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U.S. Para-Rowing Classification Information

Para-Rowing Sport Classes

PR3  (Formerly LTA)
Physical Impairment, Visual Impairment and Intellectual Disability (ID). This sport class is for rowers who have the use of their legs, trunk and arms, who can utilize the sliding seat. Note that ID is not an eligible impairment for FISA events.

Examples of PR3 impairments include (but are not limited to):

  • Limb loss, at least full loss of three fingers on one hand, or at least a tarsal metatarsal amputation of the foot
  • Loss of muscle strength e.g. equivalent to incomplete spinal cord injury at S1
  • Minimal ataxia, athetosis, hypertonia. E.g. Cerebral Palsy, brain injury, stroke or MS, usually affecting only one limb

PR2 (Formerly TA)
Physical Impairment. This sport class is for rowers who have trunk and arm movement, who are unable to use their legs to propel the sliding seat.

Examples of PR2 impairments include (but are not limited to):

  • Limb loss equivalent to a double around the knee amputation
  • Significant muscle strength loss in both legs equivalent to complete spinal cord injury at L3 level or incomplete lesion at L1
  • Ataxia, athetosis or hypertonia from CP, brain injury or stroke which affects both legs or one side of the body
  • Significant permanently decreased range of motion in one or both knees

PR1 (Formerly AS)
Physical Impairment. This sport class is for athletes who row predominately with their arms and shoulders. Athletes use strapping around their mid section to provide support and stability in the boat.

Examples of PR1 impairments include (but are not limited to):

  • Ataxia, athetosis or hypertonia from CP, brain injury or stroke who use a wheelchair, with both legs and the trunk involved
  • Loss of muscle strength equivalent to complete spinal cord injury at T12 level

For more information on eligible impairments and minimum impairment criteria for para rowing, please click below to view the FISA Para-Rowing Information Sheet.


Adaptive rowers wishing to compete in para-rowing events need to be classified prior to competition. While classification requirements vary from event to event (athletes should check with the event Organizing Committee), there are two different levels of classifications that may be required: U.S. Classification, and FISA/International Classification.

U.S. Classification

In general, a U.S. Classification is required at all domestic rowing competitions for athletes with a visual impairment or physical disability. This includes both recreational rowing events and Para National Team Selection events/Selection Camps. Please note that if the event you are attending is not owned/sanctioned by USRowing, it may follow different classification rules.
Please note that because intellectual disabilities (ID) are not currently an eligible impairment in international rowing (FISA), athletes will need to contact the Organizing Committee of the event they are interested in to determine ID classification requirements. A U.S. Classification cannot be used in the place of a FISA Classification.

Please click below to see a list of athletes who are currently U.S. Classified.

FISA/International Classification

A FISA Classification is required for all international competitions. Please note that there may be international competitions in the United States, so athletes should check with the event Organizing Committee to determine classification requirements. Some international events will hold a classification panel prior to the event, and as such may allow an athlete without a FISA Classification (but an appointment at the classification panel). At domestic events, a FISA Classification can be used in the place of a U.S. Classification.

While a FISA Classification is not required for Para National Team Selection Events/Camps, athletes must submit their FISA medical documentation to Liz Soutter at USRowing, liz@usrowing.org, prior to participation, or 30 days prior to the international classification panel that they are hoping to attend (whichever is sooner). The FISA medical documentation can be found on WorldRowing.com/Para-Rowing.

A list of athletes who have a FISA Classification can be found on WorldRowing.com/Para-Rowing.


Become a Classifier

There are two types of classifiers: Medical Classifiers and Technical Classifiers. A classification panel consists of one of each type of classifier. The following people are eligible to become classifiers:

Medical Classifier:

  • Physical Therapist (PT)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)

Technical Classifier:

  • Current/former rowing coach
  • Rower
  • Sport Scientist, with rowing experience
  • Other, with rowing experience

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE NO U.S. CLASSIFIER WORKSHOPS SCHEDULED AT THIS TIME. PLEASE CONTINUE TO CHECK THIS PAGE FOR UPDATES.

Once certified as a USA classifier, classifiers must classify at least one athlete in each sport class every 2 years to maintain their status. You may be contacted at various intervals to report your classification activity.

Please click below to view a list of U.S. Classifiers.


Get Classified

Classification opportunities for athletes with an FISA eligible impairment will be posted here. The classification process takes approximately 45-60 minutes and pre-registration is required to participate.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE NO U.S. CLASSIFICATION PANELS SCHEDULED AT THIS TIME. PLEASE CONTINUE TO CHECK THIS PAGE FOR UPDATES.

Click here to download the classification paperwork that is required to undergo classification. You will also be required to have medical documentation completed by your doctor. Please scroll down for the FISA Medical Diagnostics Form for athletes with physical impairments. The VI Medical Form can be found below. These forms should be completed between 6 months and 30 days prior to your scheduled classification. Please submit your classification paperwork as one file to Liz Soutter at USRowing, at liz@usrowing.org.


If you are an athlete who would like to schedule a classification session outside of the panels listed above, please email Liz Soutter at liz@usrowing.org. If you are a race coordinator who would like to have rowers classified for your race day, please contact Judy Morrison at jmorrisonpt@verizon.net so she can assist with scheduling.

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