Dwarf Athletic Association of America
Founded in 1985, the DAAA's purpose is to develop, promote, and provide little people athletes with organized and quality amateur athletics in a supportive environment. DAAA holds the idea that there is a lack of sports opportunity for little people in America and they look to fill the void and provide an environment that rewards dwarf athletes by taking their potential seriously and giving them a realistic opportunity to succeed through hard work and dedication. The DAAA also believes that "the dream of honoring America in international competition should be as real for a dwarf athlete as it is for any other in the country."
According to its website, the DAAA's mission is: "To encourage people with dwarfism to participate in sports regardless of their level of skills." It is also to help dwarfs to realize their true potential in life. Many dwarfs attend this spectacular program to do just this.
Sports and Eligibility
The DAAA organizes and promotes dwarf athletics in a variety of sports for a variety of ages. They also sponsor clinics and development events around the United States.
List of Amateur Sports
The DAAA has athletes that compete in the following sports:
- Track & Field
- Table Tennis
- Weight Lifting
- Disproportionate dwarves (usually with Achondrodysplasia who are less than (or equal to) five feet tall) and proportionate dwarves with a height that is less than or equal to four feet ten inches are usually eligible to compete
- All participants must meet a special medical clearance and file a current medical release form (except those participating in Boccia)
- All athletes must also sign a "Waiver and Release of Liability and Publicity Release" in order to participate
In addition to the development of youth and adult dwarf athletes, the DAAA also organizes a number of local, regional, and national events to promote healthy competition among other little people.
National Dwarf Games
The National Dwarf Games is a yearly amateur competition organized by the DAAA (and local organizations)and only open to little people. Athletes are divided on the basis of age, gender, and functional ability classifications. There are also events for ages 8–15, but these are meant to emphasize in the achievement of personal best. Also, youth seven and under can participate in special (non-competitive) programs where everybody wins. In 2007, the National Dwarf Games were held in Seattle, Washington, in conjunction with the 2007 Little People of America conference.
World Dwarf Games
The World Dwarf Games are an international competition (similar to the Paralympics) that allows little people to compete at an international level. The games are held every four years at locations around the world. Athletes that have shown outstanding athleticism during the National Dwarf Games are chosen to participate in the World Dwarf Games.
The World Dwarf Games were first held in Chicago in 1993 and was hosted by the DCCC. During this inaugural games, the International Dwarf Athletic Federation (IDAF) was conceived. Since then, the World Dwarf Games have been held every four years at cities around the world. The 2017 World Dwarf Games will take place in Guelph, Canada.
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The DAAA maintains affiliations and relationships with the following organizations:
- United States Olympic Committee
- America's Athletes with Disabilities
- United States Disabled Sports Team
- International Dwarf Athletic Association
- Little People of America
- Billy Barty Foundation
- Dwarf Sports Association UK
In the media
The DAAA has been featured in a number of episodes on the American television Series Little People, Big World on TLC. The show, featured around the dwarf members of the Roloff family, has displayed a number of episodes where members of the family have participated in events sponsored by the DAAA. Zach Roloff competes in soccer regularly, and in 2006, Amy competed in Bocce.
- "History of the DAAA". DAAA Website. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
- "Mission of the DAAA". DAAA Website. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
- "Eligibility for Participation". DAAA website. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
- "National Dwarf Games". Mobility International USA. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
- Clarridge, Christine (1 July 2007). "National Dwarf Games Seattle in 2007". Seattle Times. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
- "World Dwarf Games Selection Process". The National Center on Physical Activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the University of Illinois at Chicago's Dept. of Disability and Human Development. Retrieved 6 November 2007.
- "World Dwarf Games History". The National Center on Physical Activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the University of Illinois at Chicago's Dept. of Disability and Human Development. Retrieved 6 November 2007.
- "World Dwarf Games and the International Dwarf Athletic Foundation". The National Center on Physical Activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the University of Illinois at Chicago's Dept. of Disability and Human Development. Retrieved 6 November 2007.
- "2009 World Dwarf Games". Dwarf Athletic Association of the UK. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
- "DAAA Affiliations and Relationships". Mobility International USA. Retrieved 5 November 2007.