Evolution and Development of Best Practice in Paralympic Classification

  • Mark J. Connick
  • Emma Beckman
  • Sean M. Tweedy
Chapter

Abstract

Classification is central to the existence of Para sport. Paralympic classification systems define who is eligible to compete in Para sport and promote participation by controlling for the impact of impairment on the outcome of competition. This chapter explains the evolution of Paralympic classification systems from the early medically based systems to the systems currently in use and the development of evidence-based systems which are mandated in all Para sports. The methods used in evidence-based classification systems should be supported by scientific evidence. Therefore, in addition to the historical context, this chapter also describes some of the key practical issues relating to the development of evidence-based classification systems such as the levels of evidence and types of research studies that are required.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This project has been carried out with the support of the International Paralympic Committee to develop evidence-based classification systems in Paralympic athletics. Sean Tweedy, Mark Connick and Emma Beckman are members of the IPC Classification Research and Development Centre for physical impairments, which is supported by the International Paralympic Committee.

References

  1. Atkinson, G., and A.M. Nevill. 1998. Statistical Methods for Assessing Measurement Error (Reliability) in Variables Relevant to Sports Medicine. Sports Medicine 26 (4): 217–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beckman, E.M., and S.M. Tweedy. 2009. Towards Evidence-Based Classification in Paralympic Athletics: Evaluating the Validity of Activity Limitation Tests for Use in Classification of Paralympic Running Events. British Journal of Sports Medicine 43 (13): 1067–1072. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2009.061804.
  3. Concato, J. 2004. Observational Versus Experimental Studies: What’s the Evidence for a Hierarchy? NeuroRx 1 (3): 341–347. https://doi.org/10.1602/neurorx.1.3.341.
  4. Connick, M.J., E.M. Beckman, T. Ibusuki, L. Malone, and S.M. Tweedy. 2015a. Evaluation of Methods for Calculating Maximum Allowable Standing Height in Amputees Competing in Paralympic Athletics. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12586.
  5. Connick, M.J., E.M. Beckman, J. Spathis, R. Deuble, and S.M. Tweedy. 2015b. How Much Do Range of Movement and Coordination Affect Paralympic Sprint Performance? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 47 (10): 2216–2223. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000643.
  6. Connick, M.J., E.M. Beckman, and S.M. Tweedy. 2015c. Relative Age Affects Marathon Performance in Male and Female Athletes. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine 14 (3): 669–674.Google Scholar
  7. Connick, M.J., E. Beckman, and S.M. Tweedy. 2016. It’s Not Easy Keeping the Paralympics a Level Playing Field, but the Current System Is the Best There Is. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/its-not-easy-keeping-the-paralympics-a-level-playing-field-but-the-current-system-is-the-best-there-is-64951. Accessed 24 November 2016.
  8. Cronbach, L.J., and P.E. Meehl. 1955. Construct Validity in Psychological Tests. Psychological Bulletin 52 (4): 281–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Damiano, D.L., and M.F. Abel. 1998. Functional Outcomes of Strength Training in Spastic Cerebral Palsy. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 79: 119–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davies, G.A. 2016. GB Paralympic Chief Denies Cheating Claims but Admits Classification Needs to Evolve. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/paralympic-sport/2016/09/03/head-of-gb-paralympic-team-calls-for-tighter-controls-amid-claim/. Accessed 25 November 2016.
  11. Evidence-Based Medicine Working, Group. 1992. Evidence-Based Medicine. A New Approach to Teaching the Practice of Medicine. JAMA 268 (17): 2420–2425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fulford, K., E. Peile, and H. Carroll. 2012. Essential Values-Based Practice: Clinical Stories Linking Science with People. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Glinsky, J., L. Harvey, and P. Van Es. 2007. Efficacy of Electrical Stimulation to Increase Muscle Strength in People with Neurological Conditions: A Systematic Review. Physiotherapy Research International 12 (3): 175–194. https://doi.org/10.1002/pri.375.
  14. Gold, J.R., and M.M. Gold. 2007. Access for All: The Rise of the Paralympic Games. The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health 127 (3): 133–141.Google Scholar
  15. Greenhalgh, T., J. Howick, N. Maskrey, and Group Evidence Based Medicine Renaissance. 2014. Evidence Based Medicine: A Movement in Crisis? BMJ 348: g3725. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3725.
  16. Grossman, J., and F.J. Mackenzie. 2005. The Randomized Controlled Trial: Gold Standard, or Merely Standard? Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 48 (4): 516–534. https://doi.org/10.1353/pbm.2005.0092.
  17. Hallett, M., and N. Alvarez. 1983. Attempted Rapid Elbow Flexion Movements in Patients with Athetosis. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 46 (8): 745–750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hastie, T., R. Tibshirani, and J. Friedman. 2009. The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction, Springer Series in Statistics. 2nd ed. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hopkins, W.G. 2000. Measures of Reliability in Sports Medicine and Science. Sports Medicine 30 (1): 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. International Paralympic Committee. 2007. IPC Classification Code and International Standards. Bonn: International Paralympic Committee.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2011. Evidence Based Classification – Current Best Practice. Bonn: International Paralympic Committee. Accessed 21 February 2014.Google Scholar
  22. ———. 2013. New IPC Classification Research Centre Opens in Brisbane. Bonn: International Paralympic Committee. https://www.paralympic.org/news/new-ipc-classification-research-centre-opens-brisbane. Accessed 24 November 2016.
