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BC Wheelchair Basketball
(604) 333-3530
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Basketball-Wheelchair

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The sport of wheelchair basketball was developed by Sir Ludwig Guttmann in England following the Second World War.  The sport was viewed as one of the most adaptable team sports and it was part of rehabilitation programs that allowed people with physical disabilities to regain dignity and independence.  Wheelchair basketball was included in the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960 and is one of the most popular Paralympic sports. 

Basketball-Wheelchair Facts

  • Played in 80 countries
  • Standard size net (10ft) and ball
  • Pushing the chair more than 2 times is travelling
  • Canada won gold at the 2012 Paralympics

The rules for wheelchair basketball vary little from standard basketball rules.  In Canada, FIBA (international) rules are used with minor changes to reflect the use of a wheelchair.  These changes do not change the way the game is played but instead are used to interpret the rules affected by the use of a wheelchair.  For example, as in able-bodied basketball, players must dribble the ball once they have gained control and a traveling violation is when a player takes more than two pushes on their wheelchair.

Classification is the process by which a team's total functional potential on the court is leveled off with respect to its opponent.  It is a functional evaluation taking into consideration each player's ability to perform skills specific to the sport.  Classifications range from 0.5 to 4.5 where lower class athletes are more limited in their functional skills and higher classes have few if any limitations. The total number of points on the court assigned for each of the five players may not exceed 14 points at any one time in most divisions.

At the BC Winter Games athletes range in age from 12-20 years.  The Games are an important development step as athletes prepare for the Canada Winter Games.  At the Games it is common for wheelchair basketball coaches and managers to be active or retired high performance athletes who bring their considerable skills and experience to teach the developing athletes.

The BC Wheelchair Basketball Society is responsible for the development of the sport in the province.  Notable BC Games alumni include Bo Hedges (1996 BC Winter Games), who has been a member of the national team since 2007 and was part of the team that won gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games.