»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.


Additional Eligibility Groups  (2017 update)

At the request of the 2013 INAS General Assembly and the membership, INAS has been considering the feasibility and benefits of introducing additional eligibility groups into our competition programme.

A research project was commissioned by the Governing Board and we presented early results of this two years later in 2015. Since that time, there has been further consultation and feedback with the membership and eventually the proposal to trial this in competition was included in the INAS Strategic Plan 2017-2020 – a document that was unanimously approved by the recent General Assembly in Brisbane.

INAS will therefore begin a pilot to introduce additional eligibility groups in INAS competition beginning with the 2017 INAS World Table Tennis Championships (Czech Republic – October) and 2017 INAS Swimming Championships (Mexico – November).

During this pilot project, there will be three eligible groups in competition:

  • For athletes with an intellectual disability – our existing criteria
  • For athletes with significant additional impairment – for athletes with an intellectual disability and a further significant impairment. Initially this will be restricted to athletes with Down Syndrome (see below)
  • For athletes with autism

INAS will be monitoring and evaluating these new eligibility groups over time to refine and develop the criteria. We reserve the right to amend or remove the eligibility criteria at any time as we further refine and develop the project. Please note also that these new criteria are specific to INAS competition only.


Applying for Athlete Eligibility

Athletes wishing to apply for athlete eligibility should first contact their INAS member organisation. Applications will not be accepted unless they are submitted through, and endorsed by, an INAS 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 National Eligibility should be sent to the Secretariat at least 4 weeks before the final entry deadline and new applications for International 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.


INAS National and International 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 – INAS National Eligibility – (formerly known as Provisional Eligibility) permits entry to some INAS Developmental events and some sanctioned national events.
  • Level 2 – INAS International Eligibility – (formerly known as Full Eligibility) permits entry to INAS Regional and World Championships and is a pre-requirement of Paralympic 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.