ARCHERY• Paralympic Archery featured on every Paralympic programme since the inaugural competition in 1960.• Skill, concentration and nerves of steel will all be on show at the Archery competition at London 2012.• Although Archery was originally developed as a means of rehabilitation and recreation for people with a physical disability, it rapidly evolved into the internationally competitive sport on show at the Games today.
ATHLETICS• Some athletes compete Classification: To ensure competition is fair, athletes are grouped into classes according to in wheelchairs or how much their impairment impacts on their throwing frames, others event-specific performance. with prostheses, and - Classes 11–13 are for athletes with a visual impairment. - Class 20 is for athletes with an others with the intellectual impairment. - Classes 31–38 are guidance of a sighted for athletes with cerebral palsy, with classes 31 companion. to 34 using a wheelchair to compete. - Classes 40–46 are for athletes with a loss of limb or limb deficiency. - Classes 51–58 cover wheelchair racers or field athletes who throw from a seated position.
BOCCIA• Boccia was introduced to the • Boccia is a target sport that tests Paralympic programme at the muscle control and accuracy, New York and Stoke Mandeville demanding extreme skill and 1984 Games. concentration at the highest level. • Believed to have Ancient Greek origins, Boccia is a tough test of nerve, tactics and skill. Played on a rectangular court by individuals, pairs and teams, the sport offers both tension and excitement, as athletes aim to land balls close to a target ball, across a series of demanding ends. The sport is similar to boules or petanque.
CYCLING ROAD• Road Cycling was introduced as a • There are four types of cycles used in Paralympic sport at the Stoke Paralympic Cycling: Mandeville/New York 1984 • – A tandem is used by athletes with Paralympics. Road Cycling was visual impairment; the athlete sits on introduced as a Paralympic sport at the back of the tandem with a the Stoke Mandeville/New York 1984 sighted pilot at the front. Paralympics. • – A hand cycle, as the name suggests, has pedals operated by hand. It has two wheels at the back and one at the front. • – A tricycle is normally used by athletes whose balance would make them unable to race on a two- wheeled bicycle. • – A bicycle is used by all other athletes, often with modifications.
CYCLING TRACK• The first Track Cycling races at the Paralympic • There are four classes for competition: Games took place at the Atlanta 1996 Games. - B – athletes with a visual impairment who compete on a tandem with a sighted pilot on the front - H1–H4 – athletes with an impairment that affects their legs and so compete using a handcycle - T1–T2 – athletes with an impairment that affects their balance and so compete using a tricycle - C1–C5 – athletes with an impairment that affects their legs, arms and/or trunk but compete using a standard bicycle • In the H, T and C classes, the lower the athlete’s class number, the greater the impact of their impairment on their ability to cycle. So for example a C1 cyclist will have an impairment that has more of an impact on their ability to cycle than a C5 cyclist.
EQUESTRIAN• Equestrian events first appeared • The classification rules of the International Federation for Equestrian state that on the Paralympic programme at athletes with a physical impairment and the 1984 Games held in Stoke athletes with a visual impairment are Mandeville and New York, and eligible to compete in the sport at the have featured at every Games Paralympics. since Atlanta 1996. • Classification also groups athletes in classes, defined by the degree to which they are limited in their ability to perform activities within that sport. • There are five classes in Equestrian: Grades Ia, Ib, II, III and IV. • Grade Ia is for athletes whose impairment has the greatest impact on their ability to ride; through to Grade IV, which is for athletes whose impairment has the least impact on their ability to ride.
FOOTBALL 5-a-SIDE• The first national 5-a-side • The classification rules of the Championships took place in International Federation for Spain in 1986. Football 5-a-side state that athletes with a visual impairment are eligible to compete in the sport at the Paralympics. • All four outfield players must wear blackout eyeshades to ensure fairness. The goalkeeper may be fully sighted but he is not allowed to leave his penalty area. • The football contains ball bearings to produce a noise when it moves.
