Developing a unified classfication system to replace four of the systems currently used in disability athletics (i.e., track and field) has been widely advocated. The diverse impairments to be included in a unified system require several assessment methods, results of which cannot be meaningfully compared. Therefore, the taxonomic basis of current classification systems is invalid in a unified system. Biomechanical analysis establishes that force, a vector described in terms of magnitude and direction, is a key determinant of success in all athletic disciplines. It is posited that all impairments to be included in a unified system may be classified as either force magnitude impairments (FMI) or force control impairments (FCI). This framework would provide a valid taxonomic basis for a unified system, creating the opportunity to decrease the number of classes and enhance the viability of disability athletics.