Football is one of the most popular sports in the programme. 5-a-side leagues run in all regions and an 11-a-side league also runs annually with teams from all regions involved. The women's football programme also continues to develop, with regional squads now training regularly in all regions. Football requires little in the way of specialized equipment and is organized using simple, intuitive rules.
In 11-aside competition Special Olympics football follow FIFA rules. However, the length of halves, substitution and overtime rules are defined by each Special Olympics Programme. In 5-aside and 7-aside football matches, some rule variations include: kick-ins from the touch line, throw-ins by the goalkeeper; throw-ins by goalkeepers cannot touch the other side of the half field until touched by a player first, and there are no off-sides.