Classification is an integral part of disability athletics, which is in place to ensure fair competition.
The classification groups currently included in the Paralympic Pathway are listed below. Each group is subdivided into classes depending on the level of impairment. There are strict criteria attached to each class, so use the following as basic guidelines for eligibility for each class.
If an athlete is not eligible for the Paralympic Pathway there are other options to ensure they can continue to enjoy the sport. For more information, contact Shona Malcolm.
|T/F||11-13||Athletes with a Visual Impairment|
|T/F||20||Athletes with an Intellectual disability (limited events)|
|T/F||31-34||Athletes with Cerebral Palsy (seated)|
|T/F||35-38||Athletes with Cerebral Palsy (ambulant)|
|T/F||40/41||Athletes with achondroplasia (Short Stature)|
|T/F||42-44||Athletes with Leg Amputations & Les Autres|
|T/F||44-47||Athletes with Arm Amputations & Les Autres|
|F||51-57||Seated Field Athletes|
The classification process identifies the athletes’ functional ability in relation to the event group in which they are competing. The athlete undergoes a series of mobility tests and is seen in competition by International Paralympic Committee (IPC)-qualified classifiers.
Athletes with a Physical Impairment – IPC Classification
UKA works with a small team of experienced and dedicated IPC Classifiers to offer National Classification for athletes with physical impairments. For new athletes who aspire to compete at the Paralympic Games, one of the most important steps is to ascertain their eligibility.
The classification process identifies the athlete’s functional ability in relation to the event group in which they are competing. The athlete undergoes a series of mobility tests and is seen in competition by IPC-qualified classifiers.
Athletes with a visual impairment are not subject to the functional classification process in the same way as athletes with physical impairments. Classification for athletes with a visual impairment involves an eye test that must be carried out by an ophthalmologist / optometrist. The athlete will receive an official classification and must bring this information to competitions.
Only athletes who receive a classification of B1-B3 through this system will be eligible for IPC Competition. You can download the form that must be completed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
Athletes with a learning disability in the UK are classified by either the UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability (UKSA) or the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (INAS). Classification is required before athletes can compete in international events and some competitions in the UK. All athletes who meet the eligibility criteria and are classified will be given either a UKSA or INAS-FID classification number.
For athletes with a learning disability there are two stages. Firstly an athlete is identified as an athlete with an IQ of 75 or below. This first stage is organised through your SDS Regional Managers. Secondly, an athlete must meet the sport-specific criteria. These are is currently still under development and will be implemented by the international bodies responsible for the relevant Paralympic sport. More detailed information can be found on the Classification section of the UKSA website.