ParaTri Competition Categories
Physically Challenged (PC) Competition Categories shall be established based on physical disabilities. Medical evidence shall be required as to disability and classification.
The six (6) categories as of January 1, 2008 are as follows:
Handcycle: Paraplegic, Quadriplegic, Polio, Double Leg Amputee. Must use hand cycle on bike course and racing wheel chair on run.
Severe leg impairment: Above knee amputees. Athlete must ride bicycle and run with above knee prosthesis (or similar prosthesis) or run using crutches.
Les Autre: Includes athletes with Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, double leg amputee runners or paralysis in multiple limbs. These athletes will ride a bicycle and run. They may use braces or prosthesis if required.
Arm impairment: Including paralysis, above elbow amputees and below elbow amputees, or impairment in both upper limbs. Athletes may use prosthesis, brace or sling on the bike and/or run.
Slight leg impairment: Including below knee amputees. Athlete rides bicycle and runs with prosthesis.
Visual Impairment: legally Blind (20/200 vision with best corrective vision). A handler of the same sex is mandatory throughout the race. Athlete is tethered during the swim. Athlete uses a tandem bicycle and may be tethered during the run.
For 2013 only, the TRI-6 category will be split into two sub-categories: Totally Blind and Visually Impaired. The International Triathlon Union is in the process of developing a factor system for TRI-6 that will take into account the differences between the two subcategories. Once that factor system is made available, we will create a Par Score for Totally Blind Athletes. Black-out googles will not be required."There is also be a specific "Minimum Disability Standard' enforced. These standards may be being reworked by USAT and ITU but they are in place, as written as of today's date. We know that this may have a significant impact on many athletes (especially in the "Les Autres" category) so please read them very carefully:
All athletes must be undergo functional testing of limbs, trunk, etc., to receive classification. These functional tests primarily measure strength, range of motion, and/or coordination, i.e., an athlete's ability to move their limbs, stabilize their torso, etc. To qualify for ITU international and USAT sanctioned events, an athlete must meet the minimum disability standard of having a permanent and specific loss of at least 15% function.
Any impairment must be permanent and always present. Athletes with disabilities such as relapsing or remitting Multiple Sclerosis or Arthritis, etc., will have to show a significant permanent functional impact (as defined above) and that impact must not involve any period of remission (whether controlled with medication or otherwise), however brief.
Athletes with disabilities such as incomplete spinal chord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and/or Muscular Dystrophy, etc., will be evaluated as to the permanent continuous nature of their disability and on its functional effect as defined by these proposed standards.
Athletes with miscellaneous conditions such as intolerance to temperature extremes, impacted cognitive ability, organ transplant and joint replacement (endoprosthetics) patients and/or migraine sufferers, etc., are not eligible as defined by these proposed standards. If you are unsure of your qualification, ask the USAT PC Commission for guidance before registering for events to avoid wasted time and expense.
Persons with disabilities propelled by able-bodied athletes through the use of floatation devices, tandem or "sidecar" bicycles and/or being pushed in wheelchairs, are not considered "PC" athletes and are not allowed to compete in the PC division at sanctioned events. They may however (at the discretion of the race director) participate as a non-competitor or demonstration entry.
In most cases, a simple doctor's note will no longer be sufficient to compete in PC (AWAD) categories. Even after initial testing has been completed by the individual athlete, all athletes will be re-evaluated by trained IPC classifiers at USAT National and ITU International events and will be prohibited from competition if they do not meet the minimum standards. This means that even if you passed through for a specific race, you may be denied participation in another. Be aware of this possibility.
Click here for the USA Triathlon Competition Rules for Paratriathletes.