Classification Overview video

- A brief outline of how classifications work

Classification is an assessment process, which groups athletes and swimmers into a variety of categories based upon their limitations in a particular sport.

The classification system exists to provide a fair and equitable competition for students and athletes with disabilities. 

The sporting classification system is managed by the International Paralympic Committee who delegates this responsibility to national sporting associations.

Athletics Australia and Swimming Australia manage the sports of athletics, cross country and swimming, with assistance from national sporting bodies who coordinate classification eligibility applications, under guidance of the Australian Paralympic Committee.

Classification is split into five impairment categories:


Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Vision Impairment

Intellectual Impairment

Physical Impairment

Transplant Recipients 

The table below shows a summary of the disabilities existing within the the sporting classifications:

Disabilities Athletics / Cross Country Swimming                          
Deaf and Hard of Hearing T/F01 S15
Vision T/F11, T/F12, T/F13 S11, S12, S13
Intellectual T/F20, T/F21 S14
Physical T/F32-56, T/F61-64, RR1-3  S1 - 10
Transplant T/F60 S16
 Autism - S19
 Transition  - S17
 Down's Syndrome  T/F21



Classification is required when a student competes in the multi-class representative pathway for the sports of athletics, cross country and swimming.

It is required for any level above school including: zone, regional association, state, national and international championships.

Once classified, the classification can also be used outside of the school system in other sporting activities where applicable.


The different levels of classification include:

Provisional - allowing entry in multi-class events, up to and including a state level.

National - allowing entry in multi-class events, up to and including a national level.

International - allowing entry in multi-class events at an international level.

Review - allowing entry in multi-class events up to and including state level with reclassification required during year stated.


Classification is done by Athletics Australia and Swimming Australia, in conjunction with other national sporting associations.

The application process involves:

  • Completing a classification eligibility application form
  • Supplying requested medical documentation
  • Visit to specialist/medical practitioner (depending on impairment)
  • Submission of application form and documentation.

Each classification category has different requirements

To access specific information and eligibility application forms, select the relevant impairment category from the show/hides below.