The Classification Research and Development Centre for Athletes with Vision Impairment at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam coordinates international research for the development of evidence-based classification for sports for athletes with vision impairment. Classification is the process by which athletes in para-sports are placed into classes to compete against other athletes whose impairment has a similar impact on sport performance. The IPC Athlete Classification Code requires sports in the Paralympic movement to develop their own system of evidence-based classification that specifically evaluates the impact of impairment in their specific sport. We work with sports for athletes with vision impairment to develop their own classification systems.
At the centre we conduct sport-specific research in conjunction with International Sport Federations (e.g., for para-swimming and judo), and collaborate with other research partners who work on the development of new systems for other sports (e.g., VI football, athletics shooting, alpine and nordic skiing). We also work closely with international federations to improve the quality of classifier training and test procedures during classification.
The R&D centre is supported by funding from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA).