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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993 Feb;25(2):265-9.

Visual loss and performance in blind athletes.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202.


We examined the relationship between visual loss and athletic performance and evaluated the visual classification system used in the 1988 United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Summer Games. Athletes were asked about their age, sex, training, years of participation in organized competition, age at onset of blindness and were given an ophthalmologic exam that included Snellen acuity, contrast sensitivity, and visual fields. In the speed track events, visual class,* sex, age, hours of training, and years participating were found to have a positive correlation with performance. Visual class and sex were significant predictors of performance in the intermediate distance events; visual class was the only significant predictor of performance in the long distance events. Visual class, sex, age, and hours of training were correlated with performance in the track and field (throwing) events. Weightlifting performance was influenced by age and sex. The most consistent predictor of performance in the swimming events was the number of hours training per week. Our results indicate that the current classification system for visual loss is useful for grouping athletes for competition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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