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Learn all about the classification system in disability swimming

Classification is the grouping of athletes in swimming to ensure that there is a fair playing field. There are two types of classification: physical (S1-S10) and disability specific (S11-S14).

PHYSICAL CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM

Co-ordinated by British Swimming, this system is for swimmers with a physical impairment and assesses a swimmer's functional mobility by IPC Swimming trained classifiers.

The process involves a physical test, technical test and observation in competition. This type of classification also enables the identification of stroke exceptions applicable to an individual swimmer.

A minimum of two classifiers form a classification team consisting of a medical classifier, a doctor or physiotherapist, and a technical classifier (a swimming coach).

In the first instance swimmers will need to obtain a British Swimming classification and then as they progress along the elite pathway may be put forward for an international classification.

  • Click here to download the Physical Classification Application Form
  • Click here to download the Physical Classification Application Form in a LARGER FONT
  • Click here to download Classification Eligibility Guidelines for Disability Swimming (S1-S14)
  • Click here to read both British Swimming and International Disability Swimmer Classification Statuses

For further information on any of these processes or systems please contact the Classification Coordinator on 0161 244 5332 or click here to send an email.

DISABILITY SPECIFIC CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM

This system is co-ordinated by the relevant Disability Sports Organisations and allows swimmers of a similar and specific disability to compete against one another.

There are individual classification systems for visually impaired and intellectually impaired swimmers. For further information on any of these please follow the links below.

CLASSIFIERS

There are two types of classifiers needed. These are a medical and a technical classifiers, which make up a classifying panel. A medical classifier will either be a doctor or physiotherapist, and a technical classifier will be a Level 2/3 UKCC swimming coach.

  • Click here to read both British Swimming and international disability swimmer classification statuses

BECOMING A CLASSIFIER

For further information on how to become a classifier please contact the office on e-mail.

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