The purpose of classifying disabled athletes is to “level the playing field” and rank persons with disabilities on their function and performance of sailing tasks. The US Sailing Functional Classification System measures the sailor’s ability in order to:
- ensure equitable competition at all levels for sailors of varied levels of ability
- encourage crews of mixed ability to compete together and complement each other
- quantify functional limitations caused only by physical disability
Classifiers are responsible for the classification of disabled sailors. Medical professionals trained in the US Sailing Functional Classification System (FCS) are eligible to become classifiers.
US Sailing classifications are valid for an Olympic quadrennium (currently 2017-2020). The Master Classification List (MCL) contains the names, class and status of athletes who have been classified. There is no fee for listing a competitor on the MCL.
Classification is required for all US Sailing Team qualifiers and the US Disabled Sailing Championship. Classification is strongly suggested for all other U.S. disabled sailors.