Athletes are evaluated by classifiers, who work in a group called a classification panel. A classification panel evaluates an athlete to ensure the prescence of eligible impairments and allocate a sport class.
These classifiers are trained and certified as officials by the National Federations and International Federations who govern the sport.
Classifiers assessing athletes with the various impairments either have a medical or paramedical background and/or are technical experts in their sport.
How do I become a classifier?
It is recognised from the onset that there is no ‘one size fits all’ model; some National Football Associations/Federations will have significant classification knowledge and resources while others may have very limited to no knowledge or resources. In addition, there is a diversity of national sport governing body models that must be considered when developing classification at the national level.
Classifiers are trained for a specific impairment category, either for intellectual, physical or vision impairment. This is because classifiers must have qualifications relevant for the impairments they evaluate. Classifiers are also trained for a specific format of football.
The following qualifications are most common among classifiers:
- Intellectual impairment: psychologists, experts in the sport and biomechanics
- Physical impairment: medical doctors, physiotherapists, experts in the sport and biomechanics
- Vision impairment: ophthalmologists and optometrists
- Hearing Impairment: audiologist
Being involved in classification of national level athletes is a good way to be introduced in classification. To find out more about National Classifier opportunities you should contact your National Football Association/Federation.
International classifiers are trained and certified by the International Federation (IF) governing each format of football.
International Classifiers are usually individuals nominated by the national federation/member of the relevant International Federation.
If you are interested to become an International Classifier, you should initially contact the national federation, but you can also find out more about the different International Federations by clicking here