• Classification

  • Overview

    Classifiers are an integral and unique part of para-sport. They’re responsible for assessing athletes and ensuring that they’re placed in the appropriate sport class with Wheelchair Rugby’s classification system! Classifiers come to the Canada Cup from across the globe and have a background in physical and/or occupational therapy, physiatry, medicine and related fields.

  • Classification System

    Wheelchair Rugby uses a classification system to ensure that athletes with different types of disabilities can compete together.


    To be eligible to play wheelchair rugby, athletes must have impairment in at least three limbs. Even with this restriction, a wide range of function exists between athletes.




    When an athlete begins playing wheelchair rugby, they are evaluated by a team of qualified professionals and assigned a number based on their functional ability. The number ranges from 0.5 (for athletes with the least function) to 3.5 (for athletes with the most function) and increases in 0.5 increments. The four athletes on the court must total no more than 8.0 points (with an additional 0.5 allowed for each female athlete on court).

Meet the Classifiers

  • Name

  • Role

  • Country

  • Julie Bakke

  • Chief Classifier

  • Canada

  • Sean Bevan

  • Classifier

  • Canada

  • Deborah Bowditch

  • Classifier

  • Great Britain

  • Jana Green

  • Classifier

  • South Africa

  • Paul Sawicki

  • Classifier

  • USA

  • Nava Hymowitz

  • Classifier

  • Canada

  • Nina Enersen

  • Classifier

  • Norway

    • Understand the System

    • Here’s a brief overview of each classification and what to expect when watching Wheelchair Rugby:


      • 0.5 Main role is as a blocker, not a major ball handler and uses a defensive wheelchair
      • 1.0 Blocker, may inbound the ball, not a major ball handler and uses a defensive wheelchair
      • 1.5 Excellent blocker and may also be an occasional ball handler, often uses a defensive wheelchairs
      • 2.0 Increasing role on court as a ball handler, often uses an offensive wheelchair
      • 2.5 Ball handler and fairly fast playmaker, uses an offensive wheelchair
      • 3.0 Very good ball-handler and fast playmaker, will use an offensive wheelchair
      • 3.5 Primary ball handler and playmaker, will use an offensive wheelchair