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    Para badminton classification

    Kim Jung Jun Kim Jung Jun © • BWF

    Eligible impairment types

    Impaired muscle power

    Athetosis

    Impaired passive range of movement

    Hypertonia

    Limb deficiency

    Ataxia

    Leg length difference

    Short stature

    Sport Classes

    There are six sport classes in Para badminton. Two wheelchair classes (WH), two standing classes for lower limb impairment (SL), one standing class for upper limb impairment (SU) and one class for short stature athletes (SS). Athletes in sport class WH 1 have the greatest activity limitation. WH 1, WH 2 and SL 3 play half-court (lengthwise) in singles and full-court in doubles. SL 4, SU 5 and SS 6 play full-court in all five events, which are men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

    Wheelchair Classes

    There are two sport classes for athletes competing in a wheelchair. These athletes have lower limb impairments which create activity limitations in their ability to play standing. WH 1 athletes have a greater impairment than WH 2 athletes.

    WH 1

    Athletes in this sport class generally have impairment in both lower limbs and trunk. They may also have impaired hand function, impacting their ability to maneuver the wheelchair. You will often see athletes hold their wheelchair with one hand while swinging their racquet with the other. These athletes will push or pull themselves back to a neutral wheelchair sitting position after the stroke. You might expect to see athletes with high spinal cord injuries in this sport class.

    WH 2

    Athletes in this sport class generally have impairment in one or both lower limbs and minimal or no impairment of the trunk. You will often see WH 2 athletes move their wheelchair much quicker than the WH 1 athletes and have less reliance on holding their wheels to maintain balance. You might expect to see athletes with loss of one or two leg(s) above knee or lower spinal cord injuries.

    Standing Classes

    There are four sport classes for athletes who compete standing. SL athletes have impairments to their lower limbs and SU in their upper limbs; SS athletes have short stature.

    SL 3

    Athletes in this sport class generally have impairment in one or both lower limbs and poor walking/running balance. To minimise the impact of their impairment, they compete half-court (lengthwise). You might expect to see athletes with cerebral palsy, bilateral polio or loss of both legs below the knee.

    SL 4

    Athletes in this sport class have a lesser impairment compared to SL 3; they generally run faster and have better balance. These athletes play full-court. You might expect to see athletes with impairment in one or both lower limbs, unilateral polio or mild cerebral palsy.

    SU 5

    Athletes in this sport class have impairment in their upper limbs only. It may be a very mild impairment in the playing hand such as a missing thumb, affecting grip and therefore the power of the stroke. In the same sport class, athletes may have a more severe impairment to the non-playing arm, impacting counter balance movements, trunk rotation and the ability to serve. You might expect to see athletes with loss of an arm, or an arm without function due to nerve damage.

    SS 6

    Athletes in this sport class have short stature.

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