Classification of sports is individually governed by each International Federation in the Paralympic Movement, within the framework of the IPC Classification Code. As each sport differs, so too do their classification systems. This is because an impairment, its severity and location may cause relatively little impact on one sport and a significant impact on another.
Once per year the IPC and Classification Committee host an International Sport Federation Head of Classification Meeting to discuss common issues across sports.
Every International Federation has classification rules in place, which define:
- the classification system of their sport(s), including minimum disability criteria and sport classes;
- roles and responsibilities of classification personnel, the International Federation, National Paralympic Committees or National Federations, and athletes;
- athlete evaluation procedures, including administration of classification opportunities, timelines, sport class status allocation and suspension of athlete evaluation; and
- procedures to protest sport class allocations.
The classification rules of each International Federation must comply with the IPC Classification Code.