Performance Sport


Classification is used in disability sport to ensure that competition is fair and equal that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus.

Through classification, it is determined which athletes are eligible to compete in a sport and how athletes are grouped together (‘Sport Classes’) for competition.

Classification is sport-specific because an impairment affects the ability to perform in different sports to a different extent. This means that an athlete may meet the criteria in one sport, but may not meet the criteria in another sport.

The International Paralympic committee (IPC) recognises six different impairment groups. These are:

  • Amputees.
  • Athletes with Cerebral Palsy.
  • Blind or Visually Impaired athletes.
  • Spinal Cord Injured athletes.
  • Athletes with an intellectual/learning disability.
  • Other athletes (Les Autres) with a physical impairment, who do not fit into any of the above five groups.

Disability Sport NI is responsible for facilitating and advising on classification issue in Northern Ireland.

For more information on classification or accessing classification opportunities please contact Elaine Reid by telephone: 028 9046 9925 textphone: 028 9046 3494 or email:

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Disability Sport NI provide an equality of access to sport and active recreation opportunities for people with a disability in Northern Ireland.

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