Evidence-Based Classification


  • Provide ideas to suppport and improve the classification system used for IFCPF sports by evidence-based research.
  • Develop Research questions that can be used by researchers for future research programs/proposals. Particularly related to classification of athletes that meet the current IFCPF classification rules.
  • Monitor international research of classification in paralympic sport and in particular for athletes with CP, ABI and other neurological conditions similar to the athletes that meet the minimum criteria for IFCPF classification system.
  • Establish collaborations with other research groups, individuals and/or sport federations which are working in the field of evidencedbased classification research.
  • Communication of results and reports, representing IFCPF at scientific meetings related with sports for persons with disabilities. 


Evidence-Based Classification:

Change of Direction Ability Performance in Cerebral Palsy Football Players According to Functional Profiles

Raúl Reina1*, Jose M. Sarabia1, Javier Yanci2, María P. García-Vaquero1 and María Campayo-Piernas 1 

1 Sports Research Centre, Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain, 2 Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Science, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain 


The aims of the present study were to evaluate the validity and reliability of the two different change of direction ability (CODA) tests in elite football players with cerebral palsy (CP) and to analyse the differences in performance of this ability between current functional classes (FT) and controls. The sample consisted of 96 international cerebral palsy football players (FPCP) and 37 football players. Participants were divided into four different groups according to the International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF) classes and a control group (CG): FT5 (n = 8); FT6 (n = 12); FT7 (n = 62); FT8 (n = 14); and CG (n = 37). The reproducibility of Modified Agility Test (MAT) and Illinois Agility Test (IAT) (ICC = 0.82–0.95, SEM = 2.5–5.8%) showed excellent to good values. In two CODA tests, CG performed faster scores compared with FPCP classes (p < 0.01, d = 1.76–3.26). In IAT, FT8 class comparisons regarding the other classes were: FT5 (p = 0.047, d = 1.05), FT6 (p = 0.055, d = 1.19), and FT7 (p = 0.396, d = 0.56). With regard to MAT, FT8 class was also compared with FT5 (p = 0.006, d = 1.30), FT6 (p = 0.061, d = 0.93), and FT7 (p = 0.033, d = 1.01). No significant differences have been found between FT5, FT6, and FT7 classes. According to these results, IAT and MAT could be useful and reliable and valid tests to analyse CODA in FPCP. Each test (IAT and MAT) could be applied considering the cut point that classifiers need to make a decision about the FT8 class and the other FT classes (FT5, FT6, and FT7). 

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Evidence-Based Classification in Paralympic Sport: Application to Football 7-a-Side

Raúl Reina 

Miguel Hernández University, Sport Research Centre 


CPISRA Classification Rules for football-7-a-side should improve compliance of the International Paralympic Committee Classification Code, where the language of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health is used. Eligibility for is described in terms of impairment, and the aim of the system is to place athletes into classes according to the extent of activity limitation caused by their physical impairments. CPISRA Football permits the participation of athletes with with hypertonia, ataxia, and atetosis, and the should meet a minimum disability criteria to play football. Minimum disability criteria can be met if an athlete’s impairment causes sufficient activity limitation in the activity of interest (passing, running, change of direction, among others). Currently, class profiles provide guidance for classifiers during the appointment of players to appropriate classes. However, classes are differentiated from each other based on qualitative descriptions and there is still opportunity for individual interpretation which decreases consistency among classifiers. This paper review recent and current research in Paralympic athletes with hypertonia, athetosis and ataxia, and link research in two Paralympic sports 

Download RESEARCH: Evidence-Based Classification in Paralympic Sport: Application to Football 7-a-Side