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JP Barfield, FACSM1, Kirsten Clancy2, Allison Foster2, Hannah Millsaps2, Samuel T. Rutherford2, Sarah Whitsett2, Stephanie Williams3. 1UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC. 2Emory & Henry College, Marion, VA. 3Emory & Henry College, Emory, VA.

BACKGROUND: The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) encourages participation in sport by ensuring athletes with varied impairments are selected and grouped appropriately to minimize the effect of impairment on sport outcomes. To accomplish this goal, all sport governing bodies within the IPC must have a classification system that is evidence-based to determine an athlete’s eligibility and grouping for sport competition. The purpose of this study was to identify and examine the measurement properties of prospective classification assessments for the sport of Power Soccer. METHODS: Thirty-six power soccer athletes (MAge = 25±15 yrs, MExpericne = 7±7 yrs) with severe physical impairments (i.e., cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, spinal muscular atrophy) completed multiple tests of impairment and performance selected from previously identified domains. IRB and informed consent were obtained prior to the study. RESULTS: Acceptable inter-rater reliability (via ICC) was demonstrated on multiple tests of impairment, including functional dexterity (1.0), opposite pinch (0.78), lateral pinch (0.87), cervical range of motion (0.92), cervical extension force (0.84), lateral force (0.89), and total force (0.89). Performance tests (reverse slalom, spider, Figure 8) also demonstrated acceptable inter-rater reliability (0.97 to 0.99) with good test-retest reliability for some items (reverse slalom, Figure 8, total time). DISCUSSION: Test items selected from previously identified domains (determinants) were a good first step to meet the IPC recommendations of developing/identifying valid, objective, ratio-scaled measures of impairment and performance. These data support Step 3 (of 5) in the IPC process of developing an evidence-based classification system for the sport of power soccer, a game designed for individuals with impairment severity that mandates the use of a power wheelchair (or electric wheelchair) for sport.

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