To ensure competition is fair and equal, all Para sports, including Para Dance Sport, have a system in place which ensures that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus, the same factors that account for success in sport for able-bodied athletes.
This process is called classification and its purpose is to minimise the impact of impairments on the activity (sport discipline).
Sport Specific Classification
Athletes are classified according to their functional abilities, based on sport specific tests, which include:
• Wheel control – ability to accelerate and stop the wheel by either hand
• Push function – ability to control wheelchair movement while pushing and while in hand contact with the dance partner
• Pull function – ability to control wheelchair movement while pulling and while in hand contact with the dance partner
• Full arm rotation – ability to perform a controlled movement of the free arm reaching full extension of the joints and full co-ordination
• Trunk rotation – ability to fully rotate the trunk without losing balance
These five criteria are tested on a hard floor under competition conditions using a points system whereby 2 points is awarded for full function, 1 point for reduced function and 0 points for no function. A maximum of 20 points can be awarded. Athletes with 14 points of less are classed as LWD1 and athletes with more than 14 points fall into the LWD2 class.
All competitors with an impairment must present an IPC Medical Classification card prior to competition. After two international classifications the class can be made permanent, however only if the impairment is unlikely to improve and the classification is conducted by two different international classifiers from different countries.
Athletes showing their permanent classification with a valid classification card do not have to be tested before a competition.
For an IPC competition the classifiers can be selected from the official classifier list by the organiser. The team of classifiers, which must be approved by the Classification Committee, has to consist of minimum one international trainer, one international classifier and one national classifier. At least one of them has to be a medical doctor.
For regional Championships approved by IPC-WDSC at least one international classifier from the official list has to lead the classification, and at least one of them has to be a medical doctor.
Event organisers must provide sufficient time for classification which should take place at least two hours before warm-up dancing. The room must be of sufficient size and have a hard floor to test dancing.
Only one classifier, who is the primarily responsible classifiers, signs the classification.
The team leader of the classified athletes can protest the classification within one hour after the classification has taken place (see also general protest regulation of IPC). The team leader from each competing nation can also protest a classification providing it is within 30 minutes after the competition.
Any resulting protest classification should be completed within one hour after the original protest and be conducted by a different team. In carrying out the protest classification, the second classifier must hear the athlete’s explanations as well as the first classifier’s opinion.
The times can be prolonged for special reasons in agreement with the involved persons.
2017 International Classifiers List
|Miriam de Haasnagler||NED|
|Marjon van Eysden||NED|
|Peer van der Riet||NED|
|Hedi Anne Birkeland||NOR|