FAQ in relation to the transfer of Para dance sport to World Abilitysport

21 Nov 2023
An indoor court with a group of Para dancers practicing observed by a group of people around the court
ⒸEva Pavía / #BizziTeam
By World Abilitysport and World Para Dance Sport

Since the announcement of the transfer of governance of Para dance sport to World Abilitysport, members of the sport community had the possibility to send questions about the process. The answers to the questions submitted can be found below.

World Para Dance Sport 

•    Will the sport keep the same logo and name?
•    Is our Para sport community going to be bigger inside the new federation than it is now?
•    What will change due to the transfer of governance to World Abilitysport?
•    Are our judging and official licences still valid in the future?

Following 1 January 2024, the sport will continue to operate under the same name and branding (World Para Dance Sport). Any possible future rebranding of the sport will be a decision for World Abilitysport. 

As of 1 January 2024, Para dance sport will join the ranks of two other Para sports  governed by World Abilitysport. World Abilitysport is the international federation for wheelchair fencing and powerchair hockey. It is also developing the sports of wheelchair slalom and frame football.

The current operational World Para Dance Sport team including the sport manager will be given the opportunity to transfer to World Abilitysport and continue their work with the sport. 

International Technical Officials and classifiers will also be given the opportunity to continue their volunteer roles for the sport. As of 1 January 2024, the training and certification of these individuals will be a matter for World Abilitysport. If any of these individuals need to reapply for training or certification, World Abilitysport will contact them directly in due course.

National impact of the transfer

•    What are the recognised organisations under World Abilitysport for cooperation in the future?
•    Are national members automatically transferred to World Abilitysport or do we need to apply?
•    Do we need to end our relations with the National Paralympic Committees (NPCs)?
•    Will NPCs still be responsible for sending in athlete entries for competitions?

World Abilitysport utilises a flexible membership structure that will allow both dance and impairment-specific organisations to interact with it directly. The secondary membership tier will give sport-specific national federations (NFs) an opportunity to become a member of World Abilitysport, allowing them to be actively involved in the development and decision-making of the sport. World Abilitysport will provide additional details about transferring membership to their organisation in the near future.


•    Will there be changes to athlete eligibility, e.g. mixed nationality couples, power wheelchair class in 2024?  
•    Does World Abilitysport support the existing classification system or will athletes need to be reclassified?
•    Are we now widening Para dance sport to non-wheelchair-using athletes, e.g. standing amputees, vision impairment and auditory impairment?

Para dance sport athletes will not need to be reclassified due to the transfer of governance to World Abilitysport. All existing classification results (e.g., Sport Class and Sport Class Status) shall be recognised by World Abilitysport.

At the start of the 2024 season, Para dance sport’s classification system and sport classes including combi style (wheelchair users dancing with a standing partner) will remain unchanged. Any changes to classification will be addressed in the strategic plan to be developed in 2024.

World Abilitysport is well-versed in classification with all the proper elements in place for strong classification rules and an accompanying research strategy. Each sport under World Abilitysport’s governance has an elected sports technical committee consisting of technical and classification experts. This will be the same for Para dance sport.

Paralympic Games

•    Is there a possibility to attend the Paralympic Games at any point in the future? 
•    My athlete is aiming for the Paralympic Games. Will this ever happen or is this no longer the aim?
•    How does this transfer change the pathway to the Paralympic Games?
•    How should national governing bodies be involved or support in the pathway of Para dance sport to Paralympic Games sports?

World Abilitysport’s vision for Para dance sport is to provide top tier competition opportunities for Para dance athletes, including adding the sport to the organisation’s World Games. 

World Abilitysport has plans to grow the sport through a variety of methods to give it the best possible chance at future inclusion in the Paralympic Games sport programme. In this context, World Abilitysport is the international federation for the sport of wheelchair fencing, which is currently included in the Paralympic Games sport programme. Lessons learned through the development of this sport will be applied to Para dance sport.

Licensing of athletes

•    Can we still use the Sport Data Management System (SDMS) after the transfer, and specifically for licensing for 2024 which is open now?
•    How will the licensing process of athletes: how will it go from 1 January 2024?

As of 1 January 2024, World Abilitysport will be responsible for the licensing and eligibility of athletes. For at least the 2024 season, the process will remain largely the same as in previous years, with World Abilitysport continuing to use the Sport Data Management System (SDMS) for the processing of license applications. 

World Abilitysport will determine any eligibility agreement which athletes are required to enter in order to participate in the sport, to replace the IPC’s Athlete Eligibility Agreement.

An athlete’s consent is required for the IPC to transfer the private health and personal data held on file for athletes to World Abilitysport as the party who will be responsible for handling their data in SDMS as of 1 January 2024. Athletes will be prompted to sign this consent form upon login to SDMS, also available at https://db.ipc-services.org/sdms/governance-transfer/world-abilitysport. Please prioritise ensuring your athletes sign this.

Unless this athlete consent to the transfer of this private personal and health data is provided to the IPC, the IPC will not transfer this data to World Abilitysport. Athletes who do not provide this consent will therefore not be able to continue competing in Para dance sport after 1 January 2024, subject to any alternative arrangements made by them with World Abilitysport.

Rules and Regulations

•    Will there be changes to the current rule book that will go into effect in 2024? E.g., Athlete eligibility and requirements for hosting competitions.

The classification rules and regulations and sport rules and regulations will be updated according to World Abilitysport’s operations. Additionally, information regarding the ongoing review of these rules by World Para Dance Sport will be provided by World Abilitysport in early 2024.

Requirements for hosting Para dance sport competitions may be subject to changes in accordance with World Abilitysport’s policies.

More details on these topics will be shared at the World Para Dance Sport Sport Gathering on 27 November 2024, during the World Championships in Genoa, Italy. Members can expect to hear from World Abilitysport in the near future.