12 Feb 2019

Organised by the South Africa Tennis Table Board and staged at the Mandeville Training Centre in Johannesburg, a Functional Classification Seminar Level One (National Classification) was staged recently from Monday 28th January to Saturday 2nd February.

A total of 12 students attended; in addition to South Africa two members travelled from Lesotho and two from Botswana. The participants were table tennis coaches, physiotherapists and special education professors.

by Luis Gustavo Claro de Amorim, Functional Classifier

During the theoretical part, the groundwork was presented to show the actual functional classification models that apply to table tennis. The minimum eligibility criteria to play in wheelchairs and standing categories was emphasized, in addition to the basic criteria to differentiate each category.

The various criteria explained was important to meet the specific rules stated by the International Paralympic Committee; especially with regards to the new classification card and consent signature from the athletes and their coach or tutor.

Also, the seminar was important to detect new Paralympic talents and support the technical staff in developing training, based on the functional criteria from each class.

Deciding the class (Photo: courtesy of Luis Gustavo Claro de Amorim)


A total of 18 classifications, with students selected into two panels, was completed. The classification process began with pre-competition tasks, physical and theoretical evaluations, discussion between classifiers, feedback to the athletes and coaches, in addition to observations for the future competitions.

Throughout, the athletes were observed with such variables as balance, trunk control, foot movements, co-ordination, reaction speed, playing style and posture taken into account.

Also, a theoretical test was held to analyze the knowledge obtained during the course and after correction and feedback. All participants received certificates.

Putting theory into practice (Photo: courtesy of Luis Gustavo Claro de Amorim)
Paralympics Para Table Tennis South African Table Tennis Board