Multi-Class (MC) swimming is a form of competition designed specifically for swimmers with disability. MC events are normal swimming events with some minor modifications to the rules and regulations.

In order to compete in MC events swimmers must have an eligible classification. MC events see swimmers with a range of disabilities, from multiple classifications competing in the same race. Swimmers race against the world record time in that event for their classification. The winner of the race is not always who touches the wall first, but the swimmer who posts a time closest to the world record for their classification. Swimmers may be granted certain exceptions to the normal swimming rules in order to compete fairly. This allows for meaningful competition for all swimmers.

Get Started in Multi-Class Swimming

To let us know that you/your child is interested in getting involved in swimming please complete the Multi-Class Swimming Engagement form. We will get back to you with more information specific to you.


Classification is used to place athletes of similar ability or function into groups for the purpose of competition. Classification in sport for people with disability considers an athlete’s medical condition, physical attributes and functional ability to group them into classes. Classification is used in Australia nationally to ensure meaningful competition at all levels.

For more Classification information, including the below information, visit the Swimming Australia website:

  • Swimming Classification Factsheet – A summary of the Australian Swimming Classification System
  • New Provisional Classification Process Guide
  • New Provisional Classification Process Additional Information
Swimming NSW IPC Classification guide for Multi Class Swimming
Swimming NSW IPC Classification guide for Multi Class Swimming

The Classes

The following information is a guide only. For full details, refer to the Swimming Australia Classification Policy and Procedures Manual.

There are 17 classes in the swimming classification system which caters for a range of disabilities. Each class has minimum eligibility requirements and swimmers must undergo specific Athlete Evaluation or Eligibility process to obtain a classification. Swimmers receive a class for each stroke discipline, and a prefix indicates which stroke the class applies to;

  • The prefix S to the class denotes the class for Freestyle, Backstroke & Butterfly
  • The prefix SB to the class denotes the class for breaststroke
  • The prefix SM to the class denotes the class for Individual Medley