An important part of the Para-Archery competition is the classification of the archers.
Because different forms of disability can influence people differently the archer needs to undergo a set of specific tests, the outcome of which will then decide in which class the archer will compete.
The people who administer these tests are called "Classifiers" and they usually have specific professional qualifications in their general lives. They may be doctors, physiotherapists, etc., who have a detailed understanding of how the human body works. The tests will check the range of movement and the strength of the muscles in the arms, legs and spine.
After this classification process the archer will be given a card which indicates if the archer is W1 - most severely disabled, W2 - still in a wheelchair, or ST which means the athlete is able to stand but may also use a stool to shoot from.
To ensure there is continuity of classification throughout the world FITA has established an ad hoc committee chaired by the FITA Chief Classifier Pauline BETTERIDGE. This committee is working on a manual for archery Classifiers. There will be seminars at which classifiers may be trained, or upskilled to a higher level.
The FITA Judges system of training, examination and regular case studies to ensure Judges are up to date with their knowledge will be used as the example for the on-going training and education of Classifiers.