South Australian Blind Athletes Club Inc.
Athletics is the most widespread I.B.S.A. sport, practised in international competitions by more than 70 countries.
Competition is organised according to the I.B.S.A. Classification System, using all three classes – B1, B2 and B3. The rules of the International Athletic Associations Federation (IAAF) are followed for a range of traditional Athletics events that is more or less complete except for events such as the Hurdles races, the Steeplechase, and the Pole Vault. IAAF Rules are followed in their entirety by the class B3 athletes, but there are necessary modifications in the case of the more severe visual impairments – Class B2 and B1. Some of these modifications involve adjustments to the Athletics facilities, or to the way in which they are used. Most of the modifications regulate the way in which these classes may be given assistance (by running guides, for example, or by callers supplying auditory guidance in field events) to enable them to perform in authentic competition.
Athletics competitions for Blind and Visually Impaired athletes have a long history, and since the formation of I.B.S.A. in 1981 there has been a regular program of international competition at a continental and world level.
Under I.B.S.A. auspices, Blind athletes competed in Paralympic Games in Long Island (1984), Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004).
I.B.S.A. conducted its first multi-sport World Championships in Madrid in 1998, and in this event, as in the 2nd I.B.S.A. World Championships and Games in Quebec City in 2003, Athletics was the blue riband sport.
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