School Sports

Adaptive Sports New England and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) are collaborating to increase participation in high school sports by Massachusetts student-athletes who have visual or mobility impairments.  In the 2016-2017 school year, the MIAA is including adaptive events/categories in swimming and track & field championship competitions.  The Mass State Track Coaches Association (MSTCA) also includes adaptive events/categories in many of its competitions.  Adaptive Sports NE encourages schools, leagues, and other entities organizing high school sports in New England to actively recruit student-athletes who have visual or mobility impairments for swimming and track & field competition.

Who is eligible to participate in adaptive events?

Student-athletes who have an enduring visual or mobility impairment of the type and severity that would make them eligible for a Paralympic Sport Class in the relevant sport are eligible for adaptive events.  Typical physical/mobility impairments include spinal cord injuries, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, dwarfism, amputations, dysmelia, and similar orthopedic impairments.  Student-athletes who are registered with the Mass Commission for the Blind as legally blind are eligible for visual impairment events.  Student athletes may be eligible in one sport but not in another based on the Paralympic Sport Class requirements.  More information on the Paralympic Sport Class system can be found in the tournament format for the specific sport.

What are the adaptive events in MIAA championship competitions?

SWIMMING (winter)


  • Wheelchair/seated competition: Shot Put
  • Para-ambulatory competition: 55m dash, Shot Put
  • Blind/VI competition: 55m dash, Shot Put


How can I sign up for MIAA sports?

Speak with the principal or athletic director at your school.  Adaptive Sports NE is available to provide technical assistance and support to athletes, principals and athletic directors regarding the sign up and registration process of Para athletes.

What about competition in other sports and events?

In January 2013, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights released Guidance clarifying the existing obligations of school districts to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular athletics.  The Guidance is based on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  The Guidance on extracurricular athletics applies to intramural, club, and interscholastic sports.

Who can I contact for further information?

Adaptive Sports New England assists state associations, leagues, schools, and students seeking to accommodate student-athletes with visual or mobility impairments on teams and in programs.

If you have questions or would like further information, please contact Joe Walsh at email hidden; JavaScript is required for assistance.