CLASSIFICATION IN PARA ALPINE SKIING

This is a brief overview of classification in the sport and is in no way legally binding. In all cases the sport-specific classification rules will take precedence. For further questions please contact AlpineSkiing@WorldParaSnowSports.org.   

WHAT IS CLASSIFICATION?

In order to safeguard the integrity of fair competition, all Para sports have a system in place which aims to ensure that winning is determined by sporting factors such as skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus, the same factors that account for success in sport for able bodied athletes.  

This system is called classification.  

Through classification, it is determined which athletes are eligible to compete in a sport and how those athletes are then grouped together for competition, in order to minimise the impact of those athletes’ impairments on sport performance. 

Classification is sport-specific because an impairment affects the ability to perform in different sports to a different extent. As a consequence, an athlete may meet the criteria to compete in one sport, but may not meet the criteria in another sport. Having an impairment is thus not sufficient for an athlete to compete in Para sport.  

The groupings of athletes by the degree of activity limitation resulting from their impairments are called ‘Sport Classes’. This, to a certain extent, is similar to grouping athletes by age, gender or weight. 

Classification across the Paralympic Movement is governed by the IPC Athlete Classification Code and Standards. More information about classification can be found here.  

CLASSIFICATION IN PARA ALPINE SKIING 

The details of classification in Para alpine skiing are set out in the World Para Alpine Skiing Classification Rules and Regulations (link below).  

Athletes must have one of the eligible impairments and meet the minimum impairment criteria for the sport set out in those rules in order to be eligible to compete.  

ELIGIBLE IMPAIRMENTS FOR PARA ALPINE SKIING 

All athletes in Para alpine skiing have one or more of the following impairments: 

  • Impaired Muscle Power 
  • Limb Deficiency 
  • Leg Length Difference 
  • Hypertonia 
  • Ataxia 
  • Athetosis 
  • Impaired Passive Range of Movement 
  • Vision Impairment 

SPORT CLASSES IN PARA ALPINE SKIING

Athletes in Para alpine skiing are grouped into the following sport classes. The sport class profiles are set out in World Para Alpine Skiing Classification Rules and Regulations.

SPORT CLASSES LW 1-9: STANDING SKIERS

Lower limb impairments:

Sport Class LW 1: Athletes have an impairment in both legs. 
Sport Class LW 2: Athletes have an impairment in one leg. 
Sport Class LW 3: Athletes have an impairment in both legs. 
Sport Class LW 4: Athletes have an impairment in one leg. 

Upper limb impairments:

Sport Class LW 5/7: Athletes have an impairment in both arms and compete without ski poles. 
Sport Class LW 6/8: Athletes have an impairment in one arm and compete with one ski pole.

Combined upper and lower limb impairments:

Sport Class LW 9: Skiers in this Sport Class have an impairment that affects arms and legs. Depending on the nature and degree of their activity limitation they compete with or two skis and one or two poles. 

SPORT CLASSES LW 10-12: SIT-SKIERS 

Sport Classes LW 10-12: All sit-skiers have an impairment affecting their legs and compete in a seated position.

SPORT CLASSES B1-3: SKIERS WITH VISION IMPAIRMENT

Sport Classes B 1-3: Athletes in these sport classes have vision impairment and meet the minimum impairment criteria to compete. Athletes with vision impairment ski with a guide, who verbally gives directions to the athlete. 

DOCUMENTS AND FORMS

World Para Alpine Skiing Classification Rules and Regulations (Updated August 2017)

10 Steps for Classification - Guide

World Para Alpine Skiing Medical Diagnosis Form for Physically Impaired Athletes

World Para Alpine Skiing Medical Diagnosis Form for Vision Impaired Athletes

Classification Protest Form

World Para Alpine Skiing Medical Review Request Form