Classification of Wheelchair Athletes in the Paralympic Games: A Critical Study / Abdulhakim J. Al-Matar
he classification system used to categorize the wheelchair athletes is considered as the corner stone for the development of wheelchair athletes' performance, as well as for increasing their participation rate in the competitive sports specially in the Paralympic Games. The International Sport Organizations of the wheelchair athletes support the use of different classification systems. Although they have some positive aspects, all of them have many technical and administrative problems that hider the accomplishment of the wheelchair athletes' objectives. Therefore, this study aimed to: 1- Identify the current classification system types used for classifying the wheelchair athletes and their positive and negative aspects. 2- Identify the classification system types used for classifying the wheelchair athletes in the Paralympic Games. 3- Propose some fundamental principles that should be considered when a new Paralympic classification system is proposed for the wheelchair athletes. A descriptive analysis was used to analyze the literature relevant to the classification systems of the wheelchair athletes and evaluate them. Several fundamental principles were deduced to be considered when a new Paralympic classification system is proposed.