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Official website of World Para Powerlifting


    Powerlifting at the Parapans Powerlifting at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico © • IPC

    Classification Rules and Regulations

    World Para Powerlifting published an updated version of the World Para Powerlifting Classification Rules and Regulations 2018-2020. This document replaces any previous version of the World Para Powerlifting Classification Rules and Regulations and came into force on 01 January 2018.

    The rules reflect the wording of the IPC Classification Code and are a revised version of the previous IPC Classification Rules.


    To ensure competition is fair and equal, all Paralympic sports have a system in place which ensures that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus, the same factors that account for success in sport for able bodied athletes.

    This process is called classification and its purpose is to minimise the impact of impairments on the activity (sport discipline). Having the impairment thus is not sufficient. The impact on the sport must be proved, and each in Paralympic sport, the criteria of grouping athletes by the degree of activity limitation resulting from the impairment are named ‘Sport Classes’. Through classification, it is determined which athletes are eligible to compete in a sport and how athletes are grouped together for competition. This, to a certain extent, is similar to grouping athletes by age, gender or weight.

    Classification is sport-specific because an impairment affects the ability to perform in different sports to a different extent. As a consequence, an athlete may meet the criteria in one sport, but may not meet the criteria in another sport.

    Powerlifting Classification

    Powerlifting is open for athletes with all eight eligible physical impairments listed in the introduction, if these impairments have a certain severity that impacts on sport performance. All athletes have an impairment in their lower limbs or hips, which would prohibit them to compete in able-bodied weightlifting. For example, athletes with a single or double amputation through or above the ankle or stiffness of the knee joint would be eligible to compete. All eligible athletes compete in one sport class, but in different weight categories.

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