Sport Week: Classification in sitting volleyball

There are two sport classes – MD and D – with teams allowed to have only one MD player on the court. 12 Apr 2016
Sitting volleyball match

Ukraine beat Russia in the final of the 2015 ParaVolley Europe Women’s Sitting Volleyball Championships.

ⒸWorld Para Volley

Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.

Athletes in sitting volleyball are assigned to two sport classes: MD for “Minimally Disabled” and D for “Disabled.” The impairment of athletes in sport class MD is generally less severe than the impairment of athletes competing in sport class D.

For example, with an amputation through the foot, a player would be classified as MD, whereas athletes with above knee amputations would be allocated to sport class D. Impairments can affect the lower and the upper limbs, for example causing stiffness of joints or shortening of extremities.

Each team is allowed six players on the court. To ensure a fair competition between two teams, a team may only have one MD player on the court. The other five players must have sport class D.

Athletes with the following impairment types are eligible to play sitting volleyball:

• Impaired muscle power

• Athetosis

• Impaired passive range of movement

• Hypertonia

• Limb deficiency

• Ataxia

• Leg length difference

Helpful links

IPC classification webpage.

World ParaVolley ‘Who can play’ webpage.

For sitting volleyball development resources, visit


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.