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World Para Swimming Classification Rules and Regulations

March 2017

 

 

 

  Organisation

 

Part One: General Provisions                                        6

 

1        Scope and Application                                             6

 

2        Roles and Responsibilities                                                                                                               8

 

Part Two: Classification Personnel                                     10

 

3        Classification Personnel                                                                         10

 

4        Classifier Competencies, Training and Certification           11

 

5        Classifier Code of Conduct                                                            13

 

Part Three: Athlete Evaluation                                       14

 

6        General Provisions                                                   14

 

7        Eligible Impairment                                                                                                14

 

8        Minimum Impairment Criteria                                                      17

 

9        Sport Class                                                                                18

 

10      Classification Not Completed                                                          19

 

Part Four: Athlete Evaluation and the 

classification Panel                                                20

 

11      The Classification Panel                                                                20

 

12      Classification Panel Responsibilities                                          20

 

13      Evaluation Sessions                                                              21

 

14      Observation in Competition                                    22

 

15      Sport Class Status                                                                           24

 

16      Multiple Sport Classes                                                                    26

 

17      Notification                                                                                       27

 

Part Five: Sport Class Not Eligible                                28

 

18      Sport Class Not Eligible                                                                  28

 

                Part Six: Protests                                                                30

 

19      Scope of a Protest                                                                          30

 

20      Parties Permitted to Make a Protest                                            30

 

21      National Protests                                                                             30

 

22      National Protest Procedure                                                           31

 

23      World Para Swimming Protests                                            32

 

24      World Para Swimming Protest Procedure                                        32

 

25      Protest Panel                                                                                    33

 

26      Provisions Where No Protest Panel is Available                    33

 

27      Special Provisions                                                                           34

 

28      Ad Hoc Provisions Relating to Protests                                               34

 

               Part Seven: Misconduct during Evaluation                                  Session                                                                          35

 

29      Failure to Attend Evaluation Session                                           35

 

30      Suspension of Evaluation Session                                                35

 

               Part Eight: Medical Review                                                37

 

31      Medical Review                                                                                37

 

               Part Nine: Intentional Misrepresentation                     38

 

32      Intentional Misrepresentation                                                38

 

                Part Ten: Use of Athlete Information                              40

 

33      Classification Data                                                      40

 

34      Consent and Processing                                                                                                40

 

35      Classification Research                                                                  40

 

36      Notification to Athletes                                                              41

 

37      Classification Data Security                                                          41

 

38      Disclosures of Classification Data                                               41

 

39      Retaining Classification Data                                                          42

 

40      Access Rights to Classification Data                                   42

 

41      Classification Master Lists                                                            42

 

Part Eleven: Appeals                                                         43

 

42      Appeal                                                                                            43

 

43      Parties Permitted to Make an Appeal                                       43

 

44      Appeals                                                                                            43

 

45      Ad Hoc Provisions Relating to Appeals                                       43

 

Part Twelve: Glossary                                                     44

 

   Appendix One: Sport Classes for Athletes with Physical                   Impairment                                                                                       50

 

1        Introduction and Methodology                                              50

 

2        Eligibility Criteria                                                                                 50

 

3        Minimum Impairment Criteria and Methodology of                                   Assessment                                                                                                                          52

 

4        Physical Assessment - Muscle Testing                                          54

 

5        Physical Assessment - Coordination Testing                       61

 

6        Physical Assessment - Passive Functional Range of

           Movement Testing                                                                           63

 

7        Physical Assessment - Measurement of Loss of Limb/Limb                       Deficiency                                                                           70

 

8        Physical Assessment Short Stature                                                        78

 

9        Physical Assessment - Leg Length Difference                           79

 

10      Technical Assessment – Water Test                                       80

 

11      Dive and Push Off Test                                                           82

 

12      Sport Class Allocation                                                                    83

 

13      Exceptions                                                                                         84

 

  Appendix Two: Sport Classes for Athletes with Vision                           Impairment                                                                                         86

 

1        Introduction                                                                                                                        86

 

2        Eligible Impairment Types                                                       86

 

3        Minimum Impairment Criteria                                                      86

 

4        Assessment Methods                                           87

 

5        Sport Classes Profiles for Athletes with Vision                                         Impairment                                                                                                    88

 

6        Exceptions                                                         88

 

   Appendix Three: Sport Classes for Athletes with                              Intellectual Impairment                                                                                                                       90

 

1        Introduction                                                                                                                        90

 

2        Eligible Impairment Types                                                       90

 

3        Assessment Methods and Minimum Impairment Criteria       91

 

4        Sport Class and Sport Class Status Allocation                         96

 

5        Codes for Exception                                               97

 

    Appendix Four                                                                                                      98

 

1        Non-Eligible Impairment Types for all Athletes                         98

 

2         Health Conditions that are not Underlying Health

           Conditions for all Athletes                                                             98

 

 

 

Part One: General Provisions

 

1             Scope and Application

 

Adoption

 

1.1           These Classification Rules and Regulations are referred to throughout this document as the ‘Classification Rules’. They have been prepared by World Para Swimming to implement the requirements of the 2015 IPC Athlete Classification Code and International Standards.

 

1.2           The Classification Rules have been adopted by World Para Swimming on 8 March, 2017.

 

1.3           These Classification Rules refer to a number of Appendices. These Appendices form an integral part of the Classification Rules.

 

1.4           These Classification Rules form part of the World Para Swimming Rules and Regulations.

 

1.5           The Classification Rules are supplemented by a number of Classification forms that have been prepared to assist Athlete Evaluation. These forms are available from World Para Swimming, and may be amended by World Para Swimming from time to time.

 

Classification

 

1.6           Classification is undertaken to:

 

a)     Define who is eligible to compete in Para sport and consequently who has the opportunity to reach the goal of becoming a Paralympic Athlete; and

 

b)        Group Athletes into Sport Classes which aim to ensure that the impact of Impairment is minimised and sporting excellence determines which Athlete or team is ultimately victorious.

