Athlete Eligibility and Classification
Eligibility and classification are essential for fair competition in para sport.
For all sports, eligibility is the first stage any athlete with an intellectual impairment must go through to compete.
In some sports with a Paralympic pathway, classification is also mandatory.
- Eligibility ensures the athlete has a minimum eligible impairment in line with the IPC Classification Code. It is a process managed worldwide by Virtus.
- Classification establishes whether the impairment has an impact on sports performance and is a process managed by the International Federation for the sport.
For Virtus and many other competitions, only eligibility is required. For Paralympic competition, eligibility and classification are required.
Intellectual impairment is a global (or umbrella) term for a range of cognitive and developmental conditions.
Within intellectual impairment, there are three eligible groups for Virtus competition:
Applying For Athlete Eligibility
Athletes wishing to apply for athlete eligibility must contact their National Member Organisation. Applications will not be accepted unless they are submitted by a Virtus member organisation.
Athletes must appear on the Master List no later than the final entry deadline of the competition for which the athlete is considering entry (these dates can be found on the events page).
- New applications for national eligibility should be submitted at least 4 weeks before the final entry deadline.
- New applications for international eligibility should be submitted at least 12 weeks before the final entry deadline.
Please note that there is no ‘guest’ entry to events.
Resources for Virtus Member Organisations
Virtus is the brand name of the International Sports Federation for athletes with intellectual impairment and is a founding member of the International Paralympic Committee. Registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in the UK (1173901)