Classification is the process of grouping athletes according to how their impairment affects their stroke mechanics, with the aim of creating a level playing field for competition.
In the para swimming pathway swimming there are four impairment groups recognised by the International Paralympic Committee; physical, visual and intellectual.
- Classes S1-S10 are allocated to swimmers with a physical impairment
- Classes S11-S13 are allocated to swimmers with a visual impairment
- Class S14 is allocated to swimmers with an intellectual impairment
There are ten eligible impairments in para swimming:
- Impaired muscle power
- Impaired passive range of movement
- Loss of limb or limb deficiency
- Leg-length difference
- Short stature
To be classified with a physical impairment, a swimmer’s functional mobility is assessed by World Para Swimming trained classifiers. The process involves a physical test, technical test and observation in competition, during which time a swimmer’s classification will be determined along with the identified stroke exceptions applicable to the individual.
To find out more about classification and to apply for the classification process; please visit the British Para Swimming website
Please click here for video explaining classification