Menu Archery & Judo - Disability Info SA

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Both Archery and Judo are available for individuals who are Blind or have Visual Impairment's. Both sports are competed in at social, club & Provincial level, as well as at International level. They are both available at the Paralympics and are not only  a source of fun, but great exercise, a challenge, teachers discipline, & is a great way to meet new people.


Archery is a test of accuracy, strength and concentration. The sport is open to athletes with a variety of disabilities, including The Blind & visual impaired. It comprises of individual and team events. Competitors shoot at a target marked with ten scoring zones, from a set distance.

Athletes with disabilities may shoot with assistive devices allowed under classification rules, if required. The Para archery competition, which includes specific competition categories for athletes with certain classifications, is an integral part of the Paralympic Games. In blind archery, B3 archers use a blind fold and a tactile sighting device. This classification is not eligible to compete at the Paralympic Games.must use a tactile sighting device, and be unable to use a bowsight.


Any archer can apply to be classified at the international level through their national governing body. A classification does not necessarily make an athlete eligible to compete in a para archery division, but may make them eligible to compete with an assistive device.

Para archery competition classifications currently consist of open, W1 and visually impaired categories. Only a thorough classification examination may determine whether an athlete can compete in any category, however there are basic differences between the three.

Visually Impaired V1, V2 & V3

Athletes may have impairment in their vision. V1 athletes must wear blindfolds or black-out glasses while competing. V1, V2/3 athletes use tactile sights and are permitted an assistant sitting or standing one metre behind the shooting line to relay information about the position of the arrows in the target, safety and help with scoring. The category is currently not featured at the Paralympic Games

World Archery

Archery is governed by the World Archery Federation and Olympic rules are derived from the World Archery rules. World Archery is the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) recognised governing body for all of archery and the South African National Archery Association (SANAA) is a member in good standing of the World Archery Federation. The governing body is World Archery (WA), in relation with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Para-archery competitions follow the WA Rules. Presently 54 countries compete but the number is still growing.

Paralympic Archery is governed by the South African National Archery Association (SANAA) in terms of the President exercising his right under Article 12 of the Constitution which allows the formation of Sub-Committees, with specific assignments.


Judo was created in Japan, in 1882. It is generally categorized as a modern martial art which later evolved into a combat and Olympic sport. The objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms & are not allowed in judo competition or free practice.

Judo is available for athletes who are visually impaired at the Paralympics, it was included on the Paralympics programme for the Seoul 1988 Paralympics Games. The ATHENS 2004 Paralympics was the first time that women’s weight categories were offered in Judo.

Judo is a sport demanding physical capabilities along with spiritual discipline. It is open to several weight categories and demands a physical and strategic performance, testing the qualities of strength, touch, balance and sensitivity.

Every athlete aims to prevail over the opponent by using special techniques, in the standing position by grappling his uniform (Judo Gi), trying to throw him down, and in the ground position by trying to pin him down for a certain time, or by applying chocks or arm locks.

For blind persons and those with low vision, Judo can be instrumental in (re)attaining independence of movement and in developing physical capacities which permit better adaptation to everyday life. It represents for them, a means of escape from a sometimes sedentary existence and from the isolation often imposed by a disability.

Judo in South Africa

SASAPD is an organisation in South Africa that focuses on the development and promotion of the sporting codes offered at Paralympic level for athletes with physical disabilities, visual impairment and blindness. This includes Judo for the Blind.

SASAPD was established in 1962 and offers pathways through affiliations with international bodies, such as IBSA, IWAS and CPISRA and the annual Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled, as recognised steps towards the Paralympic Games qualification across a variety of sports. They work and are an affiliate member of SASCOC as well as being associated members of a number of other national sporting federations.

Judo is mostly active in Western Province and in Gauteng. The convenor is Lorraine Job, she can be contacted at:

Documents and Downloads, Event List, Selection Criteria


There are some rule differences for the B3 classification in competition that are sport specific. In judo, all three blind sport classes compete against each other, with competitors classified by weight for the purposes of competition. Weight classes use the international standards used in the Olympics. In judo, B1 classified competitors have a red dot on their kit to let others know they are completely blind.

The IBSA Judo Committee has released updated rules, effective as of February 2017. Visit the Judo page on the official Paralympics Web Site at: or click below on the link to view or download the rules.

Benefits of Judo

Judo can contribute to these objectives in three sectors: motor, psychological and social.

The motor sector

Blindness can cause certain motor problems such as difficulty in attitude integration and body-awareness (since sight is an important factor here); balance problems; problems with motor co-ordination; posture problems; and orientation difficulties.

Apart from the numerous motor and physical qualities which Judo helps to develop in people with normal health, it is perhaps, useful to mention the manner in which these are indispensable for blind people.

Falling: It is essential for a blind person to learn to fall in a suitable manner, since uncertainty of movement, due to blindness, often leads to painful falls. By learning secure positions, blind people can avoid accidents in everyday life.

Balance: This is a fundamental element of Judo and an indispensable factor for the blind. It helps to encourage the visually impaired person's integration in space.

Exercise: Just like sighted people, a blind child must learn to develop his or her physical capacities. He/she will then be able to know and control the body better. Improved control over the motor forces, such as strength, speed and agility, will provide a weapon to combat the consequences of blindness which can otherwise include a sedentary existence.

Kinesthetic sensations: It can be said without exaggeration that blindness does not constitute a serious problem for a Judoka. In practice, seeing persons do not look at their opponents during combat; they try to distribute their strength and adapt their behavior. A blind person is, therefore, not impaired in the discovery of these physical sensations or in their refinement. It is the perception of the strength and behavior of the opponent which induces the choice of the appropriate reaction. Sight does not play a preponderant part in this process.

The psychological sector

It is sometimes necessary to reduce the impact of a visual impairment in order to obtain:

Autonomy: Judo teaches blind people to take the initiative without risk. Blind people learn to manage without the special assistance of other people. This encourages self-assurance in everyday life allowing them to take calculated risks. Blind people quickly learn to find their bearing (space, time) in judo training and to move around with self-assurance.

Motivation: Judo is attractive because it permits blind people to measure themselves on an equal basis with seeing people. Blind athletes can participate officially in the competitions organized by the International Blind Sports Association and its member countries, as well as all tournaments for the sighted. They can attain the same ranks and titles as seeing people. All these factors contribute to self-assurance in their physical capacity, which forms a counter-balance for their visual impairment.

The social sector

The battle against isolation: A disability of any description often entails isolation and a sedentary existence. Membership in a sports organization provides the opportunity to get out of special schools, to meet other people and measure against them on an equal basis.

Respect for rules and for other people: Blind people are often suspicious of their environment and even avoid contact which could be a source of insecurity. This is why motivating, physical activity can reduce the obstacles, facilitate contact with other people and promote integration with the world of the seeing.

Sportsmanship: As with sighted students, blind individuals learn through their participation in sports all the values of good sportsmanship. Judo in particular has a character building component that stresses the development of a strong ethical code.


Sports Clubs & Organizations
Silver Level Membership