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    Football 7-a-side Classification

    Two football players tackle for the ball on a blue field of play The Russian football 7-a-side team won the gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and is now one of the favourite teams for the European Championships © • IPC

    This is a brief overview of the sport and is in no way legally binding. In all cases the sport specific classification rules will take precedence. Should this page be out of date please contact classification@paralympic.org.

    Eligible impairment types:

    Athetosis

    Hypertonia

    Ataxia

    Athletes competing in Football 7-a-side have ataxia, hypertonia or athetosis - three impairment types that are most commonly associated with individuals with cerebral palsy and/or traumatic brain injury. They have a neurological impairment, with a motor control impairment of a cerebral nature, causing a permanent and verifiable activity limitation.

    Sport classes:

    As Football 7-a-side is a team sport, athletes from different sport classes together make up a team. This is managed through sport-technical rules, explained below. Each athlete is allocated one of the following four sport classes:

    FT5

    In this sport class, athletes have hypertonia in both lower limbs and to some degree in both upper limbs. The players have difficulties when running, turning and stopping because of an activity limitation in the lower limbs.

    FT6

    Athletes are affected by co-ordination and balance difficulties in all four limbs and trunk due to ataxia or athetosis. FT6 players typically have difficulties in dribbling the ball when running, accelerating and stopping.

    FT7

    This sport class is designated to hemiplegic players, meaning that only one side of their body is affected, causing the players to walk and run with a limp. The player has limited knee pick up when sprinting and also has an asymmetrical stride length. The player has difficulty pivoting and balancing on the impaired side and therefore often pivots on the unaffected side and may kick with the affected foot.

    FT8

    This sport class describes the minimum impairment eligible for football 7-a-side. These are athletes with minor degrees of activity limitation from any of the above classes. Therefore, you may not see the impact of the impairment when watching the athlete run or control the ball. However, involuntary muscle contractions and hesitation before explosive movements do constitute activity limitations in comparison to able-bodied players.

    Sport Technical Rules

    In order to ensure a fair game between two teams, each team (seven players) has to have one FT5 or FT6 player on the field at all times and is not allowed to have more than one FT8 players on the field.

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