Apr 062012
 

The International Paralympic Committee publish a large set of rules and regulations covering aids which can be used by athletes in competition.  The aim is to ensure athletes do not gain an unfair advantage from any aid supplied.  The rules can be found at

160126174701371_2016_01_26+IPC+Athletics+Rules+and+Regulations_A4_Final.pdf

Anyone involved in producing such aids needs to read the relevant parts of that document.

Two particular general rules may affect panels helping athletes at this level of competition :-

“3.3.1 The fundamental principles that IPC Athletics is promoting regarding the evolution of equipment used during Recognized Competitions are:

a) Safety (i.e., to the user, other competitors, officials, spectators and the environment);

b) Fairness (i.e., the athlete does not receive an unfair advantage that is not within the “spirit” of the event they are contesting);

c) Universality (e.g., reasonably commercially available to all)”

The second is

“3.3.2 Monitoring of the Use of Technology and Equipment

c) Whether or not equipment and/or prosthetic components are commercially available to all athletes (i.e., prototypes that are purpose built by manufactures exclusively for the use of a specific athlete should not be permitted,”

My feeling is that as nothing we make is patented and we are happy to provide any constructional  designs which might exist to any other competitor anywhere in the world our devices, whilst made for an individual, can be copied by anyone and meet the “universality” requirement.  However, as we have no great expertise in the matter but do have access to an expert in the area we will be asking them.