providing documentation of Trisomy 21 Down Syndrome along with your application.
- Do players with Down Syndrome need AAI Clearance?
To apply for Virtus eligibility players with Down Syndrome must have their doctor complete an AAI Clearance form and provide a copy of their scan report.
We’d love to hear from you! Click below to contact Athletes Without Limits, USA Member of Virtus