IWAS / About our sport
Classification in Paralympic sport, and therefore wheelchair fencing, is really important to ensure fair competition.
All sports that are on the Paralympic programme have a classification system and trained classifiers who assess each athlete’s abilities individually in a range of ways. This can be done once or multiple times over an athlete’s career, depending on their impairment. A panel of two-three classifiers will assess each athlete.
Classifiers will also gather medical evidence before they do their assessments, to ensure they have a full
picture of an athlete’s condition or conditions.
In wheelchair fencing, athletes who use wheelchairs are eligible to compete and they will have an impairment that belongs to one of following eligibility groups laid out by the International Paralympic Committee:
- Impaired muscle power
- Impaired passive range of movement
- Limb deficiency
- Leg length difference
There are three divisions of competition – A, B and C. Only categories A and B feature at the Paralympic Games, but in IWAS Wheelchair Fencing competitions those athletes in category C can also compete. This is part of the sport’s development as these athletes have the most severe impairments but are currently least represented in the sport.
Fencers in category A have good trunk control, whereas category B athletes have an impairment that impacts their trunk or their fencing arm.