Classification System for Wheelchair Basketball

Participants with various levels of physical ability, including able-bodied participants, compete in wheelchair basketball. Therefore, in order to ensure fair competitive opportunities for all athletes a classification system has evolved that recognizes the functional abilities of athletes and categorizes or assigns a classification to them. This system ensures that players with limited or absent lower limb or trunk movement will have an opportunity to play and that the strategies and skills of competing teams, not the amount of physical movement of their players, will be the factors determining success in competition.

Classifiers observe the player's functions during wheelchair basketball competition and assign the player a classification based on their observations. Athletes are numerically classified from 1.0 to 4.5 points. When a player does not fit clearly into the descriptions of either one class or the next class, they are assigned a half-point, creating classifications of 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5. Additionally, class 4.5 was added to provide a distinctive class for players with minimal disabilities or for those that are able-bodied. The classification point value of the five players competing on the court is totaled, and may not exceed a certain number depending on the league or level of play.

Becoming A Classifier

Classifiers may be experienced players, coaches, sports scientists, physiotherapists and physicians. They must attend a series of seminars and training sessions during basketball competitions to be certified to classify players locally for wheelchair basketball competition. After nomination from a zone or country, an experienced classifier is accepted to begin the international certification process. Following successful completion of the training and examination process, certified classifiers can serve on the classification team at regional qualifying tournaments, World Championship and Paralympic Games competitions. If you are interested in becoming a classifier in BC, please contact BCWBS.

Classification Resources

Resource How to Aquire
Classification - An Overview by Don Perriman Download PDF
IWBF Table on Classes Download PDF
IWBF Intro to Player Classification (Order Form) Download PDF
IWBF Classification Manual
The process of Classification in Wheelchair Basketball
CWBA - Classification Policies & Procedures Download PDF