 

Application

 

1.7           These Classification Rules apply to all Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel who are registered and/or licensed with World Para Swimming, and/or participate in any Events or Competitions organised, authorised or recognised by World Para Swimming.

 

1.8           These Classification Rules must be read and applied in conjunction with all other applicable rules of World Para Swimming, including but not limited to the sport technical rules of World Para Swimming. In the event of any conflict between these Classification Rules and any other rules, the Classification Rules shall take precedence.

 

International Classification

 

1.9           World Para Swimming will only permit an Athlete to compete at International Competitions if that Athlete has been allocated a Sport Class (other than Sport Class Not Eligible) and designated with a Sport Class Status in accordance with these Classification Rules.

 

1.10        World Para Swimming will provide opportunities for Athletes to be allocated a Sport Class and designated with a Sport Class Status in accordance with these Classification Rules at Recognised Competitions (or other such locations as defined by World Para Swimming). World Para Swimming will advise Athletes, National Bodies and National Paralympic Committees in advance as to such Recognised Competitions (or other such locations).

 

Interpretation and Relationship to Code

 

1.11        References to an ‘Article’ mean an Article of these Classification Rules, references to an ‘Appendix’ mean an Appendix to these Classification Rules, and Capitalised terms used in these Classification Rules have the meaning given to them in the Glossary to these Classification Rules.

 

1.12        References to a ‘sport’ in these Classification Rules refer to both a sport and an individual discipline within a sport [freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke or individual medley].

 

1.13        The Appendices to these Classification Rules are part of these Classification Rules both of which may be amended, supplemented and/or replaced by the World Para Swimming from time to time.

 

1.14        Headings used in these Classification Rules are used for convenience only and have no meaning that is separate from the Article or Articles to which they refer.

 

1.15        These Classification Rules are to be applied and interpreted as an independent text but in a manner that is consistent with the 2015 IPC Athlete Classification Code and the accompanying International Standards.

 

2          Roles and Responsibilities

 

2.1           It is the personal responsibility of Athletes, Athlete Support Personnel, and Classification Personnel to familiarise themselves with all the requirements of these Classification Rules.

 

Athlete Responsibilities

 

2.2           The roles and responsibilities of Athletes include to:

 

c)         Be knowledgeable of and comply with all applicable policies, rules and processes established by these Classification Rules;

 

d)        Participate in Athlete Evaluation in good faith;

 

e)        Ensure when appropriate that adequate information related to Health Conditions and Eligible Impairments is provided and/or made available to World Para Swimming;

 

f)         Cooperate with any investigations concerning violations of these Classification Rules; and

 

g)         Actively participate in the process of education and awareness, and Classification research, through exchanging personal experiences and expertise.

 

Athlete Support Personnel Responsibilities

 

2.3           The roles and responsibilities of Athlete Support Personnel include to:

 

a)                    Be knowledgeable of and comply with all applicable policies, rules and processes established by these Classification Rules;

 

b)        Use their influence on Athlete values and behaviour to foster a positive and collaborative Classification attitude and communication;

 

c)         Aassist in the development, management and implementation of Classification Systems; and

 

d)        Cooperate with any investigations concerning violations of these Classification Rules.

 

Classification Personnel Responsibilities

 

2.4           The roles and responsibilities of Classification Personnel include to:

 

a)                    Have a complete working knowledge of all applicable policies, rules and processes established by these Classification Rules;

 

b)        Use their influence to foster a positive and collaborative Classification attitude and communication;

c)         Assist in the development, management and implementation of Classification Systems, including participation in education and research; and

 

d)        Cooperate with any investigations concerning violations of these Classification Rules.

 

Part Two: Classification Personnel

 

3          Classification Personnel

 

3.1           Classification Personnel are fundamental to the effective implementation of these Classification Rules. World Para Swimming will appoint a number of Classification Personnel, each of whom will have a key role in the organisation, implementation and administration of Classification for the World Para Swimming.

 

Head of Classification

 

3.2           World Para Swimming must appoint a Head of Classification. The Head of Classification is a person responsible for the direction, administration, co-ordination and implementation of Classification matters for World Para Swimming.

 

3.3           If a Head of Classification cannot be appointed, World Para Swimming may appoint another person, or group of persons collectively (provided such person or group of persons agrees to comply with the Classifier Code of Conduct), to act as the Head of Classification.

 

3.4           The Head of Classification is not required to be a certified Classifier.

 

3.5           The Head of Classification may delegate specific responsibilities and/or the transfer specific tasks to designated Classifiers, or other persons authorised by World Para Swimming.

 

3.6           Nothing in these Classification Rules prevents the Head of Classification (if certified as a Classifier) from also being appointed as a Classifier and/or Chief Classifier.

 

Chief Classifiers

 

3.7           A Chief Classifier is a Classifier appointed to direct, administer, co-ordinate and implement Classification matters for a specific Competition or at such other location as defined by World Para Swimming. In particular, a Chief Classifier may be required by World Para Swimming to do the following:

 

3.7.1       Supervise Classifiers to ensure that the these Classification Rules are properly applied during Classification; and

 

3.7.2       Manage Protests in consultation with World Para Swimming.

 

3.8          A Chief Classifier may delegate specific responsibilities and/or transfer specific tasks to other appropriately qualified Classifiers, or other appropriately qualified World Para Swimming officers or representatives, and/or appropriately qualified persons in the local organising committee of a Competition.

 

Classifiers

 

3.9           A Classifier is a person authorised as an official and certified by the World Para Swimming to conduct some or all components of Athlete Evaluation as a member of a Classification Panel.

