What is classification?

Classification is a sport-based system of levelling the competition playing field for athletes with a physical disability. The classification system has been designed so that athletes, who succeed in competition, do so on the basis of their sporting ability. Athletes are classified according to their activity limitation resulting from their disability.

Athletes go through an evaluation that groups them into a competitive ?sport class,? according to their physical or sensorial function, in a sport. These include standardized tests performed by the athlete and assessed by a classification panel. Athletes with a visual impairment complete an ophthalmology examination. The classification evaluation may include a technical assessment, and observation on the field of play. Athletes in the same sport class compete against each other.

A classifier works as part of a team to assess an athlete's ability and assigns them to a sport class in order to ensure they are competing on a level playing field with their opponents. Classifiers can have a wide range of expertise, including medical knowledge (i.e. doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists) and sport specific or technical expertise (sport scientists, coaches, retired athletes, physical educators) (Canadian Paralympic Committee, 2014).

Interested in becoming a classifier or want more information please contact Parasport NB.

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