Competitors are divided into three main categories: sitting, standing and visually impaired. Each category is then divided into classes based on functional ability resulting from the degree and type of disability. Each class is scored based on a percentage factor relative to the strongest class in the category. The competitor’s actual race time is adjusted, and the fastest adjusted time is the winner.
A guide skis ahead of the competitor alerting them vocally or over a radio headset of all corners, inclines, declines or other course alterations. In the biathlon events, an auditory system is used to guide the competitor toward the target.
This category includes athletes with lower-extremity disabilities. In Alpine skiing, a mono-ski is used. In Nordic skiing, a sit ski is used. Both a sit ski and a mono ski are specially designed chairs made to attach to a ski or pair of skis.
Most competitors have a limb deficiency such as an amputation or impairment dealing with either neurological or muscle. Some alpine racers use outriggers for balance. Currently, this is the only category available for Snowboard competitors. Their categories are based on their functional ability, either lower-limb or upper-limb impaired athletes.