For some of you, this might be the first time hearing about some of the para sports on offer at EPC 2023. Or maybe you just forgot about some of the rules of the sport. Regardless – we’re here to help! We’ll run you through all ten of our sports and make sure you’re well prepared for what’s coming this August.
After introducing Para Archery, here is our introduction to Para Badminton!
Para badminton is a modified version of badminton that is designed for athletes with physical and/or mental impairments. The rules and equipment are similar to those of traditional badminton, but with some modifications to make the game more accessible to players with different types of disabilities.
The sport was first introduced in the 1990s, and in 1998 the first World Championships were held in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Since then, the sport has grown in popularity and is now governed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
One of the main differences between para badminton and able badminton is the classification system used to group players based on their level of impairment. Para badminton players are classified into six different categories, based on the type and severity of their disability. This allows players to compete against others with similar levels of physical ability, making the competition fairer and more balanced.
Another key difference is that para badminton allows for certain types of assistive devices, such as prosthetics or wheelchairs, to be used during competition. This helps to level the playing field and ensure that all athletes have the opportunity to compete at their highest level.
Players are classified into six different categories, which are designated by the prefixes “WH” and “SL” depending on whether the player competes in a wheelchair or not. The classifications are as follows:
- WH1: Players with lower limb impairment who compete in a wheelchair.
- WH2: Players with impairments in both the lower and upper limbs who compete in a wheelchair.
- SL3: Players with a standing impairment, including those with coordination impairments, who have reduced function in one or both lower limbs.
- SL4: Players with a standing impairment, including those with coordination impairments, who have normal function in their lower limbs but reduced function in one or both upper limbs.
- SL5: Players with a standing impairment, including those with coordination impairments, who have normal function in their upper and lower limbs but may have difficulty with balance and coordination.
- SL6: Players with short stature, including those with dwarfism, who have normal function in their limbs but have a reduced reach.
These classifications are used to group players with similar levels of physical ability together in competition, so that athletes with different types and degrees of impairment can still compete fairly against one another.