By Paul Osborne

Researchers at the University of Queensland are working on a new classification system for Paralympic sportNovember 3 - Classifications for Paralympic athletes with a physical disability could see a complete overhaul as researchers at the University of Queensland get to work on new machine based, objective tests to measure impairments and redefine the current system.

The Paralympic classification system is supposed to pit people of equal abilities against each other, but it is not an exact science.

That is why the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) launched a review of the classification code, used to class athletes for all sports at the Games, earlier this year to try to tackle any unfairness found within any Paralympic discipline.

Classification researcher, Dr Sean Tweedy and his team at the University of Queensland have been chosen by the IPC to help reduce the vagaries of the system at the newly opened research and development centre, set up in relation to the code review.

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The team will build a database using the relationship between machine based tests, which provide numerical outcomes, and athletic performance, seen in an athlete's particular sport, to determine the severity of particular competitor's disabilities, and use this data to place them in a classification grade.

Tweedy's findings will help form the model for which a brand new classification system is created in Paralympic sport.

While the new system will not be in place for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, it could ensure fairer competition in Tokyo in 2020.

Contact the writer of this story at paul.osborne@insidethegames.biz


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September 2013: IPC opens classification research and development centre in Brisbane
June 2013: IPC begins Classification Code review