IHSA Swimming Qualifying Standards For Athletes With Disabilities


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IHSA Swimming Qualifying Standards For Athletes With Disabilities

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At their regularly scheduled meeting on September 10, 2012, the IHSA Board of Directors approved the Terms & Conditions for the first two programs to be held this year for students with physical/visual disabilities. A complete list of those Terms & Conditions can be found on the boys cross country, girls cross country and girls swimming and diving pages on the IHSA website. Additionally, the Board extended the deadline for schools to enter competitors into any of those state series to October 10, 2012. Member schools will be able to go into the Schools Center as previously directed to make entries for those programs through that new date.

For girls’ swimming and diving, competitors will be placed into one of two classifications (Classification A and Classification B) based on standards established by Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports USA (WASUSA). Athletes who are classified as S1-S7 shall be in Classification A, and athletes who are classified as S8-S13 shall be in Classification B. Member schools who enter an athlete in the girls’ swimming and diving state series will need to have on file a record of the student’s classification prior to the athlete’s participation in the Sectional meet. Student-athletes can meet this requirement in one of the following ways:

1. Provide an official WASUSA classification card or other evidence demonstrating the athlete’s classification category; or

2. Provide a written statement, completed and signed by high school coach, physical therapist, family physician or other health care practitioner, or adaptive sports program employee, indicating classification category of the student athlete. There shall be no specific form required in connection with such third party statement of classification. It will be sufficient for the third party to indicate in writing that they have read the Paralympic classification descriptions and to identify the applicable category for that student for the freestyle and breast stroke events.

3. If a student athlete with a disability is not classified as detailed above by the time of the state Sectionals, they shall be able to complete a written statement of classification before participating at the meet with assistance from a coach or parent. If they are unable to provide this, the athlete will still be allowed to swim with the athletes with disabilities but will automatically be classified to swim under Classification B.

The Paralympic classification descriptions are available for review on the IHSA Girls’ Swimming and Diving page under the ‘Resources’ heading. This link will describe the functional aspects of the classification categories listed above.

Paralympic Classification Descriptors
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