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What is Para Archery Classifications?

Para Archery

In 1948 the first para archery event took place for recovering veterans at Stokes Mandeville Hospital. However, at that time it was not called para archery, just archery for those with a physical impairment. As competitions went on over the years the need for classification evolved. Para archery classification is intended to put athletes together according to what impairments they have. This way it gives an equal playing field to all of the archers.

Here are how the para archery classifications are listed:

NE- Not eligible May be permitted with altered equipment
ST- Standing The archer has a disability either in the lower body or upper body. They can either stand or sit.


W1-Wheelchair 1 The archer shoots from a wheelchair. They have more limitations than the W2. The W1 has minimal of 3 limbs and core.


W2-Wheelchair 2 The archer shoots from a wheelchair. However, their feet cannot reach the ground and are a footrest instead.

There are two shooting classes that are different than the classification:

Open Has a separate division for the Recurve and Compound bow. Separate for Men and women.
W1 The Recurve and Compound bow archers are blended. As well as men and women are merged together.

In the open shooting class, the archer has a disability with their legs and will use a wheelchair or can shoot standing or sitting on a stool. Their balance is usually impaired. In the W1the archer will or can have an impairment in the legs and uses a wheelchair.

There is also thee visually impaired category. This is the V1,V2/3. This is where the archer has an impairment with their vision. For the V1 the archer wears a blackout glasses or a blindfold if they prefer. For both the V1 and V2/3 they are allowed an assistant who will be either sitting or standing one meter behind the shooting line. This person help give the archer important needed information before shooting.

In order to be listed as a para archer one must apply at the international level. Once the person has done this then they will be correctly placed in a division.

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