FAQs

 

Below you will find frequently asked questions and answers about the Polar Plunge. If you have additional questions, please contact our Virginia Beach office at 757.962.1575 or email Meghan Massie.

When is the Plunge?
How many Polar Plunges and Plungers have there been?
Who can Plunge?
How do I reigster for the Polar Plunge?
What's the minimum donation required?
What happens if there is bad weather?
Where will the Plunge be held?
What is the acutal Plunge?

Why have a safety perimeter with divers?
How does the Plunge occur?
I want to stay overnight! Are there special room rates?
We want to sign up as a team. How do we do that?
What if I'm cold or get cold easily?
I'm bringing my family and friends to watch me Plunge. Where can I park?
Will there be food and beverages available?
Where can I change before and after the Plunge?

If I can't collect all my "offline" pledges before the plunge, what do I do?
Can you find information out on Facebook and Twitter?
Are there any special safety concerns before taking the Plunge?
Anything special to consider if you plan to participate in the Plunge and the 5K?


When is the Plunge?

The Plunge takes place Feb 7, 2014. The Winter Festival area opens at 10a.m.; the actual Plunge happens at 2:30 p.m. And don’t miss the Cool School Challenge (Feb. 6), the Friday night Pre-Plunge Party, the Saturday morning 5K or the Pee Wee Plunge. Check out the About tab for details on each, or click here for the entire event schedule.

How many Polar Plunges and Plungers have there been?
Since its inception 22 years ago in 1993, more than 39,000 plungers have raised more than $9.6 million for Special Olympics Virginia. Last year, more than 3,300 plungers braved the icy water, raising more than $1.1 million.

Who can Plunge?
Anyone can Plunge – young and old! If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must sign your waiver form (coming soon). Register today!

How do I register for the Polar Plunge?

Stay tuned for details on our new and improved registration and fundraising system, which will be up and running soon!

What's the minimum donation required?
For just $100 in pledges, you can Plunge! You’ll also receive the Polar Plunge® Winter Festival long-sleeve T-shirt and bragging rights over everyone who just couldn't bear it! Plus, the more money you raise, the more cool stuff you can get. For more on this year’s Plunge incentives, visit our incentives page.

What happens if there is bad weather?

The Plunge will take place as long as it is safe for the plungers. If there is a change to the schedule, we will post the information on the homepage of the Polar Plunge Web site and our Plunge Facebook page. There is no rain date. If we are forced to cancel, we hope you will still turn in your donations; you still will receive your incentive items.

Where will the Plunge be held?
Polar Plunge XXIII will be held on the Atlantic Ocean beach between 6th and 9th Streets in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There also are smaller plunges in Northern Virginia, the New River Valley and Richmond (new for 2015). Select the Other Plunges tab for details on those events.

What is the actual Plunge?
The "Plunge" happens when all the thousands of plungers race into the Atlantic Ocean, within a safety perimeter established by EMS dive team members from around the state. Plungers set their own personal goals of how deep to go and how long they want to stay in (within the limits established by the EMS divers). Some plungers only get their ankles wet; others stay in and play until the dive team members make them leave the water. Diving into the shallow ocean water is prohibited and going completely underwater is discouraged since it makes it harder for the divers to determine individuals in distress.

Why have a safety perimeter with divers?
The Polar Plunge has always used EMS, police and Navy dive teams from around the state to keep plungers safe. These highly trained individuals consider air and water temperature, current strengths, the amount of debris in the water and other surf conditions to determine both the maximum time plungers are allowed to stay in the water, as well as how far out plungers can go. For 22 years, these expert divers have kept all the plungers safe and this year will be no exception.

How does the Plunge occur?
Just prior to the actual Plunge, all plungers enter the fenced in plunger-only area. Our water rescue dive team supervisor then briefs everyone on how to plunge safely. After the briefing, our Special Olympics athletes will be the first to Plunge. For their protection, we ask that everyone else hold back until they are safely out of the water. Then, we’ll signal to the rest of the crowd that it’s time to plunge. How far out you go and how long you stay in are up to you, as long as you are following the direction of the EMS team. Eventually, the dive team will escort the remaining plungers out of the water.

I want to stay overnight! Are there special room rates?
Yes! Several local hotels extend special room rates to all Plungers. Visit our Hotels page for details about room rates and making reservations. Be certain to note that you want a room in the Polar Plunge Room Block to get the special room rate.

We want to sign up as a team. How do we do that?
We love teams! Stay tuned for team registration and fundraising details!

What if I'm cold or get cold easily?
We have full emergency crews, ambulances, search and rescue, and dive teams on site during the event. Members from area dive teams enter the water at Plunge time to make sure everyone stays safe. Besides, the water is generally a balmy 38 degrees, who can get cold in that?! Wawa also will be onsite with hot coffee so be sure to stop by their booth for a warm up!

I'm bringing my family and friends to watch me Plunge. Where can I park?
The Polar Plunge is a family affair so pack up your children, friends and neighbors so they can see you take your icy dip! Parking is available in the 9th Street parking garage (entrance is off 9th, between Atlantic and Pacific Avenues). We also will have free shuttles that run from the municipal lot at 19th Street. There is no fee to view the Plunge, but a $5 donation is required to access the heated tent and festival area on the beach.

Will there be food and beverages available?

Yes. Everything from hot coffee to hot sandwiches will be available at the event so come hungry!

Where can I change before and after the Plunge?
We will have male and female changing tents, so if you are not too modest, you will have a breeze-free place to change into or out of your suit.

If I can't collect all my "offline" pledges before the plunge, what do I do
?
We can only register you for the amount of donations you bring with you to the Plunge, and the funds you've raised online. Separate checks are acceptable and should be made payable to Special Olympics Virginia. If you receive donations after the Plunge, please mail them to Special Olympics Virginia Polar Plunge, 184 Business Park Drive, Suite 202, Virginia Beach, VA 23462.

Can you find information out on Facebook and Twitter?
Yes, find us on Facebook as Plunge Virginia, and on Twitter @PolarPlungeVa.


Are there any special safety concerns before taking the Plunge?
Yes. You can wear costumes into the water, but if your costume includes accessories that you must hold, please leave those pieces with your towel. Shoes are highly recommended - water shoes or old tennis shoes are best; flip flops quickly will be lost in the surf.


Please also consider your own physical condition. If you are toward the front of the Plunge group, you will be required (because of the large crowd) to run at a quicker pace through the sand. Stay at the back of the pack if you'd prefer to set your own comfortable pace.


Anything special to consider if you plan to participate in the Plunge and the 5K?

During early check-in times you will be able to check in and pick up you swag for both events. If you wait until Saturday, you will have to check-in for the 5K (beginning at 7 am), run and then come back to Plunge registration, which opens at 10 am.




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