Why do athletes need to be classified?
Classification helps to define which athletes are eligible to compete in each of the Paralympic sports. It also helps to ensure a level playing field by grouping athletes into classes based on their ability to perform a certain activity.
Are athletes classified at the 5280 Challenge Track & Field Meet?
There will not be a formal classification process at the 5280 Challenge. Paralympic athletes who have been classified before will compete in that class for the events they are entered. If an athlete has not been classified before, there will be event officials who are very knowledgeable about the classification process and can give a very educated opinion about the classification for that athlete.
How does a formal classification process work?
Classifiers assess the athlete's physical disability and how it impacts their ability to perform certain functions in the sport. After each evaluation the athletes are assigned a sport class. For more detailed information on classification, visit US Paralympics website.
Classification in Paralympic Track & Field
Track and field at the Paralympics is open to male and female athletes from all three impairment groups (visual, intellectual, and physical). A system of letters and numbers is used to distinguish the sport classes—”F” is for field events and “T” is for track events—while the number refers to their sport class.
Note: Examples of track & field event classes are available at US Paralympics. A classification evaluation must be performed to determine an athlete’s sport class(es).