Wheelchair athletics operates a classification system to maintain fairness and set a level playing field for competing athletes. All athletes are given a functional classification based on the neurological level of their injury and the amount of muscle function available to them. They are allocated a classification using the ‘F’ (or field) system, from F51 through to F58, and once an athlete is allocated an F category, they will only compete against athletes of a similar function or classification.
Once an athlete is allocated his or her F class, it is very rare for them to be moved to a different class later in life, however, an athlete can have a number of F classifications if they compete in several different events. This F classification system means athletes are only matched against other athletes of equal abilities, so whatever your capabilities, you can be safe in the knowledge that winning a class is within reach for everyone. The F class system means a level playing field in disability sport and fair competition for all participants. Whatever your ability, you can be a winner.