Sports for the disabled
Sports for the disabled, also called parasports are sports played by people with a disability, including physical and intellectual disabilities. Some are adapted from existing able-bodied sports. Some have been made for persons with a disability and do not have an able-bodied equivalent. There are four categories: physical, mental, permanent and temporary. In competitions disability sport classifications enable fair competition between people with different types of disabilities.
Much like with other sports, there are sports for everyday people, and sports for people who do this professionally.
These sports started in the nineteenth century. The "Cripples Olympiad" was held in the U.S.A. in 1911. The first deaf sport games - the 'Paris Silent Games' - was in 1924. This led to the modern Deaflympics. After the end of World War II there were many soldiers and civilians disabled. Sport was used as method of treatment and rehabilitation. Ludwig Guttmann, a leading German neurologist set up the first Stoke Mandeville Games on July 28th 1948, the same day as the Opening Ceremony of the 1948 Olympic Games in London. This was for wheelchair athletes. The first Paralympic Games were in Rome in 1960. Games people with intellectual disabilities started in the 1960s. The first Special Olympics were held in Chicago in 1968. In 1986, the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (INAS-FID) was formed to support competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities. The International Paralympic Committee was set up in 1989 in Düsseldorf. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games there were 23 parasports.
Disability sport classification change
There are many different sorts of disabilities. The International Sports Organization for the Disabled (ISOD) was created in 1964. At first the classifications were medical, so people who had polio were put together. They were very different in how they were affected. Functional classification systems were developed, as they were better at putting people with similar abilities together. They have been used since the 1980s.
There are six big specific disability sport organizations governing classification:
- Cerebral Palsy-International Sport and Recreation Association for cerebral palsy and head injuries,
- International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation for spinal cord injuries,
- International Sports Organization for the Disabled for orthopaedic conditions and amputees,
- International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability for people with intellectual disabilities,
- International Blind Sports Federation for blind and vision impaired athletes.
As members of the International Paralympic Committee, they have to comply with classification code spelled out by the IPC on how to establish and maintain a classification system.
- "The History of Parasport". www.insidethegames.biz. 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2023-12-03.
- "History - World Abilitysport". worldabilitysport.org. 2020-01-21. Retrieved 2023-12-03.
- "World Para Athletics Classification & Categories". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2023-12-03.