Announcement: Modified bylaw on definition of “wheelchair”

The modification clarifies the wheelchair as an assistive device, which enables athletes to participate in para archery and able-bodied events with a wheelchair when their classification card deems the aid is necessary.

The accepted definition of the word “wheelchair” in the rules includes the device having four wheels, usually two large at the back and two small at the front.

Modern technology has enabled modifications to wheelchairs that includes the addition of wheels and higher backs. The purpose of any assistive device is to enable an athlete to compete on even terms with his or her opponents within the same sport class.

An assistive device is not something that should give an athlete an advantage. The introduction of additional wheels is likely to produce a more stable base, giving an advantage over those using four wheels.

Wheelchairs that do not comply with the new bylaw are not permitted in archery competition, effective as of 2 June 2016.

In recent years, the height of the backs and sides of chairs have increased, going against a rule that states that all parts of the wheelchair must remain at least 110mm below an athlete’s armpits while shooting, which has not been properly enforced by technical officials.

Effective 1 October 2016, this rule will be strictly enforced, who have an exception for W1 sport class athletes with an exemption on their classification card.