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1999 National Sports Festival for the Disabled
Our overall purpose is designed to provide both individualized sports training and competitive opportunities for atheletes with cerebral palsy, or other related challenges, such as traumatic brain injuries or strokes. Our guiding philosophy, equal opportunity for all, is personified in our eight level classification system. This system, based on the functional level of the athlete, provides a fair and equitable starting point for competitions. 


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United States Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association
Executive Director
Jerry McCole 
Program Coordinator
Kim Kelly 
mailing address
25 W. Independence Way 
city, state, zipcode
Kingston, RI 02881 
E-mail address
Worldwide Web address
voice line
(401) 874-7465 
fax line
(401) 874-7468 

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USCPAA's Eight-Level Classification System

Severe involvement in all four limbs. Limited trunk control. Unable to grasp a softball. Poor functional strength in upper extremities, often necessitating the use of an electric wheelchair for independence. 
Severe to moderate quadriplegic, normally able to propel a wheelchair very slowly with arms or by pushing with feet. Poor functional strength and severe contol problems in the upper extremities. 
Moderate quadriplegic, fair functional strength and moderate control problems in upper extremities and torso. Uses wheelchair. 
Lower limbs have moderate to severe involvement. Good functional strength and minimal control problem in upper extremities and torso. Uses wheelchair. 
Good functional strength and minimal control problems in upper extremities. May walk with or without assistive devices for ambulatory support. 
Moderate to severe quadriplegic. Ambulates without walking aids. Less coordination. Balance problems when running or throwing. Has greater upper extremity involvement. 
Moderate to minimal hemiplegic. Good functional ability in non affected side. Walks/runs with noted limp. 
Minimally affected. May have minimal coordination problems. Able to run and jump freely. Has good balance. 

This classification system is used in all individual sports, including track and field, swimming, cycling and cross country - where athletes compete only against athletes with their same classification. In the remaining sports, athletes are grouped in divisions according to classification.

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