FOOTBALL 7-a-SIDE• 7-a-side Football is a fast-moving • In Football 7-a-side there are four classes and and fiercely competitive sport they can be described as follows: played by athletes with cerebral - C5 – athletes whose impairment causes the palsy. greatest disadvantage on the field of play and has a significant impact when walking and• Classification also groups athletes running in classes, defined by the degree - C6 – athletes with an impairment that have an to which they are limited in their impact on the control and coordination of their ability to perform activities within arms, especially when running that sport. - C7 – athletes with an impairment that affect one arm and one leg on the same side of the body - C8 – athletes whose impairments cause the least disadvantage on the field of play; they often have involuntary muscle contractions as well as a tightness in their muscles • To minimise the impact of impairment on the outcome of competition teams must include at least one athlete with either C5 or C6 classification on the pitch and no more than two C8 players are allowed to play at the same time.
GOALBALL• ntroduced to the Games as • The classification rules of a demonstration event at the International Federation the Toronto 1976 Games, for Goalball state that Goalball was added to the athletes with a visual Paralympic programme as a impairment are eligible to full medal sport four years compete in the sport at the later in Arnhem. Paralympics. • All athletes wear eyeshades to ensure fairness and allow athletes with varying degrees of visual impairment to compete together.
JUDO• Judo first featured on the • Classification also groups athletes in classes, defined by the degree to which they are limited Paralympic programme at Seoul in their ability to perform activities within that 1988, with women’s events sport. • Three classes of athletes compete in Judo: B1, introduced 16 years later in B2 and B3. Athens. • B1 athletes are classed as blind, while B2 and B3 athletes have different degrees of visual impairment. All athletes compete together. • B1 athletes have a red circle sewn on to the sleeves of their judogi (judo suits). This is in order for the officials to apply the rules according to their special circumstances. • For example, the officials will not expect them to recognise the edge of the contest area, compared with Judo athletes with limited sight. • When an athlete is also deaf as well as visually impaired, a small blue circle will be attached on the back of the judogi.
POWERLIFTING• After its initial introduction to • The classification rules of the the Paralympic Games at International Federation for Tokyo in 1964, when it was Powerlifting state that athletes billed as Weightlifting, the with a physical impairment in sport now known as their legs or hips, which would Powerlifting underwent a prohibit them compete in major transition. weightlifting are eligible to compete in the sport at the Paralympics. • Competitors are classified by bodyweight alone in Powerlifting: athletes with different impairments compete for the same medals.
ROWING• Appearing at the Paralympic • Paralympic Rowing has three Games for only the second categories of classification, time, the sport of Rowing will indicating the amount of be held on the waters at Eton functional ability a rower has. Dorney during London 2012. • AS – arms and shoulders • TA – trunk and arms • LTA – legs, trunk and arms • A rower may compete in a higher category, but not a lower one: AS and TA rowers may compete in LTA events, but an LTA athlete may not compete in a TA race.
SAILING• Sailing for athletes with a disability began • Sailing has three categories of boat at the Paralympics; Three Person Keelboat, Two Person to develop as a competitive sport in the Keelboat and Single Person Keelboat. Each boat 1980s, just over 10 years before it joined uses its own classification points system to make up the Paralympic programme. Mastery over a team. ever-changing conditions on open water • Three-Person Keelboat: each athlete is assigned a requires skill, tactics and nerve. point score between 1 and 7 based on the impact of the athletes impairment to perform tasks on the boat. The lower the point score, the greater the impact of the athlete’s impairment on their ability to sail. The total classification points of all three sailors must not exceed a maximum of 14 points. • Two-Person Keelboat: athletes are assigned a class of TPA if they have an impairment with a greater impact on their ability to sail. TPB athletes have an impairment with a lesser impact on their ability to sail. One TPA athlete and one TPB athlete make up the team of a Two-Person Keelboat • Single-Person Keelboat: the athlete must meet the minimum eligibility requirement for the sport, the equivalent of a point 7 in the Three-Person Keelboat.
SHOOTING• Shooting is a test of accuracy and • There are two classes in shooting; control, in which athletes use SH1 and SH2. The differences pistols or rifles to fire at static between the classes can be targets. summarised as follows: • SH1 – athletes who can support the weight of their firearm themselves and shoot using a rifle or pistol. • SH2 – athletes who use a shooting stand for support as they have an impairment that affects one or both of their arms and shoot using a rifle only.
