Classification can provide students with wonderful opportunities to participate in competitive school sport. The video below highlights one student's journey through the classification process.
Below is information outlining classification, the different categories and respective application processes.
To access specific, detailed information and/or eligibility application forms, click on the relevant disability category below.
Classification is an assessment process, which groups athletes and swimmers into a variety of categories based upon their limitations in a particular sport.
The classification system exists to provide a fair and equitable competition for students and athletes with disabilities.
The sporting classification system is managed by the International Paralympic Committee who delegates this responsibility to national sporting associations.
Athletics Australia and Swimming Australia manage the sports of athletics, cross country and swimming, with assistance from national sporting bodies who coordinate classification eligibility applications, under guidance of the Australian Paralympic Committee.
Classification is split into five impairment categories:
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Vision Impairment
- Intellectual Impairment
- Physical Impairment
- Transplant Recipients
|Disabilities||Athletics / Cross Country||Swimming|
|Deaf and Hard of Hearing||T/F01||S15|
|Vision||T/F11, T/F12, T/F13||S11, S12, S13|
|Intellectual||T/F20, T/F21||S14, S18, S19|
|Physical||T/F32-56, T/F61-64, RR1-3||S1 - 10|
Not all disabilities fall within the sporting classification system.
Autism is only recognised in swimming but not athletics or cross country.
Classification is required when a student competes in the multi-class representative pathway for the sports of athletics, cross country and swimming.
It is required for any level above school including; zone, regional association, state, national and international championships.
Once classified, the classification can also be used outside of the school system in other sporting activities where applicable.
The different levels of classification include:
Provisional - allowing entry in multi-class events, up to and including a state level.
National - allowing entry in multi-class events, up to and including a national level.
International - allowing entry in multi-class events at an international level.
Review - allowing entry in multi-class events up to and including state level with reclassification required during year stated.
Classification is done by Athletics Australia and Swimming Australia, in conjunction with other national sporting associations.
The application process involves:
- Completing a classification eligibility application form
- Supplying requested medical documentation
- Visit to specialist/medical practitioner (depending on impairment)
- Submission of application form and documentation.
Each classification category has different requirements
To access specific information and eligibility application forms, select the relevant impairment category from the show/hides below.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing classification eligibility is overseen by Deaf Sports Australia.
To be eligible for classification, a student must have a hearing loss of 55dB 3FAHL or greater in the better ear.
Deaf Sport Australia's classification page contains an online form as well as a downloadable version.
More information on Deaf Sport Australia.
Intellectual Impairment classification eligibility is overseen by Sport Inclusion Australia. To be eligible for classification, a student must have an IQ of 75 or below.
Athletes with more Significant Impairment eligibility form (Including Down Syndrome)
Autism Impairment eligibility form (only recognised for swimming at present)
More information on Sport Inclusion Australia.
Physical Impairment classification eligibility is split and overseen by:
- Athletics Australia - for Athletics and Cross Country
- Swimming NSW - for Swimming
Physical Impairment Classification covers a variety of disabilities.
Athletics and Cross Country
More information on Athletics Australia.
Physical Impairment eligibility application form (downloadable) - coming soon
More information on Swimming Australia.
Visual Impairment classification eligibility is overseen by Paralympics Australia.
To be eligible for classification, a student must have a diagnosis of at least one of the following:
- Impairment of the eye structure;
- Impairment of the optic nerve or pathways;
- Impairment of the visual cortex of the brain.
More information on Paralympics Australia.
Transplant Recipient classification eligibility is overseen by Transplant Australia.
To be eligible for classification, a student must be a solid organ or bone marrow recipient.
More information on Transplant Australia.