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A new world

Wheelchair Basketball

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Pin-point shooting, slick dribbling and ferocious competitiveness: wheelchair basketball has been thrilling Paralympic Games fans since the first edition, Rome 1960. In Rio, 12 men’s and 10 women’s teams will battle for medals.
Spectator's Guide - Wheelchair Basketball
  • Wheelchair Basketball

Countries

Athletes

Events

15 263 2

Schedule & Results

Schedule & Results

Wheelchair Basketball

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September18
Date Event Venue Status

About

About

Aim of the game

Two teams of five players in wheelchairs must try to score points by throwing the ball into the opposing team’s basket as many times as possible before time runs out

Why should you watch this?

With their pin-point accurate shooting, slick dribbling and ferocious competitiveness, these wheelchair warriors are utterly captivating

International Federation

Paralympic debut

Rome 1960

Rules
  • Airball

    Airball

    When a shot misses the basket without even touching the rim or the backboard

  • Dribbling

    Dribbling

    A player can put the ball on their lap but must bounce it (dribble) after every two pushes on the wheels

  • Three pushes

    Three pushes

    A violation that occurs when the player takes more than two pushes on the wheelchair without dribbling, passing or shooting

Impress your friends

  • Wheelchair basketball was first played in 1945 in the USA, when World War II veterans got together on a hospital court with Dr. Tim Nuggent

    Wheelchair basketball was first played in 1945 in the USA, when World War II veterans got together on a hospital court with Dr. Tim Nuggent

  • Around the same time, British war veterans started playing wheelchair netball, a ‘cousin’ of basketball, under Dr. Ludwig Guttmann at Stoke Mandeville Hospital

    Around the same time, British war veterans started playing wheelchair netball, a ‘cousin’ of basketball, under Dr. Ludwig Guttmann at Stoke Mandeville Hospital

  • Wheelchair basketball moved across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe in the mid-1950s when the Pan-Am Jets of the USA took part in the International Stoke Mandeville Games

    Wheelchair basketball moved across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe in the mid-1950s when the Pan-Am Jets of the USA took part in the International Stoke Mandeville Games

  • Israel delighted their fans by winning gold at the Tel Aviv 1968 Games, beating the USA 47-37 to become the first host nation to claim the Paralympic title in this sport

    Israel delighted their fans by winning gold at the Tel Aviv 1968 Games, beating the USA 47-37 to become the first host nation to claim the Paralympic title in this sport

  • At London 2012, Australia won the women’s final 40-39 against defending champions the USA in one of the most exciting matches in Paralympic Games history

    At London 2012, Australia won the women’s final 40-39 against defending champions the USA in one of the most exciting matches in Paralympic Games history

  • Canada's women’s team, led by Janet McLachlan, won the 2014 world championship, while the men’s team, with star player Patrick Anderson, won the 2012 Paralympic title

    Canada's women’s team, led by Janet McLachlan, won the 2014 world championship, while the men’s team, with star player Patrick Anderson, won the 2012 Paralympic title

  • The Australian men’s team, which came second at London 2012, won the 2014 world championship and will be a strong contender at Rio 2016

    The Australian men’s team, which came second at London 2012, won the 2014 world championship and will be a strong contender at Rio 2016

  • The German women also command respect, having won the 2012 Paralympic title and silver at the 2014 world championship

    The German women also command respect, having won the 2012 Paralympic title and silver at the 2014 world championship

  • Wheelchairs may have three or four wheels but cannot have steering devices, brakes or gears – top players can spend over US$5,000 on them

    Wheelchairs may have three or four wheels but cannot have steering devices, brakes or gears – top players can spend over US$5,000 on them

  • Wheelchair basketball is one of the most established Paralympic sports – it is played competitively by more than 25,000 people in 80 countries around the world

    Wheelchair basketball is one of the most established Paralympic sports – it is played competitively by more than 25,000 people in 80 countries around the world

  • Wheelchair basketball was the first Paralympic sport to be played in Brazil, starting in 1958

    Wheelchair basketball was the first Paralympic sport to be played in Brazil, starting in 1958

Duration

The clock is stopped whenever the ball goes out of bounds, a foul is committed and during each time-out.

Each team has 24 seconds of possession of the ball before they must shoot.

Games are divided into four 10-minute periods.

Court

Centre circle

On the whistle, the ball is thrown upwards between two opposing players, and the first team who secures possession can start attacking the opposition’s basket.

Backboard

Used by players to help put the ball into the hoop.

Key

An attacking player has to get busy in this area, as they cannot stay longer than three seconds.

Basket

A 45cm hoop with a fixed hanging net that the ball falls through.

Scoring

A basket is worth one, two or three points, depending on the position of the player on the court when a basket is scored.

Free-throw line

Penalty shots, worth one point each, are taken from here.

Three-point line

If the ball is shot from behind this line, the basket is worth three points – shots from on or inside this line are worth two points.

Wheelchairs

Customised for each player and standardised by the sport, they are designed to respond to each body movement. The position of the wheels gives the player greater stability and balance.

Ball

Made of eight leather panels, the ball has a circumference of 76cm and weighs 600-650g.

Classification

Players are given one of eight numerical classifications from 1.0 (least function) to 4.5 (most function). The combined total for a team’s five on-court players must not exceed 14 points.

Updates

Stats

Top Medalists

Men
USA
USA
7 1 4 12
GBR
GBR
0 3 4 7
ISR
ISR
2 2 3 7
Women
USA
USA
3 1 3 7
GER
GER
3 3 0 6
ISR
ISR
2 2 1 5

Countries

Athletes

Athletes & Teams

Gender

Gender
Woman 46
Men 54
Women
Men

Age Range

Age Range
Under 15 0
16 - 20 8
21 - 25 22
26 - 30 28
31 - 40 36
Over 40 7
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