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Para-Archery Classification

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Classification provides a structure for para competition. Athletes competing in para archery have an impairment that affects their ability to participate in the sport. The classification system groups athletes by impairment to create the most level playing field possible for competition. Classification both determines who is eligible to compete in para archery and creates competition classes.

All archers wishing to compete in any Para-archery category at Archery Canada competitions or any event in which the scores are used for ranking, records or mail match scores must have a current National or International classification card. This card must be included at the time of registration and must be presented in person during equipment inspections. Archers without this classification will not be permitted to participate in the para-archery categories but will be able to participate in the able-bodied events. Any archer can apply to be classified at the international level through Archery Canada. Athletes that are not eligible to compete in Para Archery categories but do have an impairment may also be given permission to use an assistive device – and athletes with classification for an assistive device are able to compete in able-bodied events.

National Classification

Archery Canada follows the World Archery Rules with some modifications for Canadian competition. These may be found in the Book 3 of the Rule Book (Chapter 21). The intention is to encourage more persons with a disability to participate in archery.

Archery Canada modifications to the classification rules apply only to domestic competitions. Athletes with a domestic classification only may not compete in international events until they have obtained their World Archery Classification.

To be classified, athletes must submit the Medical Intake Form (MIF) with a personal headshot to at least 30 days prior to an event. Athletes wishing to be classified with a visual impairment must follow IBSA rules for submission of the Visually Impaired Medical Form. Once the requisite forms and photo are submitted, they will be sent to the classifiers to be verified for completeness and eligibility. If the athlete has an impairment that is not eligible the athlete will be notified so they can choose whether to attend the event.

Once deemed as eligible, archers are evaluated as per the classification evaluation processes and placed in one of the following classification groups, assigned a classification status and placed in an appropriate sport class and will receive their national classification card. The archer can then discuss with the Archery Canada Para Coordinator if they should apply for their International Card.

The classifiers will test the archer for range of movement, flexibility, strength, and balance. Upon completion, the classifiers will present their decision and the athlete will be given copies of the classification forms.

World Archery can classify athletes as Not Eligible (NE), Standing (ST), or Wheelchair 1 or 2 (W1 or W2).

  • NE – not eligible, but may be approved for adapted equipment or assistive aids in order to compete in able-body categories.
  • ST – standing – has a disability that can affect either the upper body or lower body, but they stand or sit on a stool or chair to shoot (feet are on the ground)
  • W2 – will have paraplegia or comparable disability.  This class will display minimal or no limitations in upper body strength, range of motion or coordination. W2 athletes may shoot from a wheelchair and compete in either compound or recurve open category.
  • W1 – shoot from a wheelchair but have more severe impairments than W2. To be classified as W1, an archer must have impairments in at least 3 limbs and the core and must shoot using a wheelchair.
  • NOTE: B1 and B2/B3 classifications for Visually Impaired archers have a separate process through the International Blind Sports Federation.

Shooting categories are different than the classification groups. There are two shooting categories: Open and W1. Within Open, there are separate divisions for recurve and compound, and men and women. In W1, recurve and compound archers are combined, and in some competitions the men and women are also combined. Once an athlete is classified, to compete in a sanctioned event, they must also have Archery Canada membership through their local PTSO. Please see here for more information.