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Eligibility and classification within para-sport is designed to ensure competition is fair and that athletes can compete on a level playing field.

Read our guide to eligibility and classification


INAS athlete eligibility – intellectual impairment

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

In simple terms the criteria state that an athlete must show:

  1. An IQ of 75 or lower
  2. Significant limitations in adaptive behaviour in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills.
  3. The impairment must have been diagnosed before 18 years of age

Further details regarding the eligibility criteria, evidence needed and the application process can be found below.

Anyone interested in being assessed for eligibility must first contact their INAS Member organisation.


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 submitted at least four weeks before the final entry deadline. New applications for international eligibility should be submitted 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 two levels of athlete eligibility. Athletes should consult with their INAS Member organisation carefully to identify which level they 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 (NEOs)

National Eligibility Officers are responsible for managing the eligibility process at a member organisation level. All INAS Members should register their NEO with INAS.

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 submitted to INAS. This is to ensure it meets the l requirements set out in the application guidance notes.