The classification process
To determine an athlete’s sport class, a panel of IWRF classifiers will conduct a series of bench tests and functional skills testing prior to the start of competition. Classification will take place at an assigned time in a private area at the competition venue, and each athlete will be allowed to have a coach or representative attend the classification with them.
During classification, bench tests will be conducted to evaluate the athlete’s limbs for strength, flexibility, sensation and muscle tone. The athletes’ trunk (abdominal and back muscles) is also tested for balance, ability to bend over and rise up, and the ability to rotate to both sides in combination with leg function, if present. During functional testing, the athlete is observed performing various ball handling and wheelchair skills that are common in the sport.
If eligible, an athlete is assigned a sport class following the completion of the bench and functional skills tests prior to the start of competition. During game play, the athlete will be further observed while on the court in order to make a final determination of the athlete’s sport class.
If an athlete does not have opportunity to play a sufficient amount of time during a game or throughout the tournament, the athlete may conclude the tournament “under review”. In this case, the athlete will still have sport class (0.5 to 3.5) assigned, and a final sport class value will be determined at the athletes’ next competition opportunity where an IWRF classification panel is present, and able to observe them.
If an athlete is ruled “ineligible” or “not classifiable” at the end of the classification process, that player will not be allowed to compete in the sport. All eligible athletes are required to be classified 3 times by IWRF certified classification panels at least 11 months apart before their sport class becomes permanent.