TABLE TENNIS• With 29 medal events and nearly • Classification also groups athletes in classes, defined by the degree to which they are 300 athletes, Table Tennis is one limited in their ability to perform activities of the largest sports on the within that sport. In Table Tennis there are Paralympic programme. eleven classes and they can be described as follows: • 1–5: athletes with a physical impairment that affects their legs who compete in a sitting position, the lower the number, the greater the impact the impairment has on an athlete’s ability to compete • 6–10: athletes with a physical impairment who compete from a standing position, the lower the number, the greater the impact the impairment has on an athlete’s ability to compete • 11: athletes with intellectual impairment
SITTING VOLLEYBALL• Sitting Volleyball emerged in the • Classification also groups athletes in Netherlands in the 1950s, a classes, defined by the degree to which combination of Volleyball and a they are limited in their ability to perform German game called Sitzbal. It really activities within that sport. began to increase in popularity during the 1960s, and has since • In Sitting Volleyball, there are two grown into one of the most fast- categories of classification: Disabled (D) paced and exciting Paralympic sports. and Minimally Disabled (MD). As these It is now played by athletes in more names suggest, D athletes have an than 50 countries around the world. impairment that has a greater impact on the field of play than MD players. • A number of players with the class MD played standing volleyball and picked up a significant injury to their ankle or knee, making them eligible to compete in Sitting Volleyball. • A maximum of one MD player may be on the court for each team at any one time.
WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL• The sport was developed by • Classification also groups athletes American World War II veterans in classes, defined by the degree as part of their rehabilitation to which they are limited in their programme, but its popularity ability to perform activities within soon spread around the world. that sport. • In Wheelchair Basketball there are eight classes from 1.0 for a player with the least physical function, increasing by 0.5 per class through to 4.5 for the most physical function. • To minimise the impact of types of impairment on the outcome of competition, the total on-court point value during play for each team of five players cannot exceed 14.
WHEELCHAIR FENCING• Although sword fighting dates • Classification also groups athletes back thousands of years, Fencing in classes, defined by the degree as we now understand it came of to which they are limited in their age as a sport in the 19th century. ability to perform activities within Developed in the years after that sport. In Wheelchair Fencing World War II at Stoke Mandeville, there are two classes: Category A the birthplace of the Paralympic and Category B. Games, Wheelchair Fencing is a • Category A athletes have good fierce, fast-moving battle of trunk control and their fencing tactics and technique. arm is not affected by their impairment. • Category B athletes have an impairment that affects either their trunk or their fencing arm.
WHEELCHAIR RUGBY• Wheelchair Rugby was invented in 1977 • Classification also groups athletes in by a group of Canadian quadriplegic classes, defined by the degree to which athletes, who were looking for an they are limited in their ability to perform alternative to Wheelchair Basketball that activities within that sport. would allow players with reduced arm and • In Wheelchair Rugby every player is hand function to participate on equal assigned a point value based on their terms. The sport they created, which functional ability. There are seven classes incorporates some elements of Basketball, from 0.5 for a player with the least Handball and Ice Hockey, has since grown physical function increasing by 0.5 per into a thrilling and intense spectacle, and class through to 3.5 for the most physical is enormously popular with Paralympic function. spectators around the world. • To minimise the impact of types of impairment on the outcome of competition, the total on-court point value during play for each team of four players cannot exceed 8. For each female player a team fields on court, the maximum points level increases by 0.5.
WHEELCHAIR TENNIS• Since Wheelchair Tennis was • Classification also groups athletes in invented in 1976 by Brad Parks, the classes, defined by the degree to sport has grown at an amazing rate: which they are limited in their ability now fully integrated into all four to perform activities within that Grand Slam Tennis events, and with sport. In Wheelchair Tennis there are more than 170 tournaments on the two classes, Open and Quad: ITF’s own Wheelchair Tennis Tour, it is more popular than ever. • Open class is for athletes with an impairment of one or both legs but does not affect their arms or hands. • Quad class athletes have an impairment that affects their arms and legs, which limits their ability to handle the racket and to move their wheelchair compared with Open class athletes. Men and women compete together in the Quad events.
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