S13 (classification)

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S13, SB13, SM13 are disability swimming classifications used for categorising swimmers based on their level of disability.


The classification was created by the International Paralympic Committee and has roots in a 2003 attempt to address "the overall objective to support and co-ordinate the ongoing development of accurate, reliable, consistent and credible sport focused classification systems and their implementation."[1]

For the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, the International Paralympic Committee had a zero classification at the Games policy. This policy was put into place in 2014, with the goal of avoiding last minute changes in classes that would negatively impact athlete training preparations. All competitors needed to be internationally classified with their classification status confirmed prior to the Games, with exceptions to this policy being dealt with on a case by case basis.[2]


This classification is for swimming.[3] In the classification title, S represents Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly strokes. SB means breaststroke. SM means individual medley.[3] Jane Buckley, writing for the Sporting Wheelies, describes the swimmers in this classification as having: "Swimmers who are the most sighted but are considered to be blind according to the IBSA B3."[3]

Getting classified[edit]

Internationally, the classification is done by the International Blind Sports Association.[4] In Australia, to be classified in this category, athletes contact the Australian Paralympic Committee or their state swimming governing body.[5] In the United States, classification is handled by the United States Paralympic Committee on a national level. The classification test has three components: "a bench test, a water test, observation during competition."[6] American swimmers are assessed by four people: a medical classifier, two general classifiers and a technical classifier.[6]


For this classification, organisers of the Paralympic Games have the option of including the following events on the Paralympic programme: 50 m, 100 m and 400 m Freestyle, 100 m Backstroke, 100 m Breaststroke, 100 m Butterfly, 200 m Individual Medley, and 4x100 m Freestyle Relay and 4x100 m Medley Relay.[7]


In the S13 50 m Freestyle Long Course, the men's world record is held by Oleksii Fedyna and the women's world record is held by Yvonne Hopf.[8] In the S13 100 m Freestyle Long Course, the men's world record is held by South Africa's Charles Bouwer and the women's world record is held by Canada's Valerie Grand-Maison.[9]


Swimmers who have competed in this classification include Dmytro Aleksyeyev,[10] Kelley Becherer[10] and Charl Bouwer[10] who all won medals in their class at the 2008 Paralympics.[10]

American swimmers who have been classified by the United States Paralympic Committee as being in this class include Eric Chausse, Natalio Abar, and Blake Adams.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paralympic Classification Today". International Paralympic Committee. 22 April 2010. p. 3. 
  2. ^ "Rio 2016 Classification Guide" (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. International Paralympic Committee. March 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Buckley, Jane (2011). "Understanding Classification: A Guide to the Classification Systems used in Paralympic Sports". Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "IBSA Medical Classification". International Blind Sports Association. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Classification Information Sheet" (PDF). Australian Paralympic Committee. 8 March 2011. p. 3. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Paralympics National Classification Policies & Procedures SWIMMING". United States Paralympic Committee. 26 June 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Swimming Classification". The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "IPC Swimming World Records Long Course". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "IPC Swimming World Records Long Course". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Results". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "USA NATIONAL CLASSIFICATION DATABASE" (PDF). United States Paralympic Committee. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.