Who Can Play?

In British Columbia, wheelchair basketball programs are offered to individuals who have physical disabilities and people who do not, and to individuals approximately eight years old and up. As well, it is recommended that participants have good upper body mobility and use of a manual chair for a positive sport experience.

Originally wheelchair basketball was designed to provide people with paraplegia, and later people with other mobility impairments, an opportunity to compete against each other on the basketball court. The rules were designed to ensure that those with less mobility would have an equal chance to play through the classification system. These rules are still in place but the game has reached out to a wider audience and now incorporates a variety of disabilities and able bodied participants and is not just for individuals who use a wheelchair on a daily basis. As such you will see amputees, athletes with spinal cord injuries including paraplegia and lower level quadriplegia, as well as individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, orthopedic injuries including but not limited to permanent knee injuries, degenerative hips, and leg / ankle weakness playing side-by-side with athletes without a disability. Wheelchair basketball is a great competitive sport opportunities for individuals who are unable to play running basketball.

In Canada athletes with and without a disability compete against each other at the local, provincial and even national level. People without physical disabilities enjoy wheelchair basketball for several reasons: above all else, they see it as a sport; it provides an opportunity to participate with a friend or family member who has a physical disability; it is highly competitive and tests their basketball skills; their participation creates awareness of the abilities of disabled athletes; and most important, it is fun for everybody. Athletes at all levels, with and without disabilities contribute to the success of the sport at all levels.

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