Select State
Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Athletes  >  Para-Athletics  >  FAQs
Classification FAQ

Please see the Athletics Australia for the most up to date information with regards classification for athletics.

What happens during a classification?

During the athlete classification process, a certified classifier assesses an athlete on how their impairment influences their sporting ability to determine their classification. Classification is sport specific, and therefore each sport has its own classifiers. The evaluation process for a classification typically includes:

  • Medical, Visual or Cognitive testing
  • Demonstration of sport skills
  • Observation during competition

At the completion of the classification process a classifier will allocate the athlete with a class and a class status. Where an athlete is remote and unable to undertake a classification assessment as outlined above, athletes may be able to access classification through the remote provisional paperwork process.

I don't live near a major city - how do I get classified?

In Australia, Athletics provide the opportunity for athletes to seek a classification through a remote provisional classification process. This is a paperwork process that generally requires:

  1. Athletes to agree to the process and provide background details of themselves and their impairment
  2. A medical professional/specialist to complete a specific section of the form
  3. Athletes to provide medical documentation from their specialist
  4. It may also require a video submission of the athlete doing physical skills related to their sport

The completed forms are reviewed by a certified classifier. At the completion of this process, an athlete will be allocated a class, and a class status .  Generally provisional classification is valid for 12 months or until you attend a face to face classification opportunity.

What is the minimum age for classification?

In Australia, athletics allow athletes to compete from 8 years of age onwards, therefore, an athlete can be classified from this age.

Do I need to be classified more than once?

This will depend on your impairment and level of classification. The majority of athletes will be classified more than once during their athletics career. Classifiers will decide whether an athlete need to be reviewed during the classification process. Common reasons for attending classification more than once include:

  • You may be allocated a review date and will need to be reviewed in a certain year or event.
  • Your age
  • You may be requested to attend classification at a major championships (such as a national or international championships).
  • You have a deteriorating condition or your impairment has changed.
  • The classification rules for the sport change and you need to be reviewed

I have changed since I was last classified - what do I do?

If your medical condition has changed or you have had medical intervention that may impact upon your classification, you are required to advise Athletics Australia of these changes. This may result in a review of your classification. Any requests need to be accompanied by medical documentation. Contact Athletics Australia for more information.

I have a classification in one sport and want to compete in another, do I need to get classified again?

Each sport has a different classification process so you will need to be classified by recognised classifiers for the sport and according to the classification rules for the sport. It is possible that an athlete may meet the criteria in one sport, but may not meet the criteria in another sport.

There seems to be a broad range of disabilities in my class. Is this fair?

Athletes are matched as fairly as possible into a class with others who have a similar level of impairment. As no two athletes are the same, within each class there may be differences between athletes.

Do I need a copy of my classification?

Athletes should receive a copy of their classification paperwork which shows their class and class status. Athletes must keep a copy of this paperwork for future reference. Athletes can also refer to the Athletics Classification Masterlist on the Athletics Australia website to verify their classification.

Do I need to prove that I have been classified when I enter into a competition?

All athletes who have been through a classification process will have their records kept on file, and their classification details will be entered into the Athletics Classification Masterlist which can be found on the Athletics Australia website.  Competition organisers can confirm your classification by referring to this masterlist as well.

How long is my classification valid for?

Every time an athlete is classified they are provided with a class status. The following outcomes may occur:

  • An athlete is allocated a National Review (NR) status, with no date for review, which means they will be required to attend classification again at the next competition where classification is held, and it is an entry requirement to hold a valid classification.
  • An athlete is allocated a fixed review year eg. NR 2015 , which means they will not be able to attend classification until the year that is allocated. Once the review year arrives, the classification will revert to NR status and the above NR status conditions apply.
  • An athlete is allocated a National Confirmed (NC) status, which means the athlete will not be classified again for any National competitions.

Regardless of what status is allocated an athlete may be classified again if:

  • the classification rules for the sport change.
  • an athlete's condition has changed since their last classification to the extent that they most likely do not fit his/her current class due to medical interventions, change in condition (progressive/fluctuating) or skeletal maturity (growth) changes. Refer to the FAQ "I have changed since I was last classified - What do I do?".
  • as an outcome of protest or appeal.

I've been to a classification assessment and have been told I'm not eligible for the sport - what does this mean?

There are rules surrounding ineligibility for each competition. If you have been told you are ineligible, this means that that you do not meet the minimal disability criteria for athletics as per the classification rules. You will not be able to compete in competitions as a para-athlete. Where an opportunity exists you may be able to attend a second evaluation with alternative certified classifiers at an equal or higher level. As classification rules are specific to each sport, an athlete who is eligible for one sport; is not necessarily eligible for another, as the minimal disability criteria for each sport is different.

I do not agree with the class I've been allocated - what can I do?

Athletes have a right to lodge a disagreement, or protest their classification. You should contact Athletics Australia if you wish to do so.

I do not agree with the way my classification was conducted - what can I do?

Athletes have a right to lodge a disagreement, or protest their classification. You should contact Athletics Australia if you wish to do so.