Athlete Eligibility

The Athlete Eligibility Policy applies to all deaf and hard of hearing athletes who wish to participate in national and international sanctioned deaf sporting events.

International Deaf Sporting events such as the Asia-Pacific Deaf Games and Deaflympic Games brings together deaf and hard of hearing athletes from around the globe.

Many athletes have varying levels of hearing losses and the International Sports Committee for the Deaf (ICSD) have established a criteria under the Audiogram Regulations for deaf and hard of hearing athletes wishing to compete at sanctioned international deaf sporting events.

As a result of the ICSD Eligibility criteria, Deaf Sports Australia has developed the Athlete Eligibility Policy to provide and to ensure fair participation for all deaf and hard of hearing participants in ISCD, DSA sanctioned events and National Sporting Organisation controlled events.

CodeHearing Level LossEligibility
AU00-39 dB 3FAHLNot eligible to compete in DSA or ICSD approved events
AU140-54 dB 3FAHLEligible to compete in DSA approved events – e.g. Australian Deaf Games, National Deaf Championships
AU255 dB or more 3FAHLEligible to compete in AU1 events plus ICSD approved events (e.g. Deaflympic Games, World Deaf Championshops) and Australian National Sporting Organisation controlled events

Athletes who have been classified with AU1 are recommended to outline their need for inclusion support at the event they are participating in, as participation should be facilitated.

Current and former athletes who have submitted their Audiograms and qualified at international deaf sporting events will not need to re-submit the forms again, as their classification will be for life. Athletes who have been classified in AU0 and AU1 are welcome to request for a reclassification if they experience further hearing loss.

In order to find out if you meet the Eligibility Criteria or need to complete the Classification Card process set out by Athletics Australia, Swimming Australia and other sports, you will need to complete the Classification Form with a copy of your latest audiogram.

Deaf Sports Australia maintains a classification system consisting of deaf and hard of hearing athletes eligible for domestic and international sporting events approved by DSA and/or ICSD.

To get an official classification from Deaf Sports Australia, you need to submit your form online:

Classification Form

When we receive your classification request, we forward it to our audiologist at Expression Audiology who will then confirm your eligibility.

We then send you an official classification letter for your records. We also update our database with your details.

The updated database will then be passed onto relevant national sporting bodies such as Athletics Australia and Swimming Australia.

We will endeavour to have your classification completed within 72 hours. If you need your classification done urgently, please let us know.

If you have any questions about classification, please contact us at

three females running

There is no general age limit for competitors. However, age restrictions may apply for specific sports or events.

To find out more, you can download this document: Age Eligibility for International Deaf Sports Events