»Athlete Eligibility

backstrokeAs a signatory to the IPC Classification Code and to ensure competition is fair and equal, disability sport uses a system of ‘classification’ to ensure:

  1. That athletes in competition have a recognised disability or ”impairment’ – referred to as athlete eligibility.
  2. That this impairment has an impact on their sports performance – referred to as sports classification.

INAS manages stage 1 of this process for athletes with an intellectual disability. We have produced a guide to eligibility and classification:

INAS Athlete Eligibility Criteria

To be considered eligible to compete as an athlete with an intellectual disability, athletes must fulfill the eligibility criteria as defined by INAS which are based upon the World Health Organisation and American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).

The criteria state that an athlete must demonstrate:

  1. Significant impairment in intellectual functioning which is defined as a Full Scale IQ score of 75 or lower.
  2. Significant limitations in adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills. This is defined as performance that is at least 2 standard deviations below the mean of, either one of the  3 types of adaptive behaviour (conceptual, social, or practical skills) or an overall score on a standardised measure of conceptual, social and practical skills.
  3. Intellectual disability must be evident during the developmental period, which is from conception to 18 years of age

Further details regarding the eligibility criteria, evidential requirements and application process can be found below. The process is governed by the INAS Eligibility and Classification Policy.

Applying for Athlete Eligibility

Athletes wishing to apply for athlete eligibility should first contact their national member organisation. Applications will not be accepted unless they are submitted through, and endorsed by, an INAS national member organisation.


Athletes must appear on the INAS Master List no later than the final entry deadline of the competition for which the athlete is considering entry (these dates can be found on the events page). INAS recommends that new applications for provisional eligibility should be sent to the Secretariat at least 4 weeks before the final entry deadline and new applications for full eligibility should be sent to the Secretariat at least 12 weeks before the final entry deadline.

Please note that there is no ‘Guest’ entry to INAS events.

Provisional and Full Eligibility

There are 2 levels of athlete eligibility and you should consult with your member organisation carefully to identify which level you should apply for.

  • Level 1 – Provisional Eligibility – Provisional Eligibility permits entry to some INAS Developmental events and some sanctioned national events.  INAS recommends that new applications.
  • Level 2 – Full Primary Eligibility – Full Eligibility permits entry to INAS Regional and World Championships and is a requirement of sports classification.

National Eligibility Officers

National Eligibility Officers are resonsible for managing the eligiblity process at a member organisation level. All INAS members should register their NEO with INAS using the form below.

The NEO must be a qualified psychologist, and must not be the person conducting assessments. The NEO should review the athlete eligibility application form and all accompanying reports BEFORE it is sent to the Secretariat to ensure it meets the evidential requirements as set out in the application guidance notes.