Round three of IWBF’s Minimum Impairment Criteria (MIC) Research Project has been completed and the fourth and final round is underway.

The research project, which is currently being undertaken as part of the work to revise IWBF’s Classification Code and gain compliance with the IPC Athlete Classification Code, is on schedule to be finished by the middle of June when the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport at Loughborough University, who have been commissioned to undertake the project, will present the findings of the research to IWBF.

To be compliant, a sport has to have a set of Minimum Impairment Criteria in their classification rules which describe how severe an Eligible Impairment must be for an athlete to be considered eligible to compete in their chosen sport. These are defined on the basis of scientific research, which assess the impact of impairments on the sport’s activities. As sports require different activities, the minimum impairment criteria are therefore specific to each sport.

The research project, whose aim is to validate a new set of MIC’s for wheelchair basketball, saw the highest ever response rate in a study regarding para-sport classification in the first round of the Delphi Study, a response rate which has continued to remain high throughout the process. The members on the Expert Panel range across wheelchair basketball, sport science, medicine, and para-classification as well as covering all four zones.

Leading the Research Project on behalf of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport at Loughborough University, who are renowned for their work in Paralympic sport and classification, Dr Michael Hutchinson, said:

“The research project is vital to creating evidence-based MIC and ensuring they reflect the views of the experts within the sport of wheelchair basketball and para-classification. 

“I would like to thank all those who have given their time and knowledge on the Expert Panel so far. Keeping the engagement of participants to such a high level is really beneficial to getting the most accurate representation of stakeholders for the study. As we enter the fourth and final round it becomes even more vital, when seeking where consensus exists.”

The new Classification Rules and Minimum Impairment Criteria will be implemented in an appropriate transitional process (including the reassessment of all international wheelchair basketball athletes against the new MIC’s) following the conclusion of the research project and approval from IPC.

For further information about the project please download the FAQs.