Eligibility Application for Athletes with Intellectual Impairment

Visit our U.S. Virtus Eligibility Lists by Sport

Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport (formerly called Inas) is the governing body for para-athletes with an intellectual impairment and a member of the International Paralympic Committee. Virtus Eligibility is for athletes interested in competing with AWL US Teams at Virtus Competition. Virtus Eligibility is also the first step for athletes looking to pursue Paralympic opportunities for athletes with an intellectual impairment.

As the U.S. Member of Virtus, Athletes Without Limits (AWL) manages this process for US athletes.

Athletes Without Limits/Virtus-hosted Competitions:
Virtus International competitions offer programming in 16 sports across three competition groups. Unlike Paralympic events which have competition for a variety of impairments including physical and visual, Virtus events are only open to athletes with Intellectual Impairment competing in three groups.

Athletes Without Limits promotes US involvement in Virtus sports and organizes US Teams and travel to Virtus World Championships and Global Games based on athlete interest and ability. Athletes Without Limits also occasionally hosts US National or Virtus International events. AWL & Virtus events are posted to our web calendar at: www.athleteswithoutlimits.org/events

Three Competition Groups offered at Virtus Events:
Virtus II-1: Intellectual Disability (IQ 75 or lower, significant limitation in at least one domain of Adaptive Behavior, onset before age 22)
Virtus II-2: Intellectual Disability with additional impairment (includes athletes with Trisomy 21/Translocation Down Syndrome)
Virtus II-3: Athletes with Autism (IQ 76 or higher) sometimes called “High Functioning Autism”

Virtus Sports: Basketball, Cricket, Cycling, Equestrian, Futsal, Handball, Rowing, Skiing (Nordic/Alpine), Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Para-Hockey, Sailing, Taekwondo and Track & Field.

Paralympic-hosted Competitions:
Virtus eligibility is the first step for US athletes with an intellectual impairment to determine eligibility for select Paralympic opportunities for athletes with Intellectual Impairment.

One competition Group offered at Paralympic events: While Virtus offers three competition groups, some outside events like Paralympics only have one competition group (or “class”) for athletes with intellectual impairment. To be eligible athletes must meet the Virtus II1 Criteria for Intellectual Disability (IQ 75 or lower, Significant Adaptive Behavior Limitations and onset before age 22).

Paralympic Sports:

Swimming Class S14 (U.S. Para and World Para Swimming Events)
Track & Field Class T20/F20 (U.S. Para and World Para Track & Field Events)
Table Tennis Class 11 (USA Table Tennis & ITTF Events)

Related organizations (such as Move United) may offer competition to athletes using Paralympic classification. For more detailed information on Paralympics visit our Paralympic Eligibility information page.

Other Sports & Competitions:

  • Rowing: U.S. Rowing has adopted National level Virtus Eligibility for their PR3 – Virtus (II-1), Virtus (II-2) or Virtus (II-3).
    Rowers with Virtus (II-1) International eligibility may compete at some World Rowing Indoor Rowing events.
  • Taekwondo: Players with Virtus (II-1) National or International Level Eligibility can compete in the P20 Class at USAT or World Taekwondo events respectively.
  • Karate: Players with Virtus (II-1) and Virtus (II-2) International Level eligibility can compete in WKF events worldwide (with support from USA Karate)
  • GolfThe USGA’s inaugural 2022 U.S. Adaptive Open Championships requires players to get Virtus II-1 (only) International Level eligibility through Athletes Without Limits. Other opportunities through EDGA/WR4GD may offer competition for all three Virtus groups (II-1, II-2 and II-3)
    PLEASE READ STEPS TO ENTER USGA’s EVENT ON OUR GOLF PAGE BEFORE APPLYING.

NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY APPLICATION

National Level eligibility is required for:

  • Athletes Without Limits-Hosted US Events (All three Virtus II2, Virtus II3 Groups)
  • Developmental U.S. Paralympic Swimming or Track & Field events that only require “National Classification” (Virtus II1 – IQ 75 or lower only)
  • Other developmental US events that use Paralympic Classification such as Move United events, Michigan High School State Swim Meets, etc. (Virtus II1 – IQ 75 or lower only)

Steps to Apply for National Level eligibility:

  1. Download Athlete Eligibility Application and complete National Level checklist
  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 or request further information.Eligible athletes will be added to Athlete Without Limits US Master List. Eligibility does not expire; the time it takes depends on the information provided as evidence.

INTERNATIONAL ELIGIBILITY APPLICATION

International Level eligibility is required for:

  • Athletes who qualify to travel with Athletes Without Limits to Virtus World Championships, and Virtus Global Games. (All three Virtus II2, Virtus II3 Groups)
  • Athletes who meet Emerging Times and/or qualify for higher-level Paralympic events for which IPC-Licensing and International Classification appointments are needed. Read our Paralympic Eligibility page for more details. (Virtus II-1 – IQ 75 or lower only)
  • “WR4GD” Pass in Golf for select EDGA events (II-1, II-2, II-3) or USGA events (Virtus II-1 only)
  • USAT & World Taekwondo “P20” class (Virtus II-1 – IQ 75 or lower only)
  • USA Karate & World Karate Federation (WKF) events (Virtus II-1 & Virtus II-2)

Steps to Apply for International Level eligibility:

  1. Download the Athlete Eligibility Application
    and complete the International Level checklist.
  2. Once we receive your Application, Headshot, Proof of Identity (Passport or State ID), and all required Evidence of Disability we will email you an invoice for the $150 Application Fee.
  3. Once an International application is reviewed and endorsed by Athletes Without Limits and our U.S. National Eligibility Psychologist, we’ll send it on to the Virtus International Eligibility Committee for International confirmation. The time it takes depends on the information provided as evidence. (Some athletes may need to obtain newer IQ and Adaptive assessments depending on the date of their most recent reports.)
  4. 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 or longer depending on the information provided as evidence and whether or not any additional diagnostic testing needs to be scheduled with the athlete’s psychologist.
  5. AFTER THE ATHLETE IS CONFIRMED ELIGIBLE we will ask you to have the Athletes Coach complete the required Virtus Coaches Survey (TSAL). (The survey is not time-sensitive and does not affect eligibility decisions so can be completed after eligibility is confirmed.)
    Swimming Coach’s Survey
    Track & Field Coach’s Survey
    Coach’s Survey for All Other Sports

GUIDE FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS:

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.