Wheelchair Basketball

This picture is derived by Haltiamieli from Wheelchair_basketball_090923_akita.jpg taken by User:STB-1.
Creative Commons licence text.

This picture is derived by Haltiamieli from Wheelchair_basketball_090923_akita.jpg taken by User:STB-1.

Wheelchair basketball has a relatively recent history.

In 1944 as part of the Stoke Mandeville Hospital rehabilitation program in Aylesbury, England, Ludwig Guttmann adapted an existing sport to use wheelchairs. It was known as wheelchair netball. Soon after, in 1946, US World War II disabled veterans began playing basketball in wheelchairs. The sport has since spread throughout the world.

The Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games (the forerunner of the Paralympic Games) were first held in 1947 and then included only a handful of participants (26), and few events (shot put, javelin, club throw, and archery). Wheelchair basketball in its current form, was first played at the 1956 International Stoke-Mandeville Games, and was won by the US "Pan Am Jets".

This game is now one of the major disabled sports and is part of the Paralympic Gamesl. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) is the governing body for this sport and the sole competent authority in wheelchair basketball world wide.

The IWBF has 82 National Organizations throughout the world, and this number increases year by year. Over 100,000 people play at all levels.

The World Championship is held two years after the Paralympic Games, and have been held since 1973. Major competitors include Canada, Australia, the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Japan.


This version differs very little from standard basketball. Most major rules are the same, as is scoring. The standard basketball court and 10-foot basketball hoop are used. The tactics are similar, but more effective screens can be created with the chair. There is no second dribble and three pushes without bouncing the ball is a travelling violation. The individual must pass, bounce or shoot the ball before touching the wheels again after the second push.

There are regulations pertaining to the chair, for safety reasons and to avoid unfair advantage. It may not have protruding parts and the footplate must be 11 cm or less from the floor. The chair height may not exceed 53 cm and the size of the wheels and thickness of the cushion are limited.

In order to 'balance' various disabilities a points-system is in place. Points are allocated according to the players disability. The points go from 1 to 4.5. 4.5 is the least-disabled. "4-pointers" have advantages over a 1 pointer due to their body strength and balance and are often the tallest players on the court. If a teams total number of points for on-court players exceeds 14 at any moment in time the team receives a technical foul.

Although non-disabled athletes are not allowed to compete internationally, some countries (eg, Canada, Australia and England) allow nondisabled athletes using wheelchairs to compete alongside other athletes on mixed teams.

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This page has been derived from wikipedia page Wheelchair_basketball and the IWBF Europe rules page.

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