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.


This page contains the following information:

  • STEPS TO APPLY FOR VIRTUS ELIGIBILITY (Application PDF)
  • NATIONAL VS. INTERNATIONAL LEVEL ELIGIBILITY
  • GUIDE FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS
  • MEDICATION NOTE
  • ABOUT ATHLETES WITHOUT LIMITS/VIRTUS HOSTED COMPETITIONS
  • ABOUT PARALYMPIC-HOSTED COMPETITION
  • ABOUT OTHER SPORTS & COMPETITIONS

STEPS TO APPLY FOR VIRTUS ELIGIBILITY:

  1. Download Athlete Eligibility Application and complete National Level or International Level checklist – use the secure link found on the first page of the PDF Application to upload your application and files to our Eligiblity Dropbox (do not email applications).
  2. National review takes 2-3 weeks and is based on existing assessments in the athletes file (unless additional information is needed to make a determination.)
  3. We’ll email you a  National eligibility determination and an invoice to pay the application fee. Eligible athletes will be added to Athlete Without Limits US Master List. National eligibility does not expire; the total time it takes depends on the information provided as evidence.
  4. For International Level applications the exact assessments on the application checklist are needed: Once the application is reviewed as complete 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. It can take up to 4 week to hear back from the Virtus Committee.
  5. Once International eligibility is confirmed athletes are assigned a Virtus Athlete Eligibility Number. Eligible athletes are added to the Virtus International Master List. We will email you confirmation when we hear back from the Virtus Committee. International eligiblity does not expire.
  6. 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

NATIONAL VS. INTERNATIONAL LEVEL:

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) and other developmental US events that use Paralympic Classification such as Move United events, Michigan High School State Swim Meets and other events that follow Paralympic Classification (Virtus II1 – IQ 75 or lower only)
  • US Rowing PR3-ID categories  (Virtus II-1, II-2, and II-3 Groups)

International Level eligibility is required for:

  • Athletes who qualify to travel with Athletes Without Limits to Virtus World Championships, and Virtus Global Games. (Offering all three Virtus Eligibility Groups : Virtus II1, II2 and II3)
  • 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)
  • USA Taekwondo “P20” class (may only offer II-1 group – check with promoter)
  • AAU Takewondo Events ( II-1, II-2 II-3)
  • USA Karate & World Karate Federation (WKF) events (Virtus II-1 & Virtus II-2 Only)
  • Virtus Karate Events which offer II-1, II-2, II3
  • World Rowing (Virtus II-1 /Paralypic group only at this time)

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.


ABOUT AWL/VIRTUS-HOSTED COMPETITION:

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.


ABOUT PARALYMPIC-HOSTED COMPETITION:

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.


About 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.