  23. ———. 2015. IPC Athlete Classification Code Rules, Policies and Procedures for Athlete Classification. Bonn: International Paralympic Committee.Google Scholar
  24. IPC Athletics. 2014. IPC Athletics Classification Rules and Regulations 2014–2015. Bonn, Germany: International Paralympic Committee.Google Scholar
  25. James, G., D. Witten, T. Hastie, and R. Tibshirani. 2013. An Introduction to Statistical Learning. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kaptchuk, T.J. 2001. The Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial: Gold Standard or Golden Calf? Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 54 (6): 541–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kelly, M.P., I. Heath, J. Howick, and T. Greenhalgh. 2015. The Importance of Values in Evidence-Based Medicine. BMC Medical Ethics 16 (1): 69. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12910-015-0063-3.
  28. Legg, D., T. Fay, E. Wolff, and M. Hums. 2015. The International Olympic Committee-International Paralympic Committee Relationship Past, Present and Future. Journal of Sport and Social Issues 39 (5): 371–395.Google Scholar
  29. Maglogiannis, I.G., K. Karpouzis, M. Wallace, and J. Soldatos. 2007. Emerging Artificial Intelligence Applications in Computer Engineering, Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications. Amsterdam: IOS Press.Google Scholar
  30. Morton, S.M., and A.J. Bastian. 2004. Cerebellar Control of Balance and Locomotion. The Neuroscientist 10 (3): 247–259. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073858404263517.
  31. Neilson, P.D. 1974. Voluntary Control of Arm Movement in Athetotic Patients. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 37 (2): 162–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nikles, J. 2015. What Are n-of-1 Trials? In The Essential Guide to N-of-1 Trials in Health, ed. J. Nikles and G. Mitchell. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Novacheck, T.F. 1998. The Biomechanics of Running. Gait and Posture 7: 77–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. OCEBM Levels of Evidence Working Group. 2011. The Levels of Evidence Introductory Document. Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. http://www.cebm.net/2011-oxford-cebm-levels-evidence-introductory-document/
  35. O’Reilly, J., and S.H. Wong. 2012. The Development of Aerobic and Skill Assessment in Soccer. Sports Medicine 42 (12): 1029–1040. https://doi.org/10.2165/11635120-000000000-00000.
  36. Rawlins, M. 2008. De Testimonio: On the Evidence for Decisions About the Use of Therapeutic Interventions. Clinical Medicine (London) 8 (6): 579–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sheean, G., and J.R. McGuire. 2009. Spastic Hypertonia and Movement Disorders: Pathophysiology, Clinical Presentation, and Quantification. PM & R: The Journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation 1 (9): 827–833. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmrj.2009.08.002.
  38. Stephens, D., and M. Diesing. 2014. A Comparison of Supervised Classification Methods for the Prediction of Substrate Type Using Multibeam Acoustic and Legacy Grain-Size Data. PloS One 9 (4): e93950. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093950.
  39. Tate, R.L., M. Perdices, U. Rosenkoetter, D. Wakim, K. Godbee, L. Togher, and S. McDonald. 2013. Revision of a Method Quality Rating Scale for Single-Case Experimental Designs and n-of-1 Trials: The 15-item Risk of Bias in N-of-1 Trials (RoBiNT) Scale. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 23 (5): 619–638. https://doi.org/10.1080/09602011.2013.824383.
  40. Topka, H., J. Konczak, and J. Dichgans. 1998. Coordination of Multi-Joint Arm Movements in Cerebellar Ataxia: Analysis of Hand and Angular Kinematics. Experimental Brain Research 119 (4): 483–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tweedy, S.M. 2002. Taxonomic Theory and the ICF: Foundations for a United Disability Athletics Classification. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly 19: 220–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. ———. 2003. Biomechanical Consequences of Impairment: A Taxonomically Valid Basis for Classification in a Unified Disability Athletics System. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 74 (1): 9–16.Google Scholar
  43. Tweedy, S.M., and P.D. Howe. 2011. Introduction to the Paralympic Movement. In Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science, The Paralympic Athlete, ed. Y.C. Vanlandewijck and W. Thompson. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  44. Tweedy, S.M., and Y.C. Vanlandewijck. 2011. International Paralympic Committee Position Stand – Background and Scientific Principles of Classification in Paralympic Sport. British Journal of Sports Medicine 45 (4): 259–269. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2009.065060.
  45. Tweedy, S.M., G. Williams, and J. Bourke. 2011. Selecting and Modifying Methods of Manual Muscle Testing for Classification in Paralympic Sport. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity 3 (2): 7–16.Google Scholar
  46. Tweedy, S.M., E.M. Beckman, and M.J. Connick. 2014. Paralympic Classification – Conceptual Basis, Current Methods and Research Update. PM&R 6 (8S): s11–s17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tweedy, S.M., D. Mann, and Y.C. Vanlandewijck. 2016. Research Needs for the Development of Evidence-Based Systems of Classification for Physical, Vision, and Intellectual Impairments. In Training and Coaching the Paralympic Athlete, ed. Y.C. Vanlandewijck and W.R. Thompson. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  48. Vallerand, R.J., and F.L. Rousseau. 2001. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in Sport and Exercise. In Handbook of Sport Psychology, ed. R.N. Singer, H.A. Hausenblaus, and C.M. Janelle. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  49. Westen, D., and R. Rosenthal. 2003. Quantifying Construct Validity: Two Simple Measures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84 (3): 608–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. World Health Organisation. 2001. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Geneva: World Health Organisation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark J. Connick
    • 1
  • Emma Beckman
    • 1
  • Sean M. Tweedy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations