Paralympic Classification

Classification provides a structure for Paralympic competition.


  1. Defines who is eligible to compete in Para sport, and
  2. Groups eligible athletes into sport classes according to their activity limitation

Classification systems are defined and implemented by the respective International Federation for each sport. Sport class criteria and parameters are defined and put in place by each sport's International Federation (IF) with the aim of minimizing the impact of impairment and to ensure that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus, etc., the same factors that account for success in sport for athletes who are able-bodied. Sport-specific sport class profiles and classification information can be found in the classification rules and regulations, which can be found on the IF’s website.

Classification Policies and Procedures

The IPC Athlete Classification Code and International Standards aim to provide a clear statement of the purpose of athlete classification, as well as a framework of policies and procedures that will uphold confidence in classification systems across the Paralympic Movement. The Code and International Standards can be found on the International Paralympic Committee’s Website.

The U.S. Paralympics National Classification Policies and Procedure document below outlines national classification information and systems in compliance with the most current version of the Code. U.S. Paralympics Policies and Procedures encompasses the three core documents of the U.S. Paralympic national classification strategy.

Sport Specific Classification Systems

Classification systems differ by sport and are developed by the International Federations governing the sport. Using the framework of the Code, IFs decide which impairment types their sport will accept. IFs also decide how severe an impairment has to be in order for an athlete to be eligible to compete in their sport.

To learn more about the classification system or how to get classified in a specific sport, visit the National Federation (NGB/HPMO) and International Federation website for that sport. Website information can be found in the table below:


National Classification Information

International Classification Information


USA Archery

World Archery


USA Badminton

Badminton World Federation


Lakeshore Foundation

World Boccia


U.S. Paralympics Cycling

Union Cycliste International


US Equestrian

Federation Equestre International


U.S. Association of Blind Athletes

International Blind Sports Federation


USA Judo

International Blind Sports Federation


American Canoe Association

International Canoe Federation


USA Triathlon

World Triathlon


U.S. Paralympics Powerlifting             

World Para Powerlifting


U.S. Rowing

World Rowing Federation


USA Shooting

World Shooting Para Sport

Sitting Volleyball

USA Volleyball

WorldPara Volleyball

Soccer 5-a-side

U.S. Association of Blind Athletes

International Blind Sports Federation


U.S. Paralympics Swimming

World Para Swimming

Table Tennis

USA Table Tennis

International Table Tennis Federation


USA Taekwondo

World Taekwondo

Track and Field

U.S. Paralympics Track & Field

World Para Athletics

Wheelchair Basketball

National Wheelchair Basketball Association

International Wheelchair Basketball Federation

Wheelchair Fencing

USA Fencing

International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation

Wheelchair Rugby

Lakeshore Foundation World Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair Tennis

U.S. Tennis Association

International Tennis Federation