Eligibility Application for Athletes with Intellectual Impairment

Visit our US Athlete Master List for a list of Eligible Athletes.

Athletes looking for eligibility to compete in the Michigan State High School Swim Meet in March should complete the National Level eligibility application below.

ABOUT
Virtus: World Intellectual Sport (formerly called Inas) is the recognized International Federation for sport for athletes with an intellectual impairment. Virtus is responsible for overseeing the eligibility process for athletes wishing to compete within Virtus and other para-sport competition including Paralympics. As the US Member of Virtus, Athletes Without Limits manages this application for all US athletes.
Download our one page eligibility overview.

SPORTS

  • Virtus Sports (click for details)

    Virtus International competitions offer programming in 16 sports: Athletics, Basketball, Cricket, Cycling, Equestrian, Futsal, Handball, Rowing, Skiing (Nordic/Alpine), Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Golf, Para-Hockey, Sailing, Taekwondo. Athletes Without Limits promotes US involvement in Virtus sports based on athlete interest.

  • Paralympic Sports (click for details)

    Virtus eligibility is the first step for US athletes with an intellectual impairment to determine eligibility for Paralympic opportunities in three sports. Athletes must meet the II1 Criteria for Intellectual Disability to be eligible.
    Swimming (Paralympic S14 Class)
    Table Tennis (Paralympic Class 11)
    Track & Field (Paralympic T20/F20 Class)
    For more detailed information visit our Paralympic Eligibility information page.

ELIGIBILITY LEVELS

ELIGIBILITY GROUPS

  • II1- Intellectual Disability (click for details)

    This is the original eligibility group for athletes with intellectual impairments and is offered at all Athletes Without Limits & Virtus competitions. It is also the eligibility criteria for Paralympic opportunities. The II1 eligibility criteria are:
    1. An IQ of 75 or lower
    2. Significant limitations in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills
    3. The impairment must have been diagnosed before the age of 18 

  • II2 Additional Impairment: Trisomy21 Down Syndrome Trial Group (click for details)

    This group is being developed to reflect the variety of impairments that can accompany intellectual impairment. In the first stages of the trial, II2 is being limited to athletes with Trisomy 21 or Translocation Down syndrome. The criteria for II2 is:
    1. A formal diagnosis of Trisomy 21 or ‘Translocation’ Down Syndrome, and;
    2. A statement that the athlete is clear of symptomatic Atlantoaxial Instability (AAI) – a common orthopaedic problem seen in people with Down Syndrome. Approximately, 10-30% of individuals with Down Syndrome have AAI. It effects the cervical spine and strenuous exercise can result in degeneration of function & pain.

    Note: Athletes with Mosaic Down syndrome should apply for II1 Eligibility.
    This group is offered at Athletes Without Limits and Virtus Events. There is no separate group for athletes with Down Syndrome in Paralympic competition, however, athletes with Down Syndrome may compete in the II1 Group at Paralympic events for which they meet the qualifying times.

  • II3 High Functioning Autism Trial Group (click for details)

    This new group is being developed by Virtus to provide life-changing opportunities so that all athletes diagnosed with Autism may compete at the highest levels.  Around 60-70% of children who are diagnosed with autism are also diagnosed with intellectual impairments, while 30-40% are not. This condition was previously referred to as Asperger’s syndrome, or is sometimes called “high functioning autism.” The eligibility criteria for II3 is:
    1. A formal diagnosis of autism, ASD or Asperger’s syndrome, carried out by a qualified practitioner using accepted diagnostic techniques.
    2. Athlete does not meet IQ and/or Adaptive criteria for II1 Intellectual Disability

    This group is offered at Athletes Without Limits and Virtus Events. Athletes in this group are not eligible for Paralympic competition.

STEPS TO APPLY FOR NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY

1. Download National Eligibility Application
2. Once we receive your application, headshot and evidence of disability we will email you an invoice for the $50 Application Fee.
3. We’ll email an eligibility determination within 1-2 weeks (or less depending on information provided).

Eligible athletes will be added to Athlete Without Limits US Master List. Eligibility does not expire and can take approximately 1-2 weeks (or faster) depending on the information provided as evidence.

STEPS TO APPLY FOR INTERNATIONAL ELIGIBILITY

1. Download the International Eligibility Application
2. Download the Coaches Survey by sport below:
Swimming Coach’s Survey
Track & Field Coach’s Survey
Coach’s Survey for All Other Sports
3. Once we receive your Application, Headshot, Proof of Identity (Passport or State ID), Evidence of Disability, and Coach’s Survey we will email you an invoice for the $150 Application Fee.
4. The application will be reviewed and endorsed by Athletes Without Limits and our U.S. National Eligibility Psychologist, then we’ll send it on to the Virtus International Eligibility Committee for International confirmation.

Once confirmed athletes are assigned a Virtus Athlete Eligibility Number. Eligible athletes are added to both Athletes Without Limits US Master List and the Virtus International Master List. Eligibility does not expire but can  take 1-3 months depending on the evidence of disability provided.

Note: Some athletes may not already have the exact testing needed for International-level eligibility. If the athlete requires new testing we’ve created this Guide for Psychologists you can provide the athlete’s psychologist to ensure the appropriate assessments are given.

MEDICATION NOTE: Occasionally athletes entering events that enforce anti-doping may require a medication found on the WADA Prohibited Drug List. If that is the case you may need to apply for permission to taking the medication while competing — this is called a Therapeutic Drug Use Exemption or (TUE). Learn more about the Virtus anti-doping policy on our Drug Testing & Medication page.