World Para Athletics has announced it is revising its Classification Rules and Regulations for the 2018 season and a number of major changes will be made.
The update and revision of the rules which will come into effect on 1 January 2018 follows valuable input by and consultation with the World Para Athletics membership, the World Para Athletics Classification Advisory Group and the IPC Management Team. Recommendations from the IPC Classification Research and Development Centres of Brisbane (physical impairment) and Leuven (intellectual impairment) were also taken into account as was appeals upheld by the IPC Board of Appeal of Classification.
As a result of the extensive consultation, new testing has been introduced to assist decision making in classification to further ensure that athletes are allocated the appropriate Sport Class.
As a result of the new testing, all athletes with a confirmed or fixed date review in Sport Classes T/F 20, T/F 31-34 and T/F35-38 will be placed back to a review status for the next year. It will therefore be mandatory for all athletes who attend a competition to be classified, if World Para Athletics Classification is conducted there.
From the start of next year World Para Athletics will also introduce the new T61-64 Sport Classes group. This will commonly feature ‘athletes who run or jump with prosthetic lower limbs’. The existing T42-44 classes will now exclusively be for athletes with lower limb impairment who are able to run or jump using two anatomical limbs.
It is expected that the transfer of athletes to the respective new classes does not require most athletes to be put in review with athletes being automatically placed into the following structure:
• T61 – Athletes with double leg above the knee amputation who compete in running or jumping using prostheses;
• T62 – Athletes with double below the knee amputation who compete in running or jumping using prostheses;
• T63 – Athletes with single above the knee amputation who compete in running or jumping using a prosthesis;
• T64 – Athletes with single below the knee amputation who compete in running or jumping using a prosthesis.
Peter Van de Vliet, IPC Medical & Scientific Director said: “These are major changes for the sport of Para athletics, but major changes that are being made following full consultation with the Para athletics community and relevant research groups. We would like to thank everyone for their support in these steps.
“Classification is an evolving process and armed with better research we can take important decisions like this to further develop the sport. By introducing additional testing for the 20s and 30s classes we can assist further in the correct classification of athletes.”
Ryan Montgomery, IPC Summer Sports Director said: “We would like to thank the membership of Para athletics and our research partners for the great work they have conducted to ensure classification in Para athletics remains objective and transparent. We are also looking forward to bringing together all of our World Para Athletics classifiers in the upcoming weeks, where they will undergo an extensive recertification process prior to the implementation of the new rules in 2018.”
The new World Para Athletics Classification Rules are currently in the final stages of review by the IPC Medical & Scientific Department and IPC Legal Department. Once these reviews have been completed, the final version of the new World Para Athletics Classification Rules will be published at www.worldparaathletics.com.