 

Trainee Classifiers

 

3.10        A Trainee Classifier is a person who is in the process of formal training by World Para Swimming.

 

3.11        World Para Swimming may appoint Trainee Classifiers to participate in some or all components of Athlete Evaluation under the supervision of a Classification Panel (which will include a World Para Swimming Classification Educator), to develop Classifier Competencies.

 

4          Classifier Competencies, Training and Certification

 

4.1           A Classifier will be authorised to act as a Classifier if that Classifier has been certified by World Para Swimming as having the relevant Classifier Competencies.

 

4.2           World Para Swimming must provide training and education to Classifiers to ensure Classifiers obtain and/or maintain Classifier Competencies.

 

4.3           World Para Swimming must specify and publish Classifier Competencies in a manner that is transparent and accessible. The Classifier Competencies must include that a Classifier has:

 

4.3.1       A thorough understanding of these Classification Rules;

 

4.3.2       An understanding of Para swimming for which they seek certification to act as a Classifier, including an understanding of the technical rules of the sport(s);

 

4.3.3       An understanding of the Code and the International Standards; and

 

4.3.4       A professional qualification(s), level of experience, skills and/or competencies in order to act as a Classifier for World Para Swimming. These include that Classifiers must either:

 

a)            Be a certified health professional in a field relevant to the Eligible Impairment category which World Para Swimming at its sole discretion deems acceptable, such as a physician or physiotherapist for Athletes with a Physical Impairment; ophthalmologist or optometrist for Athletes with a Vision Impairment; and/or a psychologist for Athletes with an Intellectual Impairment; or

 

b)           Have an extensive coaching or other relevant background in the particular sport(s); or a recognised and reputable academic qualification which encompasses a requisite level of anatomical, biomechanical and sport- specific expertise, which World Para Swimming at its sole discretion deems to be acceptable.

 

4.4          World Para Swimming must establish a process of Classifier Certification by which Classifier Competencies are assessed. This process must include:

 

4.4.1       A process for the certification of Trainee Classifiers;

 

4.4.2       Quality assessment for the period of certification;

 

4.4.3       A process for handling substandard performance, including options for remediation and/or withdrawal of certification; and

 

4.4.4       A process for Re-certification of Classifiers.

 

4.5           World Para Swimming must specify Entry-Level Criteria applicable to persons who wish to become Trainee Classifiers. World Para Swimming will provide Entry-Level Education to Trainee Classifiers.

 

4.6           World Para Swimming must provide Continuing Education to Classifiers for the purposes of Certification and Re-certification.

 

4.7           World Para Swimming may provide that a Classifier is subject to certain limitations, including (but not limited to):

 

4.7.1       A limitation on the Impairment type for which a Classifier is certified to act as a Classifier;

 

4.7.2       A limitation on the components of Athlete Evaluation that a Classifier is certified to conduct;

 

4.7.3       A limitation on the level of Competition or Event that a Classifier is authorised to act as a Classifier;

 

4.7.4       The maximum time that a Classifier Certification is valid;

 

4.7.5       That Classifier Certification is subject to review within a specific time frame by reference to the Classifier Competencies;

 

4.7.6       That a Classifier may lose Classifier Certification if World Para Swimming is not satisfied that the Classifier possesses the required Classifier Competencies; and/or

 

4.7.7       That a Classifier may regain Classifier Certification if World Para Swimming is satisfied that the Classifier possesses the required Classifier Competencies.

 

4.8           Further information about the World Para Swimming Pathways and Education Programmes can be found here: https://www.paralympic.org/swimming/education

 

5          Classifier Code of Conduct

 

5.1           The integrity of Classification in Para swimming depends on the conduct of Classification Personnel. World Para Swimming has therefore adopted a set of professional conduct standards referred to as the ‘Classifier Code of Conduct’.

 

5.2           All Classification Personnel must comply with the Classifier Code of Conduct.

 

5.3           Any person who believes that any Classification Personnel may have acted in a manner that contravenes the Classifier Code of Conduct must report this to World Para Swimming.

 

5.4           If World Para Swimming receives such a report it will investigate the report and, if appropriate, take disciplinary measures.

 

5.5           World Para Swimming has discretion to determine whether or not a Classifier has an actual, perceived and/or potential conflict of interest.

 

                Part Three: Athlete Evaluation

 

6          General Provisions

 

6.1           World Para Swimming has specified in these Classification Rules the process, assessment criteria and methodology whereby Athletes will be allocated a Sport Class and designated a Sport Class Status. This process is referred to as Athlete Evaluation.

 

6.2           Athlete Evaluation encompasses a number of steps and these Classification Rules therefore include provisions regarding:

 

6.2.1       An assessment of whether or not an Athlete has an Eligible Impairment for the sport;

 

6.2.2       An assessment of whether an Athlete complies with Minimum Impairment Criteria for the sport; and

 

6.2.3       The allocation of a Sport Class (and designation of a Sport Class Status) depending on the extent to which an Athlete is able to execute the specific tasks and activities fundamental to the sport (with the exception for athletes with Vision Impairment, where the current assessment criteria is not yet sport specific and does not include a requirement that the Athletes are assessed in respect of the ‘extent to which the Athlete is able to execute the specific tasks and activities fundamental to the sport’)

 

7          Eligible Impairment

 

7.1           Any Athlete wishing to compete in a sport governed by World Para Swimming must have an Eligible Impairment and that Eligible Impairment must be Permanent.

 

7.2           Appendices One, Two and Three of these Classification Rules specify the Eligible Impairment(s) an Athlete must have in order to compete in a sport governed by World Para Swimming.

 

7.3           Any Impairment that is not listed as an Eligible Impairment in Appendices One, Two or Three is referred to as a Non-Eligible Impairment. Appendix Four includes examples of Non-Eligible Impairments.

