Classification is the process of grouping athletes according to their impairment, or how their impairment affects their stroke mechanics, with the aim of creating a level playing field for competition.

In swimming there are four impairment groups - physical, visual, intellectual and hearing.

  • Classes S1-S10 are allocated to swimmers with a physical impairment
  • Classes S11-S13 are allocated to swimmers with a visual impairment
  • Class S14 is allocated to swimmers with an intellectual impairment
  • Class S15 is allocated to swimmers with a hearing impairment

Formal Classification is required for those athletes looking to progress toward Paralympic or Deaflympic competition. Following classification each athlete is assigned three classifications, the three denote the classification for each of the following three stroke groups with the prefix standing for:

  • S: representing Freestyle, Butterfly and Backstroke events
  • SM: representing Individual Medley events
  • SB: representing Breaststroke events

For those involved at the grass roots level, Scottish Disability Sport utilise a time banding system at regional and national events to encourage participation and inclusion.

For more information on classification please go to our Impairment Specific Classification Information section.