Definition of Classification
The Canadian Paralympic Committee defines classification as the system that “determines which athletes are eligible to compete in a sport and how athletes are grouped together for competition. This, to a certain extent, is similar to grouping athletes by age, gender or weight” (International Paralympic Committee).
The classification system has been designed so that athletes who succeed in competition do so on the basis of their sporting ability including their technical skill, fitness, mental focus, and tactical ability. Athletes are classified according to their activity limitation resulting from their disability which is termed “impairment” in the context of classification.
International Bowls for the Disabled (IBD) Classification Classes
There are 8 classes for para bowls (4 visual impairment classes: B1 – B4 and 4 physical impairment classes: B5-B8). Each is described below:
B1 No light perception in either eye up to light perception but no recognition of hand movements at any distance or any direction.
B2 From the ability to recognize hand movements up to a visual acuity of 2/60 (Berkeley Rudimentary Test).
B3 From a visual acuity of better than 2/60 up to a visual acuity of 6/60 (Berkeley Rudimentary Test).
B4 A visual acuity up to a visual acuity of worse than 6/24 (Berkeley Rudimentary Test) and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees.
B5 Ambulant and wheelchair bowlers with restricted grip and upper body limb function, poor balance and coordination, unable to bowl a full length end or needing a splinting device to do so.
B6 Ambulant and wheelchair bowlers with reduced balance function (loss of 5 points or more) but able to bowl a full length end.
B7 Ambulant and wheelchair bowlers with minor balance problems (loss of less than 5 points).
B8 Ambulant bowlers, who have a permanent and irreversible disability, have lost 10 points on the bench test, but have minimal noticeable impairment of function (loss of 0-1 points).
Who Needs a Classification?
Para bowlers are not required to seek a classification until they begin competing in national and international level competitions. A provincial level competitor may be eligible to seek classification if they plan to compete nationally and/or internationally.
At the club level, a para bowls athlete can continue to play recreationally without a classification.
How Do I Get Classified?
UPCOMING PARA BOWLS NATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OPPORTUNITY
- Location: Calgary, AB (Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club)
- Event: Bowls Canada National Para Bowls Championship
- Date: Monday, July 24th, 2023
- Forms: Available at https://bowlscanada.com/en/programs-resources/para-bowls/classification-resources/
I Have Been Classified, What Does My Sport Class Status Mean?
Temporary Status (T): Temporary status is assigned to bowlers who have been classified by a technical classifier only. A Temporary Status classification must be re-classified when attending an IBD sanctioned competition to verify the status and receive an IBD International Classification card.
New Status (N): New status is assigned to bowlers who have been classified by a national medical classifier, or a national medical and technical classifier working together. A New Status classification must be re-classified when attending an IBD sanctioned competition to verify the status and receive an IBD International Classification card.
Review Status (R): Review status is assigned to bowlers who have been internationally classified, but are subject to review. Athletes assigned an R status usually have changing or progressive conditions that require ongoing re-evaluation. A review date may be stated.
Permanent Status (P): Permanent status is assigned to bowlers who have been internationally classified and are not under review.
To download as a PDF, press on the following link: Athlete Guide to Classification
Bowls Canada Para Bowls Classification Resources – https://bowlscanada.com/en/programs-resources/para-bowls/classification-resources/
International Bowls for the Disabled – http://www.interdisabledbowls.org/
IPC Classification Code – https://www.paralympic.org/classification-code
For more information, please contact:
Bowls Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org