What is classification?
Classification is a process which enables athletes to be assessed by a panel to ensure they can compete in a class of athletes with a similar impairment which allows fair competition to take place.
- athletes are assessed by a panel of experts.
- The classes for RaceRunning are RR1, RR2 and RR3. RR stands for RaceRunning and 1 is the most severe impairment and 3 is the least.
- Athletes are assessed in the RaceRunner to determine the functional use of their extremities operating the RaceRunner.
- A bench test is also used to determine the type and degree of their neurological problem.
From 2018, all RaceRunning classifications will be subject to IPC Para Athletics Classification.
In order to compete in RaceRunning, an athlete must demonstrate activity limitations as a result of at least one of the following impairments;
- Hypertonia – High Muscle tone
- Spasticity- Spasticity is a velocity-dependent resistance of a muscle to stretch.
- Dystonia- Dystonia is an involuntary alteration in the pattern of muscle activation during voluntary movement or maintenance of posture Sustained or intermittent Muscle contractions.
- Rigidity- Rigidity is resistance to passive movement and is independent of posture and speed of movement. rigidity is not specific to particular tasks or postures.
- Ataxia- Control of voluntary movement.
- Athetosis/Chorea- Involuntary contractions of muscles
Athlete Profiles RaceRunning
RR1 – RaceRunning 1
The RR1 athlete will have:
- Severe involvement in the lower extremities and trunk and moderate to severe involvement in the upper extremities.
- Severe difficulty in isolating individual joint movement in the lower extremities.
- Poor control of the stride.
- Foot drag, severe asymmetry, or no alternating leg movements may be seen.
- May have limited hand and arm function- unilateral or bilateral
- May have limited trunk function
Severe difficulties in co-ordination of functional RaceRunning movement and body control characterise this class.
RR2 – RaceRunning 2
Athletes in this class have spasticity, athetosis, ataxia dystonia or weakness which limits the effective pushing movements of the lower extremities.
The RR2 athlete will have:
- Moderate involvement in the upper extremities and trunk
- Moderate to severe involvement in the lower extremities.
- The stride pattern may be short, asymmetrical, or unilateral but more effective than RR1.
- Athletes with spasticity would have Grade 2 or 3 on the ASAS in the lower extremities, or Grade 3 in at least 1 lower extremities.
- Athletes in this class will have:
- Minimum or no foot drag.
- Bilateral, alternating, unilateral, and simultaneous leg push will be effective but limited by weakness, range of motion, spasticity or athetosis.
Asymetry, or limited range of motion, poor co-ordination in the lower extremities, fair trunk and upper extremity control, along with limited stride effectiveness characterise this class.
RR3 – RaceRunning 3
Athletes in this class will have mild to moderate involvement in one or both upper extremities, fair to good trunk control, and moderate involvement in the lower extremities, with the ability to isolate lower extremity movements. The athletes will have:
- Symmetrical or slight asymetrical or leg movements with good push off.
- Effective start with good acceleration
- No Startle reflex
- Athletes with spasticity would have grade 1 or 2 on ASAS.
- Adequate steering and braking with the upper extremities and usually without strapping.
- Hip and stride contractures may limit stride length.
- Athletes with Athetosis may show a smoother movement pattern as their speed increases.
Asymetrical or moderate co-ordination difficulties in the lower extremities, moderate to good steering and trunk function in the RaceRunner and effective start with good acceleration characterise this class.