Athletes with a visual impairment are classified into three classes, according to the degree of vision loss: S11 for athletes with no sight to class S13 for legally blind. The following events are offered at the Paralympic Games for these athletes:
50m, 100m and 400m Freestyle
200m Individual Medley
4x100m Freestyle Relay and 4x100m Medley Relay.
In the case of swimmers with a physical disability, classification is based on several factors ie, muscle strength, movement co-ordination, joint range of movement and/or limb length. The swimmers are also required to perform a practical water session, performing all strokes and accordingly assessed on their ability
After the assessment is completed, athletes are classified as follows:
10 classes (S1-S10) in Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly
10 classes (SM1-SM10) for Individual Medley, and
9 classes (SB1-SB9) in Breaststroke.
The higher the number of the class, the lower the disability, eg, class 1 is for athletes with a severe disability and class 10 for athletes with a minimal disability.
Depending on the classification of athletes with a physical disability, the following events can be offered at the Paralympic Games:
50m and 100m Freestyle: class S1 to S10
200m Freestyle: class S1 to S5
400m Freestyle: class S6 to S10
50m Backstroke: class S1 to S5
100m Backstroke: class S6 to S10
50m Butterfly: class S1 to S7
100m Butterfly: class S8 to S10
50m Breaststroke: class SB1 to SB3
100m Breaststroke: class SB4 to SB9
150m Individual Medley: class SM1 to SM4
200m Individual Medley: class SM5 to SM10
Relay 4x50m Freestyle and 4x50 Medley Relay
Relay 4x100m Freestyle and 4x100m Medley Relay