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February 14, 2020

USA Archery to Offer Para Archery National and International Classification in 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – Classification provides a structure for para competition. The classification system is designed to determine eligibility and group athletes according to their impairment to create a level playing field. Classifiers go through extensive training and are certified by World Archery to carefully determine whether athletes qualify for para competition. Classification can be either national or international.

USA Archery will offer international classification on April 16th, prior to the World Ranking Event in Phoenix, AZ.

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This will be a great opportunity for athletes looking to compete in the Para division internationally. USA Archery will also offer national classification opportunities in 2020.

International Classification will be offered at the following event:

National classification will be offered at the following events:

To be classified, athletes must submit the Para Archery Medical Intake and Classification Request Form. Please note the Medical Intake Form must be completed by a doctor within three months of the classification appointment. For national classification, the Medical Intake Form must be submitted to USA Archery’s High Performance Program Manager, Leticia Malavasi at [email protected] along with a photo headshot no later than 30 days prior to each event or by the deadline stated by each event organizer.

Once the requisite forms and photo are submitted, they will be sent to the classifiers to be verified for completeness and eligibility. If the athlete has an impairment that is not eligible the athlete will be notified so they can choose whether or not to attend the event. 

Before the event, athletes will be notified of the classification schedule. When they arrive for their classification appointment, they take all their assistive equipment with them (wheelchairs, stools, releases, braces, etc.). The classifiers will test the archer for range of movement, flexibility, strength, and balance. Upon completion, the classifiers will present their decision and the athlete and coach will be given copies of the classification forms.

Athletes can be classified as Not Eligible (NE), Standing (ST), or Wheelchair 1 or 2 (W1 or W2).

  • NE - not eligible but may be approved for adapted equipment or assistive aids in order to compete in able-body categories.
  • ST - standing - has a disability that can affect either the upper body or lower body, but they stand or sit on a stool or chair to shoot (feet are on the ground)
  • W2 – will have paraplegia or comparable disability.  This class will display minimal or no limitations in upper body strength, range of motion or coordination. W2 athletes may shoot from a wheelchair and compete in either compound or recurve open category.
  • W1 - shoot from a wheelchair but have more severe impairments than W2. To be classified as W1, an archer must have impairments in at least 3 limbs and the core and must shoot using a wheelchair.

Shooting categories are different than the classification groups. There are two shooting categories: Open and W1. Within Open, there are separate divisions for recurve and compound, and men and women. In W1, recurve and compound archers are combined, and in some competitions the men and women are also combined. Once an athlete is classified, to compete in a USA Archery sanctioned event, they must also have USA Archery membership.

Access the Para Archery Medical Intake and Classification Request Form.

For more information on classification procedures contact USA Archery’s High-Performance Program Manager Leticia Malavasi at [email protected]. For more information on USA Archery’s Adaptive resources or Veteran resources please visit

Funding for these classification opportunities is provided in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 


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