 

Assessment of Eligible Impairment

 

7.4           World Para Swimming must determine if an Athlete has an Eligible Impairment.

 

7.4.1       In order to be satisfied that an Athlete has an Eligible Impairment, World Para Swimming may require any Athlete to demonstrate that he or she has a Health Condition that leads to an Eligible Impairment. Appendix Four lists examples of Health Conditions that are not Underlying Health Conditions.

 

7.4.2       The means by which World Para Swimming determines that an individual Athlete has an Eligible Impairment is at the sole discretion of World Para Swimming. World Para Swimming may consider that an Athletes Eligible Impairment is sufficiently obvious and therefore not require evidence that demonstrates the Athlete’s Eligible Impairment.

 

7.4.3       If in the course of determining if an Athlete has an Eligible Impairment World Para Swimming becomes aware that the Athlete has a Health Condition, and believes that the impact of that Health Condition may be that it is unsafe for that Athlete to compete or there is a risk to the health of the Athlete (or other Athletes) if that Athlete competes, it may designate the Athlete as Classification Not Completed (CNC) in accordance with Article 10 of these Classification Rules. In such instances World Para Swimming will explain the basis of its designation to the relevant National Body and/or National Paralympic Committee.

 

7.5           An Athlete is required to supply World Para Swimming with Diagnostic Information that must be provided as follows:

 

7.5.1       The relevant National Body and/or National Paralympic Committee must submit a Medical Diagnostics Form to World Para Swimming, upon completing the registration of an Athlete.

 

7.5.2       The Medical Diagnostics Form must be completed in English and dated and signed by a certified medical doctor (Physical Impairment) or ophthalmologist (Vision Impairment).

 

7.5.3       The Medical Diagnostic Form must be submitted with supportive Diagnostic Information if required by World Para Swimming.

 

7.6           World Para Swimming may require an Athlete to re-submit the Medical Diagnostics Form (with necessary supportive Diagnostic Information) if the World Para Swimming at its sole discretion considers the Medical Diagnostic Form and/or the Diagnostic Information to be incomplete or inconsistent.

 

7.7           If World Para Swimming requires an Athlete to provide Diagnostic Information it may consider the Diagnostic Information itself, and/or may appoint an Eligibility Assessment Committee to do so.

 

7.8           The process by which an Eligibility Assessment Committee is formed and considers Diagnostic Information is as follows:

 

7.8.1       World Para Swimming will notify the relevant National Body or National Paralympic Committee that Diagnostic Information must be provided on behalf of the Athlete. The Head of Classification will explain what Diagnostic Information is required, and the purposes for which it is required.

 

7.8.2       The Head of Classification will set timelines for the production of Diagnostic Information.

 

7.8.3       The Head of Classification will appoint an Eligibility Assessment Committee. The Eligibility Assessment Committee must, if practicable, be comprised of the Head of Classification and at least two other experts with appropriate medical qualifications. All members of the Eligibility Assessment Committee must sign confidentiality undertakings.

 

7.8.4       If the Head of Classification believes that he or she does not hold the necessary competencies to assess the Diagnostic Information, he or she will not participate in the review of the Diagnostic Information, but will assist the Eligibility Assessment Committee.

 

7.8.5       Wherever possible all references to the individual Athlete and the source(s) of the Diagnostic Information should be withheld from the Eligibility Assessment Committee. Each member of the Eligibility Assessment Committee will review the Diagnostic Information and decide whether such information establishes the existence of an Eligible Impairment.

 

7.8.6       If the Eligibility Assessment Committee concludes that the Athlete has an Eligible Impairment the Athlete will be permitted to complete Athlete Evaluation with a Classification Panel.

 

7.8.7       If the Eligibility Assessment Committee is not satisfied that the Athlete has an Eligible Impairment the Head of Classification will provide a decision to this effect in writing to the relevant National Body or National Paralympic Committee. The National Body or National Paralympic Committee will be given an opportunity to comment on the decision and may provide further Diagnostic Information to the Eligibility Assessment Committee for review. If the decision is subsequently revised, the Head of Classification will inform the National Body or National Paralympic Committee.

 

7.8.8       If the decision is not changed, the Head of Classification will issue a final decision letter to the National Body or National Paralympic Committee and the athlete will be allocated Not Eligible (NE) in accordance with the provisions of Article 18.3 of these Classification Rules.

 

7.8.9       The Eligibility Assessment Committee may make its decisions by a majority. If the Head of Classification is part of the Eligibility Assessment Committee, he or she may veto any decision if he or she does not agree that the Diagnostic Information supports the conclusion that the Athlete has an        Eligible Impairment.

7.9           World Para Swimming may delegate one or more of the functions described above to a Classification Panel.

 

8          Minimum Impairment Criteria

 

8.1           An Athlete who wishes to compete in a sport must have an Eligible Impairment that complies with the relevant Minimum Impairment Criteria for that sport.

 

8.2           World Para Swimming has set Minimum Impairment Criteria to ensure that an Athlete’s Eligible Impairment affects the extent to which an Athlete is able to execute the specific tasks and activities fundamental to the sport.

 

8.3           Appendices One, Two and Three of these Classification Rules specify the Minimum Impairment Criteria applicable to each sport and the process by which an Athlete’s compliance with Minimum Impairment Criteria is to be assessed by a Classification Panel as part of an Evaluation Session.

 

8.4           Any Athlete who does not comply with the Minimum Impairment Criteria for a sport must be allocated Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) for that sport.

 

8.5           A Classification Panel must assess whether or not an Athlete complies with Minimum Impairment Criteria. This will take place as part of an Evaluation Session. Prior to participating in an Evaluation Session, an Athlete must first satisfy the World Para Swimming that he or she has an Eligible Impairment.

 

8.6           In relation to the use of Adaptive Equipment, World Para Swimming has set Minimum Impairment Criteria as follows:

 

8.6.1       For Eligible Impairments other than Vision Impairment, Minimum Impairment Criteria must notconsider the extent to which the use of Adaptive Equipment might affect how the Athlete is able to execute the specific tasks and activities fundamental to the sport;

8.6.2       For Vision Impairment, Minimum Impairment Criteria must consider the extent to which the use of Adaptive Equipment might affect how the Athlete is able to execute the specific tasks and activities fundamental to the sport.

 

9          Sport Class

 

9.1           A Sport Class is a category defined by World Para Swimming in these Classification Rules, in which Athletes are grouped by reference to the impact of an Eligible Impairment on their ability to execute the specific tasks and activities fundamental to a sport.

 

9.1.1       An Athlete who does not have an Eligible Impairment or does not comply with the Minimum Impairment Criteria for a sport must be allocated Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) for that sport in accordance with the provisions of Article 18 of these Classification Rules.

 

9.1.2       An Athlete who complies with the Minimum Impairment Criteria for a sport must be allocated a Sport Class (subject to the provisions in these Classification Rules concerning Failure to Attend Athlete Evaluation and Suspension of Athlete Evaluation).

 

9.1.3       Except for the allocation of Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) by World Para Swimming (in accordance with Article 18.1), the allocation of a Sport Class must be based solely on an evaluation by a Classification Panel of the extent to which the Athlete’s Eligible Impairment affects the specific tasks and activities fundamental to sport. This evaluation must take place in a controlled non- competitive environment, which allows for the repeated observation of key tasks and activities.

9.2           Appendices One, Two and Three of these Classification Rules specify the assessment methodology and assessment criteria for the allocation of a Sport Class and the designation of Sport Class Status.

 

10        Classification Not Completed

 

10.1        If at any stage of Athlete Evaluation World Para Swimming or a Classification Panel is unable to allocate a Sport Class to an Athlete, the Head of Classification or the relevant Chief Classifier may designate that Athlete as Classification Not Completed (CNC).

 

10.2        The designation Classification Not Completed (CNC) is not a Sport Class and is not subject to the provisions in these Classification Rules concerning Protests. The designation Classification Not Completed (CNC) will however be recorded for the purpose of the World Para Swimming Classification Master List.

 

10.3        An Athlete who is designated as Classification Not Completed (CNC) may not compete in the sport of World Para Swimming. See Article 30 for remediation.

 

Part Four: Athlete Evaluation and the Classification Panel

 

11        The Classification Panel

 

11.1        A Classification Panel is a group of Classifiers appointed by World Para Swimming to conduct some or all of the components of Athlete Evaluation including as part of an Evaluation Session.

 

General Provisions

 

11.2        A Classification Panel must be comprised of at least of two certified Classifiers. In exceptional circumstances a Chief Classifier may provide that a Classification Panel comprise only one Classifier, subject to that Classifier holding a valid medical qualification.

11.3        A Trainee Classifier may be part of a Classification Panel in addition to the required number of certified Classifiers, and may participate in Athlete Evaluation.

 

12        Classification Panel Responsibilities

 

12.1        A Classification Panel is responsible for conducting an Evaluation Session. As part of the Evaluation Session the Classification Panel must:

 

12.1.1   Assess whether an Athlete complies with Minimum Impairment Criteria for the sport (physical assessment);

 

12.1.2   Assess the extent to which an Athlete is able to execute the specific tasks and activities fundamental to the sport (technical assessment); and

 

12.1.3   Conduct (if required) Observation in Competition.

 

12.2        Following the Evaluation Session the Classification Panel must allocate a Sport Class and designate a Sport Class Status, or designate Classification Not Completed (CNC).

 

12.3        Prior to the Evaluation Session, the assessment as to whether an Athlete has an Eligible Impairment must be undertaken by World Para Swimming, unless World Para Swimming requests this to be undertaken by a Classification Panel.

 

12.4        The Evaluation Session must take place in a controlled non-competitive environment that allows for the repeated observation of key tasks and activities.

 

12.4.1   Although other factors such as low fitness level, poor technical proficiency and aging may also affect the fundamental tasks and activities of the sport, the allocation of Sport Class must not be affected by these factors.

 

12.5        An Athlete who has a Non-Eligible Impairment and an Eligible Impairment may be evaluated by a Classification Panel on the basis of the Eligible Impairment, provided the Non-Eligible Impairment does not affect the Classification Panel’s ability to allocate a Sport Class.

12.6        The Sport Class allocated to the Athlete will be in accordance with the processes specified in Appendices One, Two and Three.

 

13        Evaluation Sessions

 

13.1        This Article applies to all Evaluation Sessions.

 

13.2        The Athlete’s National Body or National Paralympic Committee is responsible for ensuring that Athletes comply with their duties in relation to the provisions in this Article.

 

13.3        In respect of Athletes:

 

13.3.1   Athletes have the right to be accompanied by a member of the Athletes National Body or National Paralympic Committee when attending an Evaluation Session. The Athlete must be accompanied if the Athlete is a minor or has an Intellectual Impairment.

 

13.3.2   The person chosen by the Athlete to accompany the Athlete at an Evaluation Session should be familiar with the Athlete’s Impairment and sport history.

 

13.3.3   The Athlete and accompanying person must acknowledge the terms of the Athlete Evaluation Agreement Form as specified by World Para Swimming.

 

13.3.4   The Athlete must verify his or her identity to the satisfaction of the Classification Panel, by providing a document such as a passport, photo ID card, or event accreditation.

 

13.3.5   The Athlete must attend the Evaluation Session with any sports attire or equipment relevant to the sport for which the Athlete wishes to be allocated a Sport Class.

 

13.3.6     The Athlete must disclose the use of any medication and/or medical device/implant to the Classification Panel.

 

13.3.7     The Athlete must comply with all reasonable instructions given by a Classification Panel.

 

13.4        In respect of the Classification Panel:

 

13.4.1     The Classification Panel may request that an Athlete provide medical documentation relevant to the Athlete’s Eligible Impairment if the Classification Panel believes that this will be necessary in order for it to allocate a Sport Class.

