Para Classifications

Classification Eligibility Guidelines for
Disability Swimming (S1 - S15)


Classification groups S1-S15 are for those swimmers with a functional, visual, intellectual or hearing impairment. Para-swimming events are prefixed with S, SB or SM and a number. The prefixes stand for the event and the number indicates the sport class the athlete competes in the respective event.

The prefixes stand for:

  • S:   Freestyle, Butterfly and Backstroke events
  • SB: Breaststroke
  • SM: Individual Medley

The following disabilities meet the eligibility requirements of the functional classification system*:

  • Classification Groups S1 - S10 - Swimmers with a functional (physical) disability
  Achondroplasia (Dwarfism)   Multiple Sclerosis                 
  Amputees (including dysmelia)   Muscular Dystrophy
  Arthrogryposis   Polio
  Brittle Bones   Spina Bifida
  Cerebral Palsy   Spinal Cord Injury

* Please note that this list is not exhaustive, however provides a guide to functional classification eligibility

  • Classification Groups S11 - S13 - Swimmers with a visual impairment

The range here is from blind to visually impaired (best eye with best correction)

  • Classification Group S14 - Swimmers with an intellectual disability

Swimmers must have an IQ of 75 or less to meet the criteria

  • Classification Group S15 - Swimmers with a hearing impairment

Any swimmer who wears a hearing aid will be considered

There are a number of conditions that do not meet the eligibility criteria as follows*:

  ADHD                     Epilepsy
  Aspergers   Haemophilia
  Asthma   Hydrocephalus
  Autistic Spectrum   Obesity
  Cystic Fibrosis   Learning Difficulties
  Diabetes   Scoliosis
  Dyspraxia   Transplants

* Please note that this list is not exhaustive, however provides a guide


It must be noted that even those swimmers that have a condition eligible to be classified may still not be sufficiently impaired to gain a classification