Multi class swimming provides meaningful competition for swimmers with disability.
Swimming Australia has developed the Multi Class Swimming Engagement Portal to assist swimmers with disability to Get Classified, Get Involved and Get Discovered!
- Get Classified
Need a classification? This is your start point! In this section you will be asked to provide information about your impairment to determine if you might be eligible. You will then be provided with the information you need to go and get classified.
- Get Involved
Want to Go Swim? We want to help! In this section you will provide us with some basic personal and contact information. This will then enable us to better assist you in finding the right opportunities for you.
- Get Discovered
Got some talent? We want to know! In this section you will be asked to tell us about your swimming ability. But first we recommend you complete our three simple Talent Tests. Download the Talent Tests below. Do the tests with your coach and record the results. Then return here to complete the form with your test results. This will enable us to determine if you have the potential to be a champion.
- What is classification?
- The Classes
- 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 Swimming Rules
- National Sport Class Status
- Classification Card
- National Classification Masterlist
- Multi-Class Point Score
- International Paralympic 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. Swimming Australia's Classification Policy can be found here.
The following information is a guide only. For full details, refer to the Swimming Australia Classification Policy and Procedures Manual.
There are 19 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;
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.
Note: exceptions that contain a * signify that the member contains an exception that is applied from the IPC code of exceptions.
IPC Code Exceptions can be found here. (Nationally classified swimmers)
WPS Code Exceptions can be found here. (Internationally classified swimmers)
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.
The Swimming Australia Classification Card is intended to assist the effective management of Multi-Class Competition. It provides an official record of an individual competitor’s classifications and any applicable rule exceptions. The Classification Card proves eligibility to compete in Multi-Class competition or other competition where classifications and rule exceptions are enforced. The card is issued to swimming club members who have an eligible swimming classification.
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.
All swimmers need to prove they have an eligible classification prior to entering all multi-class events. Swimmers must complete the relevant classification process before they are eligible to compete as a multi-class swimmer.
*Please note: Physical classification cards are currently being discontinued. This process has now moved to Swim Central and the relevant information can be found under 'My Memberships' in a members profile. A member may provide this as proof to the relevant competition technical official if required. Competition organisers are also able to access all athlete classifications at any time which is located in the Swimming Australia Classification Masterlist referenced in the next section.
To locate this within Swim Central:
1) Login to Swim Central
2) On the menu list, select the 'My Membership' tile (if you are a guardian, unlock your individual profile then select the relevant dependent to impersonate)
3) Select the swimmer's club membership. This will showcase the membership card and present the classification information.
Multi Class: Members classification (eg. S10, SB9, SM10)
!: Exceptions (eg *A 6, 9)
i: Review year (eg 2022)
The National Classification Masterlist 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).
*Covid-19 update: Athletes that have a 2020 or 2021 review year listed are able to present for a review assessment at first available opportunity when assessment dates are again available.
The Multi-Class Point Score (MCPS) has been developed to provide a simplified way for swimmers and coaches to measure and compare performances. The MCPS is based on the World Record (WR) times for each classification. The MCPS is used for the JX and YPS programs, determining results in Multi-Class competition, as well as team selection and qualifying standards. This supports a clearer development pathway for classified swimmers.
Determine point scores using the quick Online MCPS Calculators below:
International Paralympic Classification is required to take part in IPC approved and sanctioned competition and is therefore a requirement 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 likely to achieve selection to the Australian Dolphins Swim team are invited to undergo international Paralympic classification.
All swimmers with an international paralympic classification can be viewed in the IPC International Swimming Classification Master List.