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Paralympic Games: Classification Guide

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Classification is a unique element of Paralympic sports, intended to ensure fair competition. As each sport at the Paralympic Games requires different skills and competencies, the impact of impairment on the performance of the athletes varies. That’s why each sport has its own unique classification rules.

Classification is essential for elite sport competition for athletes with impairment, as it performs two important roles:

It defines which athletes are eligible to compete in each of the sports
It groups athletes in classes, defined by the degree to which they are limited in their ability to perform an activity.
Therefore, classification guarantees that an athlete or a team competes on equal terms with other athletes competing for the same medals. It ensures that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus – the same factors that account for success in sport for non-disabled athletes.

Each athlete competing at a Paralympic Games has already gone through an evaluation, conducted by authorised technical officials called classifiers who are appointed by the International Federation for that sport. This is a long term and, sometimes, ongoing process which takes place at all major events, before and during competition.

The classifiers assess the athlete’s impairment and how it impacts on their functional ability on the field of play, in line with the classification rules for that sport. As a result of this evaluation, each athlete is assigned a sport class.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games Classification Guide is designed to provide National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Paralympic Sport Federations (IPSFs) with information about the classification policies and procedures that will apply to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

While it is acknowledged that each sport has its own rules and regulations, certain policies and procedures will be common to all sports at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

This guide details those common policies and procedures, notably:

–– Paralympic Games sport class status
–– classification activities (before the Games and at Games time)
–– classification protest policies and procedures
–– classification appeals
–– sport-specific classification information

This guide is the rule book for classification regulations relating to the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The policies and procedures contained herein apply to all sports on the Paralympic programme and are valid for the London 2012 Paralympic Games only.

They overrule the IPSF classification rules on these matters unless otherwise specified by the IPC and the respective IPSF.



 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [  This guide was distributed to the National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Paralympic Sport Federations (IPSFs) by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) on behalf of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). At major games it appears that classifications are not internationally agreed; they are controlled by the organising committee and each then replace those of of the IPSF (federations). Continued confusion then for national federations and indeed the International Paralympic Committee made more confusuing since there are a variety of organisations that govern sport for people with various [dis]abilities.  ]  Reference this?LOCOG. (2011). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from In the text: LOCOG (2011)


APA reference for this document


Reference :  LOCOG.(2011). Paralympic Games: Classification Guide. London: LOCOG


The above reference is in the APA style: See why this is important in our [how to reference] us guide.


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Download this file (120223112335266_2012+Classification+Guide+2nd+edition.pdf)120223112335266_2012+Classification+Guide+2nd+edition.pdfLOCOG.(2011). Paralympic Games: Classification Guide. London: LOCOG
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 August 2012 12:51  

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