Sports Specific classification is relevant to class II1 athletes only, competing in athletics, swimming and table tennis. In each sport, it is relevant to some events only and not the full programme.
Sports Specific classification is considered to be the the second stage of the international (Virtus) classification process.
Sports Specific classification was introduced to allow athletes with intellectual impairment back into the Paralympic Games, starting with the London 2012 Paralympics. It was part of the formal agreement between IPC and Inas (now Virtus)
The process was originally developed by the Joint Inas (now Virtus) and International Paralympic (IPC) Working Group.
An athlete can only be considered for the sports specific classification if they have successfully completed stage 1, the Virtus Primary Eligibility process.
How is sports specific classification carried out?
Sports specific classification requires the athlete to undergo onsite testing by an international Classification Panel.
This Panel is set up and managed by the IPC and the sports International Federation.
The onsite testing will focus on how the athletes intellectual disability impacts their ability to perform in their sport. The tests will gather “sports intelligence” on that athlete in order to assist the classification panel make a decision.
Sports intelligence will include information on reasoning, working memory and learning, visual spatial perception, reaction time and processing speed, attention and concentration and executive function.
The tests will be evaluated against sport specific minimal disability scores. An athlete must meet the minimal disability scores to be eligible to compete.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) implemented their sports specific system in November 2010, with the IPC Swimming system being in place in 2011. IPC Athletics implemented the system in September 2011 at the INAS Global Games.
For more information on the sport’s specific classification contact IPC, Virtus, British Athletics, British Swimming or British Para-Table Tennis.