Wheelchair Basketball: A Great Paralympic Sport

Time for another lesson in sports that will be a part of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London just 86 days. This time it’s the fast-paced, exciting and skillful game of Wheelchair Basketball.

Wheelchair Basketball is one of the most-watched sports for the disabled and also has one of the highest participation rates worldwide (there are 82 national organisations for the sport worldwide)

HOW PLAYERS ARE CLASSIFIED

In order to be able to play in national and international competitions players are classified on a scale of 1.0-4.5 points with the lower numbers applying to the least functional athletes and the higher numbers to the least impaired athletes.

A team with a total classification point score of no more than 14 is allowed on court at any one time.

PLAYERS 

Each team can have up to 12 players with a total of 5 playing on-court at any one time.

THE PLAYING ARENA

One of the amazing things about the sport of Wheelchair Basketball is that it is played on exactly the same-sized court as Basketball for the “able-bods”. The court consists of all the same dimensions from the 3 point line to the height of the hoop and the backboard.

DURATION OF THE GAME

The game consists of four 10 minute quarters with a 15 minute half-time break and 2 minutes between every other quarter.

THE RULES

Play in Wheelchair Basketball is almost identical to that in Basketball with play beginning from the centre of the court with the ball being tossed up by a match official.

The team in possession has 24 seconds to push forward and attempt to score before possession is turned over.

A free-throw is worth 1 point, there is 2 points for a shot outside the field shot zone and 3 points for a shot outside the 3 point area.

The “travelling” rule is invoked when a player touches his or her wheels more than twice after receiving or dribbling the ball. The player must pass, bounce or shoot the ball before touching the wheels again.

An offensive player cannot be in the free-throw lane more than 3 seconds in possession of the ball.

The wheelchair is considered part of the player so it may be used to block a player.

A technical foul has been deemed to have occurred if a player attempts to lift out of their chair and otherwise similar foul rules apply as with Basketball.

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS FROM THE 2008 PARALYMPICS

In the men’s draw the Australian team, known as the Rollers are the defending champions and in the women’s draw the USA are dual-defending Paralympic champions as well as world champions.

A LOOK AT THE GAME

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfB2BynBv2k&feature=related

About Tom Bridge

A perennial student of politics, providing commentary for money and for free. Email me at tbridgey@gmail.com or contact me on 0435 035 095 for engagements.

Posted on June 4, 2012, in A little bit of sport, Disability Issues and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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