Last updated: 04.09.2022
What is Classification?
In sport, classification exists so that athletes compete in fair and equal competition. In paralympic sport, the wide range of impairments create unique classification systems. Paralympic classification groups athletes according to how their impairment impacts on their sport.
For Para Fencing, which is a Paralympic sport, athletes are grouped into Sport Classes which aim to ensure that the impact of their Impairment is minimised, and sporting excellence determines which Athlete (or team) is ultimately victorious.
Who is eligible for classification?
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. Different sports have different eligibilities and minimum impairment criteria.
The following Impairment types are relevant for Para Fencing:
The Eligible Impairments and Minimum Impairment Criteria are set down in the BF Para Fencing Classification Rules*. The Minimum Impairment Criteria ensures 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.
For Para Fencing classification, there are 5 classes , which are currently assigned into three categories for competition; A, B and C. Athletes in category A have the least impact from their impairment type/s and category C the greatest.
How do I get a National Classification?
Any athlete who wishes to be classified must undergo an athlete classification assessment.
The assessment is performed by British Fencing Classifiers and has two parts, a physical assessment and observation in competition. An athlete without any classification, must be classified prior to competing in any competition where a sports class is requested.
Classification assessments may be undertaken the day prior to a British Fencing domestic competition or at other publicised events.
To request a classification, you must complete a National Classification Request Form (click here to complete online form), submitting all relevant documentation at least six (6) weeks prior to any competition that you wish to enter.
Documentation for classification includes the following mandatory forms which can be downloaded and must also include your own medical supporting evidence.
The Athlete Medical Diagnostic form must be completed and signed by your physician or other medical personnel. Any supporting evidence or documentation that supports your diagnosis and/or impairment, including the effects of your impairment (as instructed on the form) must also be submitted.
The Athlete Classification Consent Form must be signed by the athlete. If the athlete is under 18 years of age, this must also be signed by their parent or guardian.
Once your documentation has been received by British Fencing, you will be contacted to inform you of your classification assessment date, or if necessary to request any further information that might be required.
For Detailed information on the Classification rules and Assessment, please read the GBR Para Fencing classification Rules*.
*Please Note: GBR Para Fencing athlete assessments and allocation of sports class and sports status, comply with IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Classification Rules. For an interim period, until the GBR Para Fencing classification rules are published, the IWAS rules will be used.
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