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15 September 2014

IWRF Classification article published in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

Viola Altmann, IWRF Level IV Classifier has had another article published about classification in wheelchair rugby, this time in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly.


"I think the article will be interesting to read by athletes and stakeholders, because it is about the survey that formed the basis of the research program to improve classification, which we have been working on for quite a few years now" stated Altmann.


The article is co-written by Anne Hart, IWRF Level IV Classifier and IPC Classification Committee Chair, and is the result of several years of combined study and research.


As an athlete driven federation, the IWRF has always striven to meet the requests of its membership. And while classification can sometimes be controversial, the IWRF is proud of the ongoing work that is done by its Classification Committee to help assure members are involved and informed, and that the federation remains compliant with the IPC Classification Code.



Well done Viola and Anne!  A short excerpt from the article is below for your review. If you would like access to the full article, please contact Viola at  for more information.


Improvement of the Classification System for Wheelchair Rugby: Athlete Priorities

2014, 31, 377 – 389


A representative sample (N = 302) of the wheelchair rugby population responded to a survey about the classification system based on prioritized items by International Wheelchair Rugby Federation members. Respondents stated, “The classification system is accurate but needs adjustments” (56%), “Any athlete with tetraequivalent impairment should be allowed to compete” (72%), “Athletes with cerebral palsy and other coordination impairments should be classified with a system different than the current one” (75%), and “The maximal value for trunk should be increased from 1.0 to 1.5” (67%). A minority stated, “Wheelchair rugby should only be open to spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions” (36%) and “There should be a 4.0 class” (33%). Results strongly indicated that athletes and stakeholders want adjustments to the classification system in two areas: a focus on evaluation of athletes with impairments other than loss of muscle power caused by spinal cord injury and changes in classification of trunk impairment.

Keywords: Paralympics, physical disabilities, wheelchair sport, self-regulation, self-determination

Authors: Viola C. Altmann, Anne L. Hart, Jacques van Limbeek, Yves Vanlandewijck