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1 January 2018

IWRF Policy on Eligible Impairment Types for Wheelchair Rugby


The IWRF Board of Directors has adopted the attached policy on Eligible Impairment Types for Wheelchair Rugby.


This policy is based on guidance in the International Paralympic Committee's 2015 Athlete Classification Code. The Code requires sports to define in their regulations which types of impairment are eligible for participation.

IPC defines ten eligible impairment types for Paralympic Sport. Each governing body in the Paralympic movement has the authority and responsibility to determine which of these are eligible for their own sports. The ten include eight physical impairment types, plus visual impairment and intellectual impairment.

Wheelchair Rugby is a sport for athletes with physical impairments. Visual and intellectual impairment are not eligible for Wheelchair Rugby. The decision on which of the eight physical impairment types will be eligible for Wheelchair Rugby has been made on the advice of the IWRF Classification Committee. It is based on research, and includes those types which have been clearly found to result in functional impairment that has an impact on sport performance in Wheelchair Rugby.


The following six physical impairment types are eligible for Wheelchair Rugby: impaired muscle power; impaired passive range of movement; limb deficiency; hypertonia; ataxia; and athetosis. The remaining two physical impairment types, leg length difference and short stature, are not eligible impairment types.


Only athletes who have an eligible impairment type will be eligible for classification in Wheelchair Rugby. An athlete with an eligible impairment may still be found ineligible at a later stage in the classification process. An athlete with an ineligible impairment type may be eligible for Wheelchair Rugby if they also have an eligible impairment type. Only the impact of the eligible impairment type will be considered in assigning a sport class.


The IWRF Classification Committee is actively engaged in research on physical impairments and their impact on sport performance in Wheelchair Rugby. If a currently ineligible physical impairment type is found, based on research, to have an impact on sport performance in Wheelchair Rugby, the Committee may recommend that it be designated an eligible impairment type.

There are a small number of athletes in the IWRF Classification Database who possess one of the ineligible impairment types. As a transitional measure, these athletes will remain eligible to participate in Wheelchair Rugby in IWRF governed competitions after the adoption of this policy.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please direct them to Greg Ungerer, Chair of the IWRF Classification Committee, at


Download policy: IWRF Policy on Eligible Impairment Types-20180101.pdf

Best regards,


Eron Main
Chief Executive Officer
International Wheelchair Rugby Federation