There are five disciplines in athletics. Track and field, road running, race walking, cross country running and mountain-running. There are both indoor and outdoors events.
As far as possible, events for deaf, disabled, and intellectually disabled athletes are identical to the standard versions, but some differences are inevitable. Changes and special considerations are listed below in the section Considerations and Adaptations.
Track events (all distances in meters)
The field events are jumping and throwing competitions. There are four throwing categories: Javelin, Hammer Throw, Shot Put, and Discus, and four jumping events: Long Jump and Triple Jump, High Jump and Pole Vault.
The decathlon, for men, and the heptathlon, for women, include both track and field disciplines.
The decathlon is held over two days, and consists of ten track and field events:
The womens's heptathlon has seven events:
In open international competitions like the Paralympics, age is not a consideration, except that there is usually a minimum age (often 14 years). For other arenas from school to state to national, there are usually age categories.
Paralympics entry requires that athletes:
These age groups are recognized by IPC Athletics:
An athlete must be 14 by 31-Dec in the competition year to compete in open events.
Paralympic sports athletes are grouped into six major categories, depending upon their type of disability:
Amputee: Athletes with a partial or total amputation of at least one limb.
Cerebral palsy: Athletes who have a non-progressive neurological disorder resulting from cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, or stroke, or similar disabilities affecting muscle control, balance or coordination.
Intellectual disability: Athletes who have a significant impairment in intellectual functioning with associated limitations in adaptive behaviour.
Les autres: French for 'the others'. This covers athletes with a mobility impairment or other loss of physical function that does not fall strictly into one of the other categories. This includes those with dwarfism, multiple sclerosis or other disabilities.
Visually impaired: Athletes who have a non-correctable vision impairment ranging from partially sighted to total blindness.
Wheelchair: Athletes with a disability that requires them to compete using a wheelchair. This covers most athletes with spinal cord injuries and other athletes who require wheelchairs, including some lower limb amputees, athletes with polio and other disabilities.
In Athletics the sport class has a prefix followed by a number: “T” for Track, "F" for Field, and "P" for Pentathlon. The class indicates the events where the sport class applies.
For a full description of these athletic classifications in a new tab, see Paralympic Athletics Classifications.
These events are NOT included in the Paralympics: Hurdles, Steeplechase, Hammer throw, Decathlon, Heptathlon.
Instead of the Decathlon and Heptahlon, there is a Pentathlon, with 5 events, which includes the Club Throw for F51 athletes. The events competed in the Pentathlon depend upon the athlete's classification, and are shown below:
|Class/es||Gender/s||Event 1||Event 2||Event 3||Event 4||Event 5|
|P11-13||F||Long Jump||Shot put||100m||Discus||800m|
|P33-34||M & F||Shot put||Javelin||100m||Discus||800m|
|P35-38||F||Long Jump||Shot put||100m||Discus||800m|
|P42||M & F||Long Jump||Shot put||100m||Discus||200m|
|P44||M & F||Long Jump||Shot put||100m||Discus||400m|
|P46||M||Long Jump||Shot put||100m||Discus||1500m|
|P46||F||Long Jump||Shot put||100m||Discus||800m|
|P51||M & F||100m||Club||400m||Discus||800m|
|P52-53||M &F||Shot put||Javelin||100m||Discus||800m|
|P54-58||M & F||Shot put||Javelin||200m||Discus||1500m|
Special Olympic athletics
The Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for Athletics shall govern all Special Olympics competitions.
Those rules are based upon the IAAF rules (International Association of Athletics Federations) for athletics. The IAAF or National Governing Body (NGB) rules should be used except where they conflict with the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for Athletics or Article 1. In these cases, the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for Athletics should apply.
An athlete with Down syndrome who has been diagnosed with Atlanto-axial instability may not participate in the pentathlon and high jump events.
Divisioning at Special Olympics:
Athletes in every sport and event are grouped by age, gender, and ability. There are no World Records because each athlete in every division is valued and recognized equally. In every division, all athletes receive an award, from gold, silver, and bronze medals, to fourth through eighth place ribbons.
Official events available in Special Olympics.
Track events (all distances in meters)
Race Walking Events (all distances in meters)
Assisted Walk Events (all distances in meters)
Wheelchair Events (all distances in meters)
The following rules and considerations which distinguish the Special Olympics from the standard competitions have been cherry-picked from the full list (as of 2012, available at this address).
In running events : 100m, 200m, 400m, 100m Hurdles, 110m Hurdles, 4x100m Relay, the use of starting blocks is optional.
Wheelchair Shot Put
Softball Throw and Tennis Ball Throw
Deaflympics entry requires that athletes:
For the Sofia Deaflympics held in 2013, the following age restrictions apply:
Any athlete born in 1994 or 1995 may compete in any event except the Marathon.
Any athlete born in 1996 or 1997 may compete in any event except the throwing events (male athletes), Decathlon, 10,000m and the Marathon.
Athletes Younger Than 16
Any athlete born in 1998 or later may not be entered.
In competitions for deaf athletes, the referees wave a hand or a flag or use a light to signal when the starting gun goes off or to control the athletes. It is also customary for spectators not to cheer or clap, but rather to wave – usually with both hands.
Athletes gain many health benefits from the sport. They develop physical abilities. Their bodies are in better shape, with increased muscle mass, stamina, speed, lung capacity and elasticity. Being healthier means fewer injuries and illnesses. The athlete benefits socially as well, as new people and places are encountered. Character development occurs and a competitive spirit is engendered.
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