What is Classification? (Please scroll down to see all information )

Paralympic sport exists so that athletes with disabilities have equal
opportunities to compete and be successful in sport. Classification groups
athletes who have similar impairments together into classes for
competition in their particular sport. Each Paralympic sport has a
different classification system, based on each sport's specific athletic
skills and requirements. Each Paralympic sport has sport-specific minimal
disability criteria that athletes must meet in order to be eligible for
the sport. By grouping similar athletes together, an athlete's disability
plays less of an impact on the outcomes of competition. This means that
classification helps to allow the fastest, strongest or best athletes in
each class to succeed in their sport.

When is Classification required?

If you want to compete in sport as an athlete with a disability, you must
undergo a sports specific classification assessment and hold a particular
level of classification. Classification is not required for general
participation or social involvement in sport.

In Australia, there are 3 levels of classification:

Provisional: For athletes who compete at club, school or regional
competition and do not have access to a sport specific classification
panel.

National: For athletes who have access to a recognized sport specific
classification panel, and compete at state or national championships all
Paralympic Sports. This includes School Sport State and National
Championships.

International: For athletes who are selected for international competition.

Please refer to the following fact sheet for further information:

http://www.paralympic.org.au/sites/default/files/APC%20Classification%20Info%20Sheet%20-%20Vision%20Impaired.pdf


The steps to getting a classification are below.

In line with International VI classification practices...


* All VI athletes who wish to be classified must have the VI
Medical Screening form completed by a registered Ophthalmologist PRIOR to
being classified for a Paralympic Sport. (I have attached the current
version of this form for you, however the best method is just to provide
the link to this form on the website. Then your member is always
guaranteed that they are using the most up to date form.)

http://www.paralympic.org.au/sites/default/files/National%20VI%20Medical%20Screening%20Form.pdf



* An athlete will not be able to be classified unless they present
with all of the information below;

either by way of the attached form being completed or by a separate report
that contains all of the information required.

* This form needs to be completed each time the athlete wishes to
undergo a classification assessment.


Once this form is completed, the athlete can contact their State
Development Coordinator at the Australian Paralympic Committee to obtain
contact information for the IPC trained Classifiers and make an
appointment. The link below is the form that they will fill out.
http://www.paralympic.org.au/sites/default/files/VI%20%20National%20Classification%20Form%20FINAL.pdf

Remote athletes may undergo a Provisional Classification Assessment with a
registered Opthamologist. The Opthamologist needs to fill in the form at
the link below and return it to the Classification Manager at the APC (the
address is on the form). A provisional classification is only valid for 1
year.
http://www.paralympic.org.au/sites/default/files/VI%20Provisional%20Classification%20form.pdf

Once a person has been classified, they will receive a copy of their
results and then the original will be sent to the Australian Paralympic
Committee where their name and status will be added to the Classification
Masterlist for each Paralympic Sport that they identified as wanting a
classification in. These masterlists are readily available on the APC
website.

NB -If an athlete has a degenerative condition and does not qualify
initially, the classifier will put a date to return (eg in 12 months) to
have another assessment to see if they have deteriorated enough to be
eligible. Similarly those that are eligible and have a degenerative
condition will be asked to return in "x number of years" to determine
whether they have changed classes as well.

Please allow at least 2-3 months to complete the classification process.

For further information please contact us at
info@blindsportssa.org.au