Multi Class (MC) events see swimmers with a range of disabilities, competing in the same race. In order to compete in MC competition swimmers must have an eligible classification. Swimmers race against the world record time in that event for their classification. Event results are determined using the Multi Class Point Score system. The winner of the race is not always who touches the wall first, but the swimmer who posts the highest point score (i.e. a time closest to the world record for their classification). Swimmers may be granted certain exceptions to the normal swimming rules in order to compete fairly. This allows for meaningful and fair competition for all swimmers.
Download the Guide to Conducting Multi Class Competition [pdf]
Classification is used to place athletes of similar ability or function into groups for the purpose of competition. Classification exists in other areas of sport such as weight classes in boxing and handicaps in golf. Classification in sport for people with disability considers an athlete’s medical condition and physical, sensory and cognitive attributes to group them into classes. Classification is designed to ensure a fair environment for elite competition. In Australia classification is used to ensure fair and meaningful competition at all levels.
Download the Classification System Overview [pdf]
Classification is not a requirement for general participation in swimming and all swimmers are also encouraged to participate and compete in mainstream opportunities where appropriate.
The following information is a guide only. For full details refer to the Swimming Australia Classification Policy and Procedures.
There are 16 classes in the swimming classification system which caters for a range of disabilities. Each class has minimum eligibility requirements and swimmers must undergo specific Athlete Evaluation or Eligibility process to obtain a classification. Swimmers receive a class for each stroke discipline, and a prefix indicates which stroke the class applies to;
Swimmers are assessed through physical testing and water observations. Muscle strength, movement co-ordination, joint range of movement and limb/trunk length contribute to the allocation of classes. Classes range from swimmers with most significant physical impairment (Class 1) to those with minimal impairment (Class 10).
Download the Physical Impairment Classification Guide [pdf]
Ranges from Class 11 for swimmers who are blind to Class 13 for swimmers who are legally blind (i.e. acuity less than or equal to 6/60 or visual filed less than 20 degrees).
Download the Vision Impairment Classification Guide [pdf]
Swimmers with an IQ score of 75 or less; with significant limitations in adaptive behavior expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills; acquired prior to 18 years of age.
Download the Intellectual Impairment Classification Guide [pdf] (under review)
Swimmers who have a recognized hearing impairment according to the following ICSD standards; deaf, defined as a hearing loss of at least 55dB in the better ear 3FAHL.
Download the Hearing Impairment Classification Guide [pdf]
Download and complete the Audiogram Form
Any person having undergone invasive treatment of a non-cosmetic nature requiring organs and/or tissues (excluding blood) donated by another person.
Download the Transplant Classification Guide [pdf]
To apply, obtain a medical certificate form your Transplant Specialist and attach this with your classification card application
Some swimmers are entitled to receive exceptions to the swimming rules and other considerations based on their classification. The exceptions prevent classified swimmers from being disqualified during Multi Class (MC) competition. These exceptions are determined during the classification process and are identified by a system of codes known as the Swimming Codes of Exceptions.
Download the Swimming Codes of Exceptions [pdf]
To assist Technical Officials in competition Swimming Codes of Exceptions swing tags have been produced. Request one from your State Swimming Association.
The Paralympic Classes 1-10, 11-13 and 14 are all allocated a Sport Class Status which indicates conditions of a swimmers classification. The status may affect the level of Multi Class competition a swimmer can compete in and if a swimmer’s classification needs to be reviewed. Status is allocated at the completion of the Athlete Evaluation Process. For more details see the relevant Classification Guide or the Classification Policy and Procedures.
The National Classification Master List is the official record of all Australian classified swimmers and is managed by Swimming Australia in agreement with classification system partners. Swimming Australia makes public certain classification information to assist athletes, coaches and meet organisers (e.g. swimmer name, state, date of birth, classes and status).
Contact your State Swimming Association for enquiries.
The Swimming Australia Classification Card is intended to assist the effective management of Multi Class Competitions. It provides an official record of an individual competitor’s classifications and any applicable rule exceptions. The Classification Card proves eligibility to compete in MC competition or other competition where classifications and rule exceptions are enforced.
The Swimming Australia Classification Card is issued to swimming club members who have an eligible swimming classification. Refer to the relevant Classification Guide for details.
Not a club member? Visit www.goswim.org.au to find your nearest club and GO SWIM today!
For conditions of use and further information refer to the Swimming Australia Classification Policy and Procedures.
IMPORTANT: Swimmers must complete the relevant classification process before submitting the application.
Print Application Form [pdf]
The Multi Class Point Score (MCPS) has been developed to provide a simplified way for swimmers and coaches to measure and compare performances. The MCPS is based on the World Record (WR) times for each classification. The MCPS is used for the JX and YPS programs, determing results in Multi Class competition, as well as team selection and qualifying standards. This provides a clearer development pathway for classified swimmers.
Athletes and Coaches:
Determine point scores using the quick Online MCPS Calculators below;
Meet organisers and officials:
Contact your State Swimming Association to request the 2012/13 MCPS Event Results Calculator (requires Microsoft Excel).
Download the MC Event Results Calculator User Guide [pdf]
For information about MC Competitions, Development programs, Athlete Evaluation and opportunities to participate in your state contact your State Swimming Association.
Australian Paralympic Committee www.paralympic.org.au
The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) is the peak national body responsible for Australia's elite athletes with a disability. The APC is responsible for Paralympic classification (Classes 1-14), Talent Identification and Paralympic Education Programs.
AUSRAPID is a national organisation established to increase the sporting and recreational opportunities for all people with an intellectual disability within Australia. AUSRAPID manages the classification eligibility process for athletes with an intellectual disability (Class 14).
Deaf Sports Australia www.deafsports.org.au
Deaf Sports Australia (DSA) is the peak body for deaf sport in Australia. DSA manage deaf specific competitions, promote the participation of people with a hearing impairment in sport and manage eligibility for hearing impaired classification (Class 15).
Special Olympics www.specialolympics.com.au
Special Olympics provide participation and competitive sporting opportunities for people with an intellectual disability across Australia.
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