Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

Para Swimming Classifications

What is classification?

Classification provides a structure for fair and equitable competition within Para sports.
It seeks to group athletes with disabilities into sports classes according to how much their impairment affects their ability to carry out the fundamental activities in a specific sport.

 
Classification ensures the success of an athlete is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus.

 

 
When is classification conducted?
There are three types of classifications conducted at different stages of a Para swimmer’s athletic career – provisional, national and international.

 

 
Provisional Classification
Provisional classifications are temporary classifications and valid for a limited period.
This type of classification is the entry level where everyone starts off.

 
Provisional classifications may be allocated by a classifier in a face-to-face consultation in conjunction with a medical certificate of diagnosis or by a classifier upon receipt of a medical diagnosis form and provisional classification form.

 

 
National Classification
A national classification is a sport specific classification carried out by a classification panel trained by the international federation.
This type of classification is recommended for Para swimmers competing regularly at club, regional or national level.

 
At this level of classification there are exception codes issued which help the coach understand the swimmer’s function better and helps the officials have confidence in knowing what a Para swimmer is meant to do as per the rules of the sport.
This classification assessment is the same which is administered by the international federation as per their classification rules.

 

 
International Classification
To compete at international level, an athlete must be classified by an international classification panel and their decision overrules any previous classification decision taken by a national classification panel.

 
This type of classification is generally offered at international competitions in compliance with the international federation’s classification rules.