Para-Athletics classification Explained

By in Governance, Sportsvibe.tv, The Team

Monday 23rd October 2017

Jack Gladman  – Student UCFB, Wembley

This summer’s World Paras at the London Stadium were the most successful ever. However the athletes’ classifications can be confusing, even to an athlete such as myself, But I thought that I would try, so here goes:

Ambulant Track

Sport classes (Impairment types):

T11-13 (Visual impairment)

T20 (Intellectual impairment)

T35-38 (Coordination impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis))

T40-41 (Short stature)

T42-44 (Lower limb affected by limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement)

T45-47 (Upper limb/s affected by limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement)

Discipline: Wheelchair racing (7 classes) 

T32-34 (Coordination impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis))

T51-54 (Limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement)

Ambulant Throws (15 classes)

F11-13 (Visual impairment)

F20 (Intellectual impairment)

F35-38 (Coordination impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis))

F40-41 (Short stature)

F42-44 (Lower limb affected by limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement)

F45-46 (Upper limb/s affected by limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement)

Seated throws

F31-34 (Coordination impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis)

F51-57 (Limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement)

 

What the classes mean

 Visual impairments

T11/F11 – These athletes have a very low visual acuity and/or no light perception Athletes compete blindfolded to level the playing field.

T12/F12 – Athletes with a T12/F12 sport class have a higher visual acuity than athletes competing in the T11/F11 sport class and/or a visual field of less than five degrees’ radius Athletes can have the option of running with or without a guide.

T13/F13 – Athletes with a T13/F13 sport class have the least severe visual impairment eligible  They have the highest visual acuity and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees radius.

Learning Disability

  T20/F20 – Athletes in this class have an intellectual impairment that impacts on the activities of running (400m – marathon), jumping (long jump and triple jump) or throwing events (shot put). As, there is one sport class for running and jumping events (T20) and one for field events (F20) and athletes must meet the sport-specific MDC for each of their respective events (running, jumping or throwing) currently there are very limited events for T20 classification on the Paralympic program.

Cerebral Palsy

 T32-4 (wheelchair track), T35-38 (running track), F31-34 (seated throws) and F35-38 (standing throws)

Athletes in these classes are affected by hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis all of which typically affect co-ordination of movement the degree of the disability varies greatly from the most impaired 31-32 who are often in assisted Wheelchair  through 33-34 who normally use manual wheelchairs and also compete seated the variation in impairment means the level of a class can vary greatly.

Short stature

40-41  Standing height and limb length are reduced due to conditions such as achondroplasia and osteogenesis imperfecta. the difference between 40 and 41 classification with 41 being taller and a 40 shorter with disproportionate limbs.

Arm Amputee

45 – Athletes have impairments of both arms affecting the shoulder and/or elbow joints which are comparable to the activity limitations in running and jumping as experienced by an athlete with bilateral above elbow amputations.

46 – Athletes have a unilateral upper limb impairment that affects the shoulder and/or elbow joint of one arm and which is comparable to the activity limitations in running and jumps roughly comparable to that found in an athlete with a unilateral above elbow amputation. Athletes who have impairments of both arms, affecting elbow and wrist and roughly comparable to the activity limitations experienced by an athlete with bilateral through wrist / below elbow amputations of both arms, or an athlete with one above elbow amputation and one below elbow amputation, will also be placed in this class.

47 – Athletes with a unilateral upper limb impairment resulting in some loss of function at the shoulder, elbow and wrist and which impacts sprints primarily. The impact of the impairment is comparable to the activity limitations experienced by an athlete with a unilateral through wrist/ below elbow amputation.

Leg Amputee

T42/F42 – Athletes have one or more impairment types affecting hip and/or knee function in one or both limbs and with activity limitations in throws, jumps and running comparable to that of an athlete with at least a single through or above knee amputation. Athletes with impairment(s) roughly comparable to above knee amputations are also placed in this class

T43/F43 – Athletes have bilateral lower limb impairments where both limbs meet the MDC, and where functional loss is in the feet, ankles and/or lower legs. The activity limitation is roughly comparable to that found in an athlete with below-knee amputations.

T44/F44 – This class is for any athlete with a unilateral or a combination of lower limb impairment/s where the impairment in only one limb meets the MDC. Functional loss is seen in one foot, ankle and/or lower leg. The activity limitation in  is roughly similar to that found in an athlete with one through ankle / below knee amputation.

Limb deficiency

51 – Athletes usually have decreased shoulder muscle power and difficulty straightening the elbows There is no muscle power in the trunk.

52 – Athletes use their shoulder, elbow and wrist muscles for. There is poor to full muscle power in the fingers with wasting of the intrinsic muscles of the hands. Muscle power in the trunk is typically absent.

53 – Athletes typically have full function of the arms but no abdominal or lower spinal muscle activity .

54- Athletes have full upper muscle power in the arms and some to full muscle power in the trunk. Athletes may have some function in the legs.

So there you go – simple! OK, maybe not. It may be still a bit confusing, but at least you know where to look for help.

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