What is Classification?
Classification is a way to group athletes who have similar impairments together into classes for competition in their particular sport. Each Paralympic sport has a different classification system. Each sport has different impairment criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for the sport, this is determined through a classification assessment. Athletes are required to provide medical documentation for classification that details their impairment type and level of impairment. Classifiers are specifically trained and certified to assess athletes' impairments to determine their sport eligibility and class, according to the International classification rules for their sport.
Classification for Athletes with a Vision Impairment
Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for a classification as an athlete with a vision impairment, athletes must have a diagnosis of at least one of:
- impairment of the eye structure;
- impairment of the optic nerve or pathways;
- impairment of the visual cortex of the brain.
Athletes are classified according to their level of corrected vision and must have an impairment in BOTH eyes that meet the minimal disability criteria:
- visual acuity that is less than or equal to LogMAR = 1.00 (6/60) and/or
- visual field that is less than a radius of 20 degrees
Athletes will be required to provided medical documentation from their ophthalmologist prior to seeking a classification; on the National VI Medical Screening Form.
Please note, Goalball Australia does allow non-classifiable players to compete in tournaments up to and including the Australian Goalball Championships.
Athletes competing in Goalball all have varying degrees of vision impairment and will be classed in one of the following sport classes:
B1: These athletes have a very low visual acuity and/or no light perception
B2: Athletes with a B2 sport class have a higher visual acuity than athletes in the B1 class and/or a visual field of less than 5 degrees radius
B3: Athletes with a B3 sport class have the least severe vision impairment eligible for Paralympic sport. They have the highest visual acuity and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees radius
You can download the Australian Goalball Classification Masterlist. Athletes should note their review dates and ensure that they are reviewed at the first available opportunity in the year of review. International level reviews will be done a an appropriate tournament and coordinated through the relevant National Program Manager, but it is up to the athlete to ensure they have all required documentation completed in time for this process to be managed.
How Can I Get Classified?
The Australian Paralympic Committee are responsible fore managing classification opportunities for athletes with a vision impairment.
Nationally, there are two levels of classification for athletes.
New athletes with a vision impairment, who are unable to access a National Level Classification (face to face) may complete the Vision Impairment Provisional Classification Form. This enables the athlete to determine their eligibility and compete in state and national level events. The provisional classification forms is to be completed by the athlete (section 1) and the athlete's ophthalmologist (section 2). Once completed the athlete returns the form to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please download the form via the link below
The National Level Classification is a face to face assessment by IPC and IBSA trained classifiers based in Brisbane, Sydney, Melboure and Adelaide. Athletes who wish to be considered for Goalball Australia National Squads must have at least a National Level Classification. Athletes must contact the Australian Paralympic Committee at email@example.com to organise a classification assessment.
International Classification is available for athletes who are chosen on Australian Teams. The assessment is provided in conjunction with a sanctioned international competition. The National Program Manger will provide information to athletes when necessary.