25 October, 2022

Classification Consultation 2022 Update

An update on the Classification Consultation that took place earlier this year.

Context for the consultation

In 2021, IWBF implemented changes to its Classification Rules and Regulations in order to comply with the IPC Classification Code. These changes meant that BWB Classification procedures, and IWBF Classification procedures no longer aligned for recreation (UK) competition. 

Within our sport in the UK we have a fully inclusive participation system (clubs, Inspire A Generation,  Local Leagues), which then feeds into our talent pathway and performance system infrastructure (Junior League, School Games, National League, Women’s Premier League, Premier League, Regional Academies, DISE, GB camps).


The Consultation was carried out with the support of the Peter Harrison Foundation at Loughborough University. The consultation focus centred on the participation system, as our performance system infrastructure is linked to funding through international representation at Commonwealth Games and Paralympic Games, which is aligned to the IWBF classification system requirements.

Phase 1

BWB consulted with Regional and International Classifiers to establish four Classification scenarios for wheelchair basketball:

  • Scenario 1: Eligibility and classification criteria based on the 2018 IWBF manual.
  • Scenario 2: All players classified in their chair, regardless of impairment type and severity. No eligible Impairments or Minimum Impairment Criteria, but players would need to prove a physical disability.
  • Scenario 3: Same as scenario 2 but with no 5.0 class.
  • Scenario 4: Fully adopt the new IWBF rules.

Phase 2

Survey and online forum.

The four scenarios were presented to BWB members and non-members to comment on and identify a preferred option through an online survey and a remote open forum on Zoom.

Consultation Results – at a glance

59 people took part in the online Consultation. This represents a 2% completion rate.

The following roles were represented in the Consultation. Individuals were asked to select all of the roles that applied to them. The majority of people who completed the Consultation selected player (51 people).

The chart below shows the area of the sport that respondents were involved in.

Survey Outcome

The majority of people who completed the survey selected Scenario 2 (based on classifying players in their chairs) and Scenario 1 (based on the 2018 IWBF Classification Manual). The survey results demonstrated support for different options depending on the area of the sport individuals were involved.

Themes of comments given by respondents
Scenario 1 – based on IWBF 2018 Classification proceduresNon-eligible players can still play the game Little change to current system – little impact  Unfair for non-eligible players with a disability to be 5.0 Limits club growth Discourages 5.0 pointers
Scenario 2 – Classify in chair regardless of disabilityCould increase player numbers and participation Inclusive irrespective of disability Allows non-eligible to be classified according to limitation  Fine for recreation but not competition Open to intentional misrepresentation Difficult for clubs to accommodate (e.g. if a player is eligible nationally, but not in European competition) Would change everyone’s classification

Next steps

  • Development of a Minimum Impairment Criteria for participation system to clarify the Eligibility process.
  • Address and review concerns about the non-eligible 5.0 point player with a disability at a participation and performance level (National League, Junior League, Premier League and Women’s Premier League).
  • Develop education and training to ensure Classification procedures are clear and understood
  • Through Inspire a Generation, pilot a fully recreational competition tier with no classification system in operation.
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