Earlier this week, Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) published details about the newly introduced BC5 classification, a classification for people who have an impairment that is not severe enough to allow them to compete in BC2 or BC4.
National federations like New Zealand and Spain’s have been aware of this classification for some time, and have taken steps to find athletes who may qualify for the class. BISFed has supported this activity by providing national federations with some information in advance to help them prepare to integrate the classification into their existing programming and planning. This support will continue, and BISFed will be actively soliciting feedback during 2016 and 2017 regarding the integration of this classification, and any potential issues around competition. BISFed is hoping national federations will add the BC5 class to their national competitions.
After feedback and using the classification at national events, BISFed then plans to integrate the classification into their officially sanctioned competitions in 2018 following a trial period in 2017, with potential inclusion on 2022 BISFed World Championship program.
BISFed has defined the classification as: “Athletes who are diagnosed with conditions of Cerebral and NON Cerebral origin. In summary:
• These are athletes with less impairment than a BC2 or BC4
• Cerebral: Quadriplegic, Triplegic, Severe Hemiplegic. The Impairment may be a result of Hypertonia / Hypotonia / Spasticity, Athetosis / Ataxia /Dystonia.
• Non Cerebral: The Impairment may be a result of lack of Muscle strength, limitation in Range of movement or limb shortening (see BC4 inclusion).
• The impact of the impairment is on the throwing arm.
• Athletes will use a manual or power chair for everyday mobility.
• Athletes may walk with assistance or using a walking aid over short distances.