 

13.4.2     The Classification Panel will conduct Evaluation Sessions in English unless otherwise stipulated by World Para Swimming. If the Athlete requires an interpreter, a member of the Athlete’s National Body or National Paralympic Committee will be responsible for arranging for an interpreter. The interpreter is permitted to attend the Evaluation Session in addition to the person referred to in Article 13.3.1 above.

 

13.4.3     The Classification Panel may at any stage seek medical, technical or scientific opinion(s), with the agreement of the Head of Classification and/or a Chief Classifier if the Classification Panel feels that such opinion(s) is necessary in order to allocate a Sport Class.

 

13.4.4   In addition to any opinion(s) sought in accordance with Article 13.4.3, a Classification Panel may only have regard to evidence supplied to it by the relevant Athlete, National Body, National Paralympic Committee and World Para Swimming (from any source) when allocating a Sport Class.

 

13.4.5   The Classification Panel may make, create or use video footage and/or other records to assist it when allocating a Sport Class.

 

14        Observation in Competition

 

14.1        A Classification Panel may require that an Athlete undertake Observation in Competition Assessment before it allocates a final Sport Class and designates a Sport Class Status to that Athlete.

 

14.2        The methods by which Observation in Competition Assessment may be undertaken, and the matters to be observed, must be determined by World Para Swimming.

 

14.3        If a Classification Panel requires an Athlete to complete Observation in Competition Assessment, the Athlete will be entered in the Competition with the Sport Class allocated by the Classification Panel after the conclusion of the initial components of the Evaluation Session.

 

14.4        An Athlete who is required to complete Observation in Competition Assessment will be designated with Tracking Code: Observation Assessment (OA). This replaces the Athlete’s Sport Class Status for the duration of Observation in Competition Assessment.

 

14.5        Observation in Competition Assessment must take place during First Appearance. In this regard:

 

14.5.1     First Appearance is the first time an Athlete competes in an Event during a Competition in a particular Sport Class.

 

14.5.2     First Appearance within a Sport Class applies to participation in all Events within the same Sport Class.

 

14.6        If an Athlete is:

 

a)                    Subject to a Protest following Observation in Competition; and

 

b)                   The second Evaluation Session is conducted at that same Competition; and

 

c)                     Pursuant to the second Evaluation Session the Athlete is required to undergo Observation in Competition,

 

Observation in Competition must take place at the next opportunity within the Sport Class allocated to the Athlete by the Protest Panel with Tracking Code Observation Assessment (OA).

 

14.6.1   The Classification Panel must allocate a Sport Class and replace the Athlete’s Tracking Code Observation Assessment (OA) by designating a Sport Class Status upon completion of First Appearance (or completion of any Observation in Competition conducted as part of a Protest). If changes to an Athlete’s Sport Class or Sport Class Status are made following Observation in Competition, the changes are effective immediately.

 

14.7        The impact of an Athlete changing Sport Class after First Appearance on medals, records and results is detailed in the World Para Swimming Rules and Regulations.

 

15        Sport Class Status

 

15.1        If a Classification Panel allocates a Sport Class to an Athlete, it must also designate a Sport Class Status. Sport Class Status indicates whether or not an Athlete will be required to undertake Athlete Evaluation in the future; and if the Athlete’s Sport Class may be subject to Protest.

 

15.2        The Sport Class Status designated to an Athlete by a Classification Panel at the conclusion of an Evaluation Session will be one of the following:

 

•          Confirmed (C)

·                     Review (R)

·                     Review with a Fixed Review ate (FRD)

Sport Class Status New

15.3        An Athlete is allocated Sport Class Status New (N) by World Para Swimming prior to attending the Athlete’s first Evaluation Session. An Athlete with Sport Class Status New (N) must attend an Evaluation Session prior to competing at any International Competition, unless World Para Swimming specifies otherwise.

 

Sport Class Status Confirmed

 

15.4        An Athlete will be designated with Sport Class Status Confirmed (C) if the Classification Panel is satisfied that both the Athlete’s Eligible Impairment and the Athlete’s ability to execute the specific tasks and activities fundamental to the sport are and will remain stable (with the exception for Athletes with Vision Impairment as referred to in Article 6.2.3).

 

15.4.1     An Athlete with Sport Class Status Confirmed (C) is not required to undergo any further Athlete Evaluation (save pursuant to the provisions in these Classification Rules concerning Protests (Article 19), Medical Review (Article 31) and changes to Sport Class criteria (Article 15.7)).

 

                A Classification Panel that consists of only one Classifier may not designate an Athlete with Sport Class Status Confirmed (C) but must designate the Athlete with Sport Class Status Review (R).

 

Sport Class Status Review

 

15.5        An Athlete will be designated Sport Class Status Review (R) if the Classification Panel believes that further Evaluation Sessions will be required.

 

15.5.1   A Classification Panel may base its belief that further Evaluation Sessions will be required based on a number of factors, including but not limited to situations where the Athlete has only recently entered Competitions sanctioned or recognised by World Para Swimming; has a fluctuating and/or progressive Impairment/Impairments that is/are permanent but not stable; and/or has not yet reached full muscular skeletal or sports maturity.

 

15.5.2   An Athlete with Sport Class Status Review (R) must complete Athlete Evaluation prior to competing at any subsequent International Competition, unless World Para Swimming specifies otherwise.

 

Sport Class Status Review with Fixed Review Date

 

15.6        An Athlete may be designated Sport Class Status Review with a Fixed Review Date (FRD) if the Classification Panel believes that further Athlete Evaluation will be required but will not be necessary before a set date, being the Fixed Review Date.

 

15.6.1   An Athlete with Sport Class Status Review with a Fixed Review Date (FRD) will be required to attend an Evaluation Session at the first opportunity after the relevant Fixed Review Date.

 

15.6.2   An Athlete who has been allocated Sport Class Status Review with a Fixed Review Date (FRD) may not attend an Evaluation Session prior to the relevant Fixed Review Date save pursuant to a Medical Review Request and/or Protest.

 

15.6.3   A Classification Panel that consists of only one Classifier may not designate an Athlete with Sport Class Status Review with a Fixed Review Date (FRD) but must designate the Athlete with Sport Class Status Review (R).

 

Changes to Sport Class Criteria

 

15.7        If World Para Swimming changes any Sport Class criteria and/ or assessment methods defined in the Appendices to these Rules, then:

 

15.7.1     World Para Swimming may re-assign any Athlete who holds Sport Class Status Confirmed (C) with Sport Class Status Review (R) and require that the Athlete attend an Evaluation Session at the earliest available opportunity; or

 

15.7.2     World Para Swimming may remove the Fixed Review Date for any Athlete and require that the Athlete attend an Evaluation Session at the earliest available opportunity; and

 

15.7.3     In both instances the relevant National Body or National Paralympic Committee shall be informed as soon as is practicable.

 

16        Multiple Sport Classes

 

16.1        This Article applies to Athletes who are potentially eligible to be allocated more than one Sport Class.

 

Multiple Eligible Impairments

 

16.2        An Athlete who has a Physical and Vision Impairment, a Physical and Intellectual Impairment, or a Vision and Intellectual Impairment may be eligible to be allocated more than one Sport Class in relation to those Eligible Impairments. In such instances:

 

16.2.1     the Athlete’s National Body or National Paralympic Committee must notify World Para Swimming as to the Athlete’s Eligible Impairments and the Athlete’s eligibility to be allocated more than one Sport Class in respect of those Impairment types, and provide all necessary medical diagnostic information as required;

 

16.2.2   The Athlete must be offered the opportunity to participate in an Evaluation Session in respect of each Sport Class relevant to his or her multiple Impairments, either at the relevant Competition or the subsequent Competition;

 

16.2.3   At the conclusion of the Evaluation Sessions referred to in Article 16.2.2 the Athlete must choose the Sport Class that he or she wishes to compete in (the preferred Sport Class). If the allocation of any Sport Class is subject to Observation in Competition the Athlete must select the preferred Sport Class before making any First Appearance; and

 

16.2.4   The Athlete will be permitted to compete in the preferred Sport Class and details of the Athlete’s preferred Sport Class will be published.

 

Changing Sport Class

 

16.3        An Athlete who has a Physical and Vision Impairment, a Physical and Intellectual Impairment, or a Vision and Intellectual Impairment may request to change his or her preferred Sport Class:

 

a)            At the end of the season when the Athlete’s first Evaluation Session was completed; or

b)            After the close of the Paralympic Summer or Winter Games (whichever is applicable), and before the start of the next season thereafter.

 

16.4        A request to change a preferred Sport Class must be made to World Para Swimming by the Athlete’s National Body or National Paralympic Committee. The application must be submitted to World Para Swimming in accordance with the time frame identified under Article 16.5.

 

16.5        If the change request is accepted, World Para Swimming will amend the Classification Master List in accordance with the Sport Class and Sport Class Status designated to the Athlete in the initial assessment.

 

16.6        Nothing in this Article 16 precludes an Athlete from making a Medical Review Request at any time in respect of anySport Class.

 

17        Notification

 

17.1        The outcome of Athlete Evaluation must be notified to the Athlete and/or National Body or National Paralympic Committee and published as soon as practically possible after completion of Athlete Evaluation.

 

17.2        World Para Swimming must publish the outcome of Athlete Evaluation at the Competition following Athlete Evaluation, and the outcomes must be made available post Competition via the Classification Master List at World Para Swimming website.

 

Part Five: Sport Class Not Eligible

 

18        Sport Class Not Eligible

 

General Provisions

 

18.1        If World Para Swimming determines that an Athlete:

 

18.1.1   has an Impairment that is not an Eligible Impairment; or

 

18.1.2   does not have an Underlying Health Condition,

 

World Para Swimming must allocate that Athlete Sport Class Not Eligible (NE).

 

18.2        If a Classification Panel determines that an Athlete who has an Eligible Impairment does not comply with Minimum Impairment Criteria for a sport that Athlete must be allocated Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) for that sport.

 

Absence of Eligible Impairment

 

18.3        If World Para Swimming determines that an Athlete does not have an Eligible Impairment, that Athlete:

 

18.3.1   will not be permitted to attend an Evaluation Session; and

 

18.3.2   will be allocated with Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) and designated with Sport Class Status Confirmed (C) by World Para Swimming.

 

18.4        If another International Sport Federation has allocated an Athlete with Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) because the Athlete does not have an Eligible Impairment World Para Swimming may likewise do so without the need for the process detailed in Article 7 of these Classification Rules.

 

18.5        An Athlete who is allocated Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) by World Para Swimming or a Classification Panel (if delegated by World Para Swimming) because that Athlete has

 

18.5.1   An Impairment that is not an Eligible Impairment; or

 

18.5.2   A Health Condition that is not an Underlying Health Condition;

 

Has no right to request such determination be reviewed by a second Classification Panel and will not be permitted to participate in any sport.

 

Absence of Compliance with Minimum Impairment Criteria

 

18.6        A second Classification Panel must review by way of a second Evaluation Session any Athlete who is allocated Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) on the basis that a Classification Panel determines that the Athlete does not comply with Minimum Impairment Criteria. This must take place as soon as is practicable.

 

18.6.1     Pending the second Evaluation Session the Athlete will be allocated Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) and designated Sport Class Status Review (R). The Athlete will not be permitted to compete before such re-assessment.

 

18.6.2   If the second Classification Panel determines the Athlete does not comply with Minimum Impairment Criteria (or if the Athlete declines to participate in a second Evaluation Session at the time set by the Chief Classifier); Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) will be allocated and the Athlete designated with Sport Class Status Confirmed (C).

