Get classified


What is classification?

Classification groups athletes according to the impact of their impairment on their ability to compete in the sport of swimming. The purpose of classification in swimming is to minimise the impact of eligible impairment types on the outcome of competition so that athletes who succeed in competition are those with best anthropometry, physiology and psychology and who have enhanced them to best effect. In Australia swimming classification is designed to ensure a fair environment for competition at all levels from club through to Australian Championships.

The Classes

The following information is a guide only. For full details, refer to the Swimming Australia Classification Policy and Procedures Manual here

There are 16 classes in the swimming classification system which caters for a range of disabilities. Each class has minimum eligibility requirements and swimmers must undergo specific Athlete Evaluation or Eligibility process to obtain a classification. Swimmers receive a class for each stroke discipline, and a prefix indicates which stroke the class applies to;

  • The prefix S to the class denotes the class for Freestyle, Backstroke & Butterfly
  • The prefix SB to the class denotes the class for breaststroke
  • The prefix SM to the class denotes the class for Individual Medley

Exceptions to the swimming rules

Some swimmers are entitled to receive exceptions to the swimming rules and other considerations based on their classification. The exceptions prevent classified swimmers from being disqualified during Multi Class (MC) competition. These exceptions are determined during the classification process and are identified by a system of codes known as the Swimming Codes of Exceptions.

For a list of the Swimming Codes of Exceptions and more information click here.

National Sport Class Status

All Classes are allocated a Sport Class Status which indicates conditions of a swimmers classification. The status may affect the level of Multi Class competition a swimmer can compete in and if a swimmer’s classification needs to be reviewed. Status is allocated at the completion of the Athlete Evaluation Process. For more details see here

Verifying classifications prior to competition

All swimmers need to prove they have an eligible classification prior to entering all multi class events. Once a swimmer is classified their details are recorded in the National Swimming Classification Master List. Swimming Australia publishes this Master List to assist swimmers and meet officials. Swimming Australia also issues members with a classification card that shows a swimmer’s eligible classification details. 

National Classification Master List

The National Classification Master List is the official record of all Australian classified swimmers and is managed by Swimming Australia in agreement with classification system partners. Swimming Australia makes public certain classification information to assist athletes, coaches and meet organisers (e.g. swimmer name, state, date of birth, classes and status).

National Swimming Classification Master List

(updated 5/08/2018)


Other Classification Lists

View The Sport Inclusion Australia National Eligibility List (S14)

Contact your State Swimming Association for enquiries.

International Paralympic Classification

International Paralympic Classification is required to take part in IPC approved and santioned competition and is therefore a requirment for selection the the Australian Dolphins Swim Team. Swimming Australia is responsible for identifying and facilitating this process for all Australian swimmers. Generally swimmers who are likley to achieve selection to the Australian Dolphins Swim team are invited to undergo international Paralympic classification.

All enquiries are to be directed to Swimming Australia in the first instance by emailing

All swimmers with an international paralympic classification can be viewed in the IPC International Swimming Classification Master List.

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