Paralympic Classification: Conceptual Basis, Current Methods, and Research Update

  title={Paralympic Classification: Conceptual Basis, Current Methods, and Research Update},
  author={Sean M. Tweedy and Emma M. Beckman and Mark J. Connick},
Paralympic classification systems aim to promote participation in sport by people with disabilities by controlling for the impact of impairment on the outcome of competition. Valid systems of classification ensure that successful athletes are those who have the most advantageous combination of anthropometric, physiological, and/or psychological attributes, and who have enhanced them to the best effect. Classification systems that are not valid pose a significant threat to Paralympic sport and… Expand
Assessing muscle strength for the purpose of classification in Paralympic sport: A review and recommendations.
It is posited that the most appropriate voluntary strength assessment method for inferring strength loss in para-athletes will be multi-joint, isometric tests performed at joint angles that facilitate maximum force production. Expand
Evolution and Development of Best Practice in Paralympic Classification
Classification is central to the existence of Para sport. Paralympic classification systems define who is eligible to compete in Para sport and promote participation by controlling for the impact ofExpand
Classifying the evidence for evidence-based classification in Paralympic sport
This special issue of 19 scientific articles on evidence-based classification in Para sports demonstrates that the Movement is progressing to the point where classification decisions will not only be valid and reliable, but also transparent and defensible. Expand
Applying Scientific Principles to Enhance Paralympic Classification Now and in the Future: A Research Primer for Rehabilitation Specialists.
This article focuses on the classification of para athletes with physical impairments and describes a data-driven classification structure with validity superior to that of the extant system. Expand
Research needs for the development of evidence‐based systems of classification for physical, vision, and intellectual impairments
The purpose of classification in Paralympic sport is to promote participation in sport by people with disabilities by minimizing the impact of eligible types of impairment on the outcome ofExpand
Expert opinion on classification for footballers with vision impairment: Towards evidence-based minimum impairment criteria
The needs and challenges for developing a code-compliant system of classification for VI football are established, the need for change is outlined and a framework for future research to develop an evidence-based classification is offered. Expand
Topical Review: Understanding Vision Impairment and Sports Performance through a Look at Paralympic Classification
The origins of Paralympic sports, limitations of current classification methods, and requirements toward achieving evidence-based sport-specific evaluation systems are discussed. Expand
A novel method to guide classification of para swimmers with limb deficiency
This study defined the impact of limb deficiency impairment on 100 m freestyle performance to guide an evidence‐based classification system in Para Swimming, which will be implemented following the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games. Expand
Measures of impairment applicable to the classification of Paralympic athletes competing in wheelchair sports: A systematic review of validity, reliability and associations with performance
This review aimed to systematically identify measures of upper body strength, coordination and range of motion impairments that meet the requirements for use in evidence-based classification systems in wheelchair sports. Expand
International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Joint Position Stand on the Sport-Specific Classification of Athletes with Vision Impairment
The aim of this joint International Paralympic Committee/International Blind Sports Federation (IPC/IBSA) Position Stand is to provide guidance for how evidence-based sport-specific classification should be achieved in VI sports by outlining three conceptual research models that can be used to establish both the minimum impairment required to compete plus the appropriate number of sport classes and their inclusion criteria. Expand


International Paralympic Committee position stand—background and scientific principles of classification in Paralympic sport
A scientific background for classification in Paralympic sport is provided, evidence-based classification is defined, guidelines for how evidence- based classification may be achieved are provided and a number of objective principles are outlined. Expand
Towards evidence-based classification in Paralympic athletics: evaluating the validity of activity limitation tests for use in classification of Paralympic running events
The test battery is reliable and valid in the non-disabled population and therefore has potential utility in Paralympic classification, and further studies evaluating the battery in populations of athletes with impairments of coordination, strength and range of movement are now warranted. Expand
Selecting and modifying methods of manual muscle testing for classification in Paralympic sport.
Four modifications can enhance the validity, reliability and utility of conventional MMT methods for classification: limiting assessment to movements that are important to performance in the sport concerned, specifying a single preferred technique for assessment of movement strength, and changing the reference range of movement from normal anatomical range to the maximum range of Movement required in sport. Expand
Integrated Swimming Classification: A Faulted System
Classification is intended to provide fair competition for athletes. Each disability group has developed different methods and techniques of classification to ensure fair competition. However, theExpand
What throwing frame configuration should be used to investigate the impact of different impairment types on Paralympic seated throwing?
International Paralympic Committee Athletics classification aims to place athletes who throw from a seated position into classes according to how much their neuromusculoskeletal impairments affectExpand
Trunk strength effect on track wheelchair start: implications for classification.
Evidence is provided that impairment of trunk strength has minimal effect on wheelchair acceleration and indicate the T54 class is valid, and results do not infer that athletes with no trunk strength should compete with those who have partial or full trunk strength. Expand
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) has been revised to recognize that the concept of disability resides largely in the sociocultural domain of the authors' lives rather than being an attribute of the individual. Expand
Relative contribution of motor impairments to limitations in activity and restrictions in participation in adults with hemiplegic cerebral palsy
The findings imply that coordination of four motor impairments makes the largest independent relative contribution to activity limitations, whereas upper limb activity makes less contribution to participation in people with mild and moderate hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Expand
Handbook of Sport Psychology
Partial table of contents: SKILL ACQUISITION.Levels of Performance Skill: From Beginners to Experts (C. Wrisberg).Skill Acquisition During Childhood and Adolescence (K. Thomas, et al.).Attention (B.Expand
Efficacy of electrical stimulation to increase muscle strength in people with neurological conditions: a systematic review.
Several studies suggest a modest beneficial effect of electrical stimulation in patients with stroke, and it is not clear whether patients with other types of neurological disabilities benefit in the same way. Expand