Paratriathlon Competition Categories
These shall be established based on physical disabilities. Medical evidence shall be required as to disability and classification.
The seven (7) Paratriathlon categories are as follows:
TRI 2 - Severe Leg impairment: Above-knee Amputees. Must have a minimum of 15% impairment of any one limb. Athlete must ride bicycle and run with approved prosthesis for the affected limbs (as identified during classification) or crutches. Racing wheelchairs are not allowed.TRI 3 - Les Autres: Includes athletes with Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Double Leg Amputee (runners) or Paralysis in multiple limbs. Must have a minimum of 15% impairment of any one limb. Must ride a bicycle or tricycle and run. May use cane, braces or prosthesis during run portion. No racing wheelchairs.
TRI 4 - Arm impairment: Including Above and Below Elbow Amputees, paralysis, or impairment in one or both upper limbs. Must have a minimum of 15% impairment of any one limb. Athletes may use prosthesis, brace or sling on the bike and/or run.TRI 5 - Moderate leg impairment: Below-knee amputees. Must have a minimum of 15% impairment of any one limb. Athlete must ride bicycle and run with approved prosthesis for the affected limb (as identified during classification) or crutches.
TRI 6a – Total visual impairment: No light perception in either eye up to some light perception but inability to recognize shapes at any distance or direction. It is mandatory that only one guide of the same sex may be used throughout the race. Athlete is tethered during the swim portion, must ride a tandem bicycle, and may choose an elbow lead or tether lead.TRI 6b – Partial visual impairment: Legally Blind. (20/200 vision or visual field of less than 40 degrees with best corrected vision). It is mandatory that only one guide of the same sex may be used throughout the race. Athlete is tethered during the swim portion, must ride a tandem bicycle, and may choose an elbow lead or tether lead.
Minimum Disability Standard
There is also be a specific "Minimum Disability Standard' enforced. We know that this may have a significant impact on many athletes (especially in the "Les Autres" category) so please read them very carefully:
All athletes must be undergo functional testing of limbs, trunk, etc., to receive classification. These functional tests primarily measure strength, range of motion, and/or coordination, i.e., an athlete's ability to move their limbs, stabilize their torso, etc. To qualify for ITU international and USAT sanctioned events, an athlete must meet the minimum disability standard of having a permanent and specific loss of at least 15% function.
Any impairment must be permanent and always present. Athletes with disabilities such as relapsing or remitting Multiple Sclerosis or Arthritis, etc., will have to show a significant permanent functional impact (as defined above) and that impact must not involve any period of remission (whether controlled with medication or otherwise), however brief.
Athletes with disabilities such as incomplete spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and/or Muscular Dystrophy, etc., will be evaluated as to the permanent continuous nature of their disability and on its functional effect as defined by these proposed standards.
Athletes with miscellaneous conditions such as intolerance to temperature extremes, impacted cognitive ability, organ transplant and joint replacement (endoprosthetics) patients and/or migraine sufferers, etc., are not eligible as defined by these proposed standards. If you are unsure of your qualification email us.
Persons with disabilities propelled by able-bodied athletes through the use of floatation devices, tandem or "sidecar" bicycles and/or being pushed in wheelchairs, are not considered Paratriathletes and are not allowed to compete in the Paratriathlon division at sanctioned events. They may however (at the discretion of the race director) participate as a physically challenged competitor.
In most cases, a simple doctor's note will no longer be sufficient to compete in Paratriathlon categories. Even after initial testing has been completed by the individual athlete, all athletes will be re-evaluated by trained IPC classifiers at USAT National and ITU International events and will be prohibited from competition if they do not meet the minimum standards. This means that even if you passed through for a specific race, you may be denied participation in another. Be aware of this possibility.
National Classification System
USA Triathlon has developed a National Classification system. To view the policies and procedures, click here.
Click here to view the current National Classification List
Questions? Email us.