Para Archery Classification

The classification system for Para archers is relatively complicated to ensure fairness across all competing athletes. Specially trained classifiers, who are all professional medical doctors or physiotherapists, form a classification panel to assess an athlete’s functional capabilities.

Each athlete is allocated 320 points representing the total body functional score. This consists of 180 points for upper limbs, 40 for trunk and 100 for lower limbs. The panel then tests relevant joints and muscle movements and determines the number of points lost corresponding to the athlete’s impairments.

What are the Classes?

There are 3 functional classes who then compete in 2 sports classes.

ST functional class competing in the Open sports class

Athletes in the ST Class will have a disability affecting their upper OR lower limbs, with or without trunk impairment and must have a minimal loss of 25 points in the lower OR upper limbs.

ST athletes compete standing, and may use a stool or chair with their feet on the ground.

While commonly regarded as the standing class, athletes with an upper limb impairment may shoot using their lower limbs while seated.


RMO Recurve Men Open ST                  

(Kyle Lyons-Clarkson AUS)  

CMO Compound Men Open ST
       (Matt Stutzman USA)

 RWO Recurve Women Open ST

        (Milena Olszewska POL)

W2 functional class also shooting in the Open sports class

Athletes in the W2 Class will have a disability affecting their lower limbs, with or without trunk impairment.  The minimum lower limb loss is 50 points.

W2 athletes may compete sitting in a wheelchair.

ST and W2 athletes compete against each other in the Open sports class as their functional abilities are similar.

RMO Recurve Men Open W2
(Kevin Faulkner AUS)

CMO Compound Men Open W2
(Jonathon Milne AUS)

W1 functional and sports class

W1 Athletes have an impairment that affects at least 3 limbs and the trunk, with a minimal total loss of 85 points, but with the following minima: 50 points in the lower limbs, 25 in the upper limbs and 10 in the trunk.  

All W1 athletes compete in a wheelchair.  


             W1M - W1 Men
         (John Cavanagh GB)

What kind of medical conditions or impairments can compete?

In general, medical conditions that are permanent and result in any of the following:

·         Impaired muscle power

·         Impaired passive range of movement

·         Loss of limb or limb deficiency

·         Hypertonia

·         Ataxia

However, there are also conditions that are excluded if they are the sole athlete’s impairment:

·         Pain

·         Low Muscle tone

·         Hypermobility of joints

·         Joint instability, such as unstable shoulder joint or recurrent dislocation

·         Impaired motor reflex functions

·         Impaired muscle endurance.

·         Impaired cardiovascular or respiratory functions

·         Impaired metabolic functions

·         Tics and mannerisms, stereotypes and motor perseveration

At present, athletes of short stature or with an intellectual disability are not eligible to compete as para-archers.

As mentioned above, all athletes are subject to functional classification where a points system is used.  Points are allocated to each joint movement and are summed to provide a total functional score. The total score is 320 points :

            180 in the arms

            40 in the trunk

            100 in the lower limbs

To be classified as a Para athlete, a minimal functional score loss is required.

What if I cannot classify as a para-archer?

If an athlete does not fulfil the minimal requirements for competing in a para class, the athlete can continue competing against other able bodied archers. The classification panel can also approve any special adaptive devices for use by the archer in able-bodied competition, eg. a stool or a special release.

How do I prepare for classification?

To request a classification an athlete and their medical doctor (usually GP but sometimes specialist) must complete a formal classification request.  This is usually done before a national or international event and MUST be submitted in advance of the event (often at least 1 month before the event).

The form is available at: CLICK HERE

For more information see the Australian Paralympic Committee info sheet regarding classification: CLICK HERE

Currently, there are 3 Australian National Classifiers:

Craig Glasby – Brisbane, QLD

Marinda Rothmann – Townsville, QLD

Marek Steiner – Sydney, NSW


To contact any of the classifiers regarding classification or assisted device queries please email the Para committee


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