Classification is a structure for competition. Paralympic athletes have an impairment in body structures and functions that leads to a competitive disadvantage in sport. Consequently, criteria are put in place to ensure that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus, the same factors that account for success in sport for athletes who are able-bodied.
The purposes of the criteria include:
- Defining which impairment groups can compete in the various sports; and
- Grouping athletes in classes defined by the degree of activity limitation related to the impairment and/or specific to the tasks in the sport.
When an athlete starts competing, they are allocated a class that may be reviewed throughout the athlete’s career. Respective sports certify individuals as Officials to conduct the process of classification and these specific Officials are known as Classifiers.
The PAS welcomes any potential individuals interested in the application to be the IPC Athletics Classifiers. As the initiative parallels to PAS strategic development, potential individuals may be awarded technical training sponsorship/scholarship subject to PAS terms and conditions.
The potential candidates must satisfy the background knowledge and the experience requirements along with the official evidence of the following basic qualifications which will determine the type of classifier the candidate may become:
Medical Classifier – A professional qualification in Medicine, Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy. Candidates that qualify for ‘Medical Classifier’ will be expected to have the ability to carry out and report on an appropriate and detailed neuromusculoskeletal assessment. Candidates should possess strong movement analysis skills.
Technical Classifier – A professional qualification in Exercise, Sport Science or Physical Education; or appropriate nationally recognised athletics coaching qualification; or an athlete who has competed at an IPC World Championships or Paralympic Games. Candidates that qualify for ‘Technical Classifier’ will be expected to have a sound knowledge of the IPC Athletics disciplines with the ability to analyse and critique the movements of a performing athlete.