Classification for Athletes with a Vision Impairment 

Athletes with a vision impairment compete in Paralympic sports such as Alpine Skiing, Athletics, Cycling, Equestrian, Football, Goalball, Rowing, Sailing, Swimming and Triathlon, as well as other non Paralympic sports such as AFL, Golf, Lawn Bowls, Tennis, Tenpin Bowling, Golf. Athletes must specify a sport when they are seeking classification. The testing procedure is standard across all Paralympic sports; however, the classes are sports specific.

Who is Eligible?

Athletes have a diagnosis of at least one of the following:

  • Impairment of the eye structure;
  • Impairment of the optic nerve or pathways;
  • Impairment of the visual cortex of the brain.

Athletes are classified according to their level of corrected vision and must have an impairment in BOTH eyes that meet the minimal disability criteria of:

  • Visual acuity that is less than or equal to LogMAR = 1.00 (6/60) and/or
  • Visual field that is less than a radius of 20 degrees

Athletes will be required to provide medical documentation from their ophthalmologist prior to seeking a classification.

What are classes for Vision Impairment Classification?

The list and examples below are intended as a guide only.


  • From no light perception in either eye to light perception, but inability to recognise the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction.
  • Visual acuity is poorer than LogMAR 2.60 with best corrected vision


  • Ability to recognise objects up to a distance of 2 metres.
  • Visual acuity ranges from LogMAR 1.5 to 2.60 (below 2/60) with best corrected vision; and/or
  • Visual field of less than ten (10) degrees diameter.


  • Can recognise contours between 2 and 6 metres away.
  • Visual acuity ranges from LogMAR 1.40 – 1.0 (2/60 – 6/60) with best corrected vision; and/or
  • Visual field of more than ten (10) degrees and less than forty (40) degrees diameter.

How do you get involved or get Classified?

Paralympics Australia manage the National Classification Program for Vision Impairment. If you have a vision impairment (VI) and would like to start the process of getting a VI classification, please complete our request for classification form.

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