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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Polar Plunge


What’s the Polar Plunge?

The Polar Plunge (presented by North Dakota law enforcement as part of the year-round fundraising of Law Enforcement Torch Run® events to benefit Special Olympics) is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics athletes by jumping into North Dakota waters. Throughout the year, there are six (6) opportunities across the state to take the Plunge and be freezin' for a reason; to support Special Olympics North Dakota athletes!  


What is the minimum amount that I need to raise to participate in the event?

All Plungers must raise a minimum of $75. If Plunging as a team, the team must raise at least $75 per person.


What incentives are available to participants who raise more than the minimum $75?

Incentives are distributed at the following levels and are based on individual fundraising totals:

  • $75: Plunge shirt
  • $250: Plunge shirt & Hat
  • $500: Plunge shirt & Towel
  • $1,000: Plunge shirt & Sweatshirt

Please note that if you prefer an incentive that is lower than what you earned (for example, you earned $1,000 but want the incentive for the $500 level), you’ll be able to request the lower item when you check in.   


Where do I jump in the Polar Plunge? 

Each Plunge location is different, but most of our Polar Plunges take place in a swimming pool, set up outside in a parking lot.  The average size of the pool is 8 feet wide by 12 feet long, and includes a water depth of about 3-4 feet.  Participants jump off a platform into the pool, and then swim/walk across the pool to the other side to climb stairs or a ladder out of the pool.   


How deep is the water?

Each Plunge location is different, but we try our best to keep the water between 3-4 feet deep. If you want to go all the way under water, it’s up to you—bend your knees! 


How old do you have to be to Plunge?

There is no age requirement to participate in a Polar Plunge. During the registration process, all Plunge participants must sign the waiver, and participants under the age of 18 are required to have a parent or guardian approve and sign the waiver. Young children are welcome to participate, but that decision is left to the sole discretion of the child’s parent or guardian.

Click here to view and print the Release and Waiver of Liability 


Where can I change before and after I Plunge?

Available facilities vary at each Polar Plunge location, but at all plunges separate changing rooms will be available for men and women.  Many North Dakota Polar Plunges are held at hotels or fitness centers that include a locker rooms with shower and bathroom facilities.  Please note, that neither the event committee nor Special Olympics North Dakota are responsible for personal belongings left inside the changing areas, that are lost or stolen during the course of the event.  Leave items at your own risk.  


What do I wear to Plunge?

Check out our What to Expect page.


Is alcohol allowed at Plunges?

Alcohol is not permitted at the Plunge site. If you are intoxicated, you will not be allowed to Plunge.


Are the Plunge incentives for sale?

We do not sell any of our current year Plunge incentives because we feel it is a privilege for those who participate and have earned the various incentive levels. If we do have a large amount of incentives left from prior Polar Plunge seasons, we’ll make the items available at plunges. In some cases, we do have separate Plunge merchandise and Special Olympics North Dakota merchandise that is available for anyone to purchase.


What is your refund policy?

Charitable contributions are non-refundable, and the minimum Plunge fundraising requirement is considered a charitable contribution and is therefore also non-refundable.


What is your event cancellation policy?

We reserve the right to cancel an event due to inclement weather. Safety of participants and spectators is always most important to us, and we work with local law enforcement to be sure conditions are safe for participants. If you cannot attend the event or the event is cancelled there will be no refunds. If an event were to be cancelled, we would still offer an incentive pick up option to participants, or allow participants to transfer to a different event.


How long does check-in take?

We have streamlined our check in process, but can never predict when crowds will be heaviest. If available, we recommend attending a pre-registration event to make the entire process easier for you. If a pre-registration event is not available, we encourage you to arrive early to check-in on the day of the event, and enjoy the Plunge atmosphere.


Am I guaranteed to receive my incentive when I check in?

We do our best to order enough incentives to cover all the Plungers who participate, but if there is a large increase in Plunge registrations, we may not have everyone’s incentives available on site. If you do not receive your incentives the day of the Plunge, they will be mailed to you as soon after the event as possible.

For each Polar Plunge location, there is a pre-registration due date (approximately 2 weeks before the plunge event date) to register for the Polar Plunge and guarantee your requested Long Sleeve shirt size is available. If you do not pre-register for your event by the listed due date, additional shirts may be available, but your shirt size will not be guaranteed.  You will be asked to choose one of the available shirt sizes.  In the event that all shirt stock is out, a shirt of your requested size will be mailed to you as soon after the event as possible.  


What are some tips to make check-in go faster?

  • Register online through
  • If you do not register online, have a Plunge brochure (PDF) and waiver completely and clearly filled out.  When possible, send these forms to Special Olympics North Dakota. 
  • When possible, contact us prior to arriving at registration with questions about online pledges or issues regarding registration. If questions arise that day, we will do our best to help you with them in a timely manner.


I have raised pledges both online and offline with cash and checks. How will the volunteers at Plunge check in know how much I have raised?

Our day of the event registration system has up to the minute totals for your online fundraising, and will be added to anything additional you may turn in on site.


Can I trade my incentive after the event?

Plungers cannot change their incentive after the event. Incentives are given out based on what your fundraising total is on the day of the event. Any funds turned in after the event will still go towards you fundraising total, but will not change your incentive.


Can I Plunge at more than one Plunge event?

Definitely! You need to register yourself, and raise the minimum $75 to participate in each Plunge event. 


I have a group of people that want to Plunge together. Can we form a team?

Yes! Forming a team is a great way to motivate one another to raise more money for Special Olympics North Dakota. When registering, select the “Create a Team” option.


Will my Plunge team be able to jump in together?

Depending on the size of the team, and the pool and jumping platform at the plunge, teams may jump in together. If the pool and platform is smaller, teams will have to split into groups and jump in succession. If you’d like to jump with others not on your team, make sure they stand in line with you, or sign up for the same time slot as you.


Additional Questions?

Contact Special Olympics North Dakota at 701.746.0331 or email Jena Pierce at

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