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Wheelchair basketball

4 kids playing wheelchair basketball outdoor

What is Wheelchair basketball?

Wheelchair basketball is a style of basketball played using a sports wheelchair.

Wheelchair basketball is played by people with different levels of physical disabilities that prevent running, jumping and pivoting. Using wheelchairs, a game is played among two teams of five players each.

Across the globe approximately 100,000 people play Wheelchair basketball from recreational to elite levels.

When was Wheelchair basketball invented?

Wheelchair basketball is one of the original Paralympic sports and first emerged around 1946 in the USA. Wheelchair basketball was developed by injured servicemen from World War II that were former non-disabled players that wanted to continue playing their sport of basketball.

The US team introduced wheelchair basketball internationally in 1955 at the International Stoke Mandeville Games, where it replaced wheelchair netball.

How is Wheelchair basketball played?

The object of the game is to score the most points in the opposing team’s basket, just like non-disabled basketball. Players must not ‘travel’ with the ball and are required to throw or bounce the ball after every two pushes of their wheelchair. The team with the most points at the end of the game, wins. 

Who is eligible to play Wheelchair basketball?

Any player who is not able to play basketball standing up due to a physical disability is eligible to play Wheelchair basketball, although some players do not use wheelchairs in their daily lives.

Where to learn more about Wheelchair basketball

The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation has lots more information about Wheelchair basketball.

Wheelchair basketball in New Zealand

In New Zealand, Wheelchair basketball is currently played widely at the community level, with opportunities to progress to the international level. In recent years, the New Zealand team, drawn from around the country, has been called the Roller Blacks.

Register with Paralympics New Zealand

Register with Paralympics New Zealand to hear about opportunities near you!

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