Eligibility for para bowls is set out below...
Para bowls offers opportunities for players who have a primary impairment that belongs to one of the following ten “eligible” impairment types. (Impairment = loss of structure or function.)
- Impaired muscle power – reduced force generated by the contraction of a muscle or muscle groups in one limb, one side of the body or the lower half of the body. Conditions include para and quadriplegia, spina bifida or muscular dystrophy.
- Impaired passive range of movement –range of movement in one or more joints is reduced in a systematical way. However, hypermobility of joints, joint instability and acute conditions of reduced range of movement e.g. arthritis, are excluded from the list of eligible conditions.
- Limb deficiency –total or partial absence of the bones or joints as a result of trauma, illness or congenital limb deficiency.
- Leg length difference –as a result of congenital deficiency or trauma. Bone shortening occurs in one leg.
- Short stature –standing height is reduced due to abnormal dimensions of the bones of the upper and lower limbs or trunk. The condition is known as achondoplasia.
- Hypertonia –an abnormal increase in muscle tension and reduced ability of a muscle to stretch. Hypertonia may result from injury, disease or conditions that involve damage to the central nervous system. Under age two the term cerebral palsy is often used but hypertonia can also result from brain injury, stroke or multiple sclerosis.
- Ataxia – a neurological sign and symptom that consists of a lack of coordination of muscle movements. Under age two the term cerebral palsy is often used but ataxia can also result from brain injury, stroke or multiple sclerosis.
- Athetosis – generally characterised by unbalanced, involuntary movements of muscle tone and a difficulty maintaining symmetrical posture. Under age two the term cerebral palsy is often used but athetosis can also result from brain injury or stroke.
- Visual impairment – impairment of the eye structure, optical nerves, optical pathways, or visual cortex of the central brain.
- Intellectual impairment – a disability characterised by significant limitation both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills. This disability occurs before age 18.
The presence of an applicable eligible impairment is a prerequisite but not the only criterion of entry into para bowls.
The above information has been prepared by Richard Brickley of Scottish Disability Sport for Bowls Scotland from information provided by the International Paralympic Committee.