Eligibility Criteria

Athletes with Intellectual Impairment

Class II1 – Athletes with Intellectual Disability

All three eligibility criteria need to be met.

  • Evidence of IQ – a full scale IQ of 75 or lower
  • Evidence of significant limitations in adaptive behaviour – a measure of how learning disability affects both daily life and the ability to respond to life changes and environmental demands. (Conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills)
  • Evidence of Age of Onset pre 22 – intellectual impairment evident before the person is 22 years old.

Athletes with intellectual disability may also have autism.  To apply under class II1, intellectual disability should be their primary diagnosis.

Class II2 – Athletes with intellectual disability and significant additional impairment

In the UK, athletes with down syndrome are the only focus in this group at present.

A formal diagnosis of Trisomy 21 or Translocation down syndrome


Have a diagnosed intellectual disability (II1), AND meet the minimum criteria for additional impairment according to the Virtus FAST Assessment.

Class II3 – Athletes with Autism

A formal diagnosis of Autism or ASD carried out by qualified practitioners, using accepted diagnostic techniques. Both the ICD 11 and DSM 5 definition of Autism are accepted.

II3 athletes cannot also have an intellectual disability. If they do have, they should apply under class II1.

Evidence for each element of each class needs to accompany classification applications for both UK and international levels.

The criteria is the same for both levels, but different evidence can be accepted.

You can read more about the evidence and download the guidance notes here.

Sports Specific Classification

For class II1 athletes in the three Paralympic sports, (athletics, swimming and table tennis), an additional stage of classification is required, known as ‘Sports Specific’ International Classification.

An athlete must meet the requirements of stage 1 (primary eligibility) before they can proceed to stage 2 (sports specific).

Successfully completing the primary eligibility check of the international process is no guarantee that an athlete will meet the requirements of sports specific classification.  Stage 2 is managed by the International Sports Federations, IPC and the relevant UK NGB. NGB’s will invite athletes on their programmes to sports specific testing as, or if, relevant.

Contact SportExcel UK for more infomation on the eligibility criteria for all 3 classes.