 

18.7        If an Athlete makes (or is subject to) a Protest on a previously allocated Sport Class other than Not Eligible (NE) and is allocated Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) by a Protest Panel, the Athlete must be provided with a further and final Evaluation Session which will review the decision to allocate Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) made by the Protest Panel.

 

18.8        If a Classification Panel allocates Sport Class Not Eligible (NE) on the basis that it has determined that an Athlete does not comply with Minimum Impairment Criteria for a sport the Athlete may be eligible to compete in another sport, subject to Athlete Evaluation for that sport.

 

18.9        If an Athlete is allocated Sport Class Not Eligible (NE), this does not question the presence of a genuine Impairment. It is only a ruling on the eligibility of the Athlete to compete in the sport of World Para Swimming.

 

Part Six: Protests

 

Protests

 

19        Scope of a Protest

 

19.1        A Protest may only be made in respect of an Athlete’s Sport Class. A Protest may not be made in respect of an Athlete’s Sport Class Status.

 

19.2        A Protest may not be made in respect of an Athlete who has been allocated Sport Class Not Eligible (NE).

 

20        Parties Permitted to Make a Protest

 

A Protest may only be made by one of the following bodies:

 

20.1        A National Body (see Articles 21-22); or

 

20.2        A National Paralympic Committee (see Articles 21-22); or

 

20.3        World Para Swimming (see Articles 23-24).

 

21        National Protests

 

21.1        A National Body or a National Paralympic Committee may only make a Protest in respect of an Athlete under its jurisdiction at a Competition or venue set aside for Athlete Evaluation.

 

21.2        If the outcome of Athlete Evaluation is published during a Competition (pursuant to Article 17 of these Classification Rules) a National Protest must be submitted within one (1) hour of that outcome being published. If the outcome of Athlete Evaluation is published following Observation in Competition a National Protest must be submitted within fifteen (15) minutes of that outcome being published.

 

21.3        If an Athlete is required by a Classification Panel to undergo Observation in Competition Assessment, a National Body or a National Paralympic Committee may make a Protest before or after First Appearance takes place. If a Protest is made before First Appearance takes place the Athlete must not be permitted to compete until the Protest has been resolved.

 

22        National Protest Procedure

 

22.1        To submit a National Protest, a National Body or a National Paralympic Committee must show that the Protest is bona fide with supporting evidence and complete a Protest Form, that must be made available by World Para Swimming at the Competition and via World Para Swimming website, and must include the following:

 

22.1.1     The name and SDMS ID of the Protested Athlete;

 

22.1.2   The details of the Protested Decision and/or a copy of the Protested Decision;

 

22.1.3   An explanation as to why the Protest has been made and the basis on which the National Body or National Paralympic Committee believes that the Protested Decision is flawed;

 

22.1.4   Reference to the specific rule(s) alleged to have been breached; and

 

22.1.5       The Protest Fee 150by World Para Swimming.

 

22.2        The Protest Documents must be submitted to the Chief Classifier of the relevant Competition within the timeframes specified by World Para Swimming. Upon receipt of the Protest Documents the Chief Classifier must conduct a review of the Protest, in consultation with World Para Swimming, of which there are two possible outcomes:

 

22.2.1   The Chief Classifier may dismiss the Protest if, in the discretion of the Chief Classifier, the Protest does not comply with the Protest requirements in this Article 22; or

 

22.2.2   The Chief Classifier may accept the Protest if, in the discretion of the Chief Classifier, the Protest complies with the Protest requirements in this Article 22.

 

22.3        If the Protest is dismissed the Chief Classifier must notify all relevant parties and provide a written explanation to the National Body or National Paralympic Committee as soon as practicable. The Protest Fee will be forfeited.

 

22.4        If the Protest is accepted:

 

22.4.1   The Protested Athletes Sport Class must remain unchanged pending the outcome of the Protest but the Protested Athlete’s Sport Class Status must immediately be changed to Review (R) unless the Protested Athlete’s Sport Class Status is already Review (R);

 

22.4.2     The Chief Classifier must appoint a Protest Panel to conduct a new Evaluation Session as soon as possible, which must be either at the Competition the Protest was made or at the next Competition); and

 

22.4.3     World Para Swimming must notify all relevant parties of the time and date the new Evaluation Session is to be conducted by the Protest Panel.

 

23        World Para Swimming Protests

 

23.1        World Para Swimming may, in its discretion, make a Protest at any time in respect of an Athlete under its jurisdiction if:

 

23.1.1     It considers an Athlete may have been allocated an incorrect Sport Class; or

 

23.1.2     A National Body or National Paralympic Committee makes a documented request to World Para Swimming. The assessment of the validity of the request is at the sole discretion of World Para Swimming

 

24        World Para Swimming Protest Procedure

 

24.1        If World Para Swimming decides to make a Protest, World Para Swimming must advise the relevant National Body or National Paralympic Committee of the Protest at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

24.2        The Head of Classification must provide the relevant National Body or National Paralympic Committee with a written explanation as to why the Protest has been made and the basis on which the Head of Classification considers it is justified.

 

24.3        If World Para Swimming makes a Protest:

 

24.3.1   The Protested Athletes Sport Class must remain unchanged pending the outcome of the Protest;

 

24.3.2   The Protested Athlete’s Sport Class Status must immediately be changed to Review (R) unless the Protested Athlete’s Sport Class Status is already Review (R); and

 

24.3.3   A Protest Panel must be appointed to resolve the Protest as soon as is reasonably possible.

 

25        Protest Panel

 

25.1        A Chief Classifier may fulfil one or more of the Head of Classification’s obligations in this Article 25 if authorised to do so by the Head of Classification.

 

25.2        A Protest Panel must be appointed by the Head of Classification in a manner consistent wit