Certified Adaptive Recreation and Sports Specialist (CARSS)™

Thank you for your interest in our Certified Adaptive Recreation and Sports Specialist program (CARSS).  The CARSS certification is the only adaptive sports and recreation certification of its kind and will help you serve your organization and the people that you work with more effectively.

We’ve put together a list of FAQs below that will hopefully answer most of the questions you may have about the CARSS certification and program.  If you have any additional questions, call us at 404-270-2000 or email us at certification@blazesports.org, and we will get back to you quickly with the answer.

Questions are organized in three sections:  General Questions, Re-certification Questions,  Higher Education Partner Questions.

General Program FAQs

1.  What is the benefit of CARSS certification?

There are many benefits for adaptive sport and recreation practitioners (new or experienced) to obtain this national certification.

  • Promotes continued professional development and shows that you are a leader and trained provider in the field of adaptive sports and recreation with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills.
  • Assists employers in identifying qualified, community-based adaptive sports practitioners.
  • Reinforces related professions such as therapeutic recreation, physical therapy and physical education.
  • Helps you to serve more people with disabilities more effectively with well-run programs

2.  When was CARSS created?

The certification was developed and released in 2009 as the Certified Disability Sports Specialist. The curriculum was updated to reflect changes in the adaptive sports field and to better meet the needs of adaptive sport and physical activity practitioners working with youth, adults and veterans with various physical disabilities. In 2017, the certification was renamed and released as the Certified Adaptive Recreation and Sports Specialist (CARSS).

3.  How can I become CARSS certified?

To learn more about the CARSS certification and the steps to become certified, please visit www.blazesportsinstitute.org

4.  What Core Competency Areas are covered in the CARSS  course & exam?

CARSS course and exam is based on the following nine (9) core competency areas related to adaptive sports and recreation.History of Adaptive Sports and Related Laws and Regulations

  1. History of Adaptive Sports and Related Laws and Regulations
  2. Understanding Disabilities and Disability Awareness
  3. Adaptive Physical Activity and Recreation
  4. Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation
  5. Recruitment and Promotion
  6. Partnership Building
  7. Risk Management and Injury Prevention
  8. Accessible Facilities
  9. Adaptive Equipment

5.  What is the criteria to take the CARSS  course?

CARSS  Level I:

Applicant must have a minimum of 30 hours of direct and verifiable adaptive sports and recreation
experience (paid or voluntary) with individuals with physical disabilities.

CARSS  Level II:

Applicant may have a Bachelor’s degree in a physical activity-related field* from an accredited college or university and 100 hours of direct and verifiable adaptive sports and recreation experience (paid or voluntary.                                                                                                    OR

Have 1,000 hours of direct and verifiable adaptive sports and recreation experience (paid or voluntary) with individuals with physical disabilities.

*Hours of sports & recreation experience Includes fields such as adaptive physical activity, therapeutic recreation, sports management, physical education, physical therapy, and exercise science

6.  What is the difference between CARSS  Level I and Level II?

CARSS Level I is intended for students and practitioners new to the field of adaptive sport, providing a basic level of content in each of the core areas.  CARSS Level II is intended for more experienced adaptive sport and recreation practitioners providing more advanced information in all core content areas especially the program planning, implementation and evaluation.

7.  What is the cost of the CARSS  Certification?

    • Level I: $125
    • Level II: $150

Recertification FAQs

1. What is the purpose of getting recertified?

The purpose of the CARSS recertification is to ensure that CARSS certified professionals continue to enhance their knowledge and skills in adaptive sport and recreation through continuing education activities and learning.

The CARRS Continuing Education Guide provides different types of professional development experiences and their Continuing Education Unit value.

2.  When will I need to renew my CARSS  certification? 

The CARSS certification is valid for two years. At the end of the two-year period CARSS holders must accumulate 4.0 CEUs for Level I and 8.0 CEUs for Level II.

3.  What is a CEU?

CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. A CEU is a unit of credit equal to ten hours of participation in an accredited program designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice various professions.

4.  What are the CEU continuing education requirements?

Individuals who receive a passing score on the CARSS exam will be required to earn 4.0/8.0 continuing education (CEU) units specific to adaptive sport, recreation and/or physical activity over a two-year period.

In order to renew your certification at the end of two years, CARSS holders will need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Accumulate the required number of Continuing Education Units and submit documentation of CEUs using the BlazeSports CARSS CEU Form along with supporting documentation.
  • Pay the required recertification fee of $75


  • Repeat the certification exam at the end of the two-year period, as long as current eligibility requirements are met. Current CARSS exam prices apply.

5.  How do I renew my CARSS  Certification?

CARSS holders will renew their credential by:

  • Obtaining 4.0 CEUs for Level I and 8.0 CEUs for Level II in the adaptive sport, recreation and/or physical activity field.
  • Filling out a recertification form which can be found at blazesports.org.
  • Paying a $75 recertification fee (online or by mailing a check payable to BlazeSports America)
    Mailing address: CARSS Renewal, 3000 Business Park Drive, Suite A, Norcross, GA 30071

University and College Partners FAQs

1.  How can a University or College access the CARSS  curriculum for their students?

For the past five years, the BlazeSports Institute for Adaptive Sports and Recreation has partnered with select colleges and universities across the U.S. to integrate the BlazeSports CARSS (formerly Certified Disability Sports Specialist) curriculum into their existing adaptive physical activity and related course curricula at the undergraduate and graduate level.  The CARSS curriculum directly benefits students studying therapeutic recreation, adaptive physical activity, adapted physical education, sports management, physical therapy and the like, by providing a credential that increases their marketability and employability in the adaptive sport field and sports industry.

Please call us at 404-270-2000 or email us at certification@blazesports.org to learn more about how you can implement the CARSS curriculum and certification into your program.

2.  What is the cost to a University or College Partner?

To benefit our University and College partners, we customize our program based on student needs. The fee to utilize the BlazeSports CARSS Curriculum Level I is $400/semester, or $650 for two semesters.  Each year the CARSS curriculum is reviewed and updated so that each section is current and contains the most updated information in the field.

The fee to take the CARSS certification exam is a reduced rate of $50 per student.  Some University and College partners absorb this cost for their students as part of their course. All other CARSS Level I requirements for re-certification and Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) apply.

3.  Is there a stand-alone student fee?

Yes! If a university or college student is currently enrolled in a program related to adaptive physical activity and is interested in obtaining their CARSS Level I, there is an individual reduced student rate of $75 to earn the CARSSTM credential if their institution does not offer the CARSS Curriculum.