Archery is open to athletes with a physical impairment, who may shoot with assistive devices allowed under classification rules, if required. Para archery competition, which includes specific competition categories for athletes with certain classifications, is an integral part of the Paralympic Games.
Any archer can apply to be classified at the international level through their national governing body. Any participant wishing to be classified at the club or provincial level prior to arriving at the national level can be evaluated through a temporary process with a registered Physiotherapist for a functional measure. A classification does not necessarily make an athlete eligible to compete in a Para Archery division, but may make them eligible to compete with an assistive device, in an eligible category to become familiar with the restrictions or assistance that category would bring.
Para archery competition classifications currently consist of Open, W1 and Visually Impaired categories. Only a thorough classification examination may determine whether an athlete can compete in any category, however there are basic differences between the three.
Athletes may have impairment in the legs and use a wheelchair or have a balance impairment and shoot standing or resting on a stool. Open category athletes may shoot in recurve or compound competitions, under standard rules, and the category is featured at the Paralympic Games.
Athletes may have impairment in the legs and make use of a wheelchair. W1 athletes may shoot either a recurve or compound bow modified from standard rules, do not have separate competitions for the two disciplines, and the category is featured at the Paralympic Games.
Visually Impaired V1, V2/3
Athletes may have impairment in their vision. V1 athletes must wear blindfolds or black-out glasses while competing. V1, V2/3 athletes use tactile sights and are permitted an assistant sitting or standing one metre behind the shooting line to relay information about the position of the arrows in the target, safety and help with scoring. The category is currently not featured at the Paralympic Games.