A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL
In Wheelchair Basketball, Every living being has been born with its share from the bounties of this world. Even if a person doesn’t fit on social criteria of being a perfect human being. He still deserves to be happy and enjoy a well-balanced and life full of opportunities. Disability should lead to disqualification from having access to any field of life. Since physical disability never becomes a hindrance in doing intellectual work but the world took too much time to develop opportunities for disabled persons in sports.
Sports are a great source to remain healthy and physically fit. Apart from health benefits, sports entertain players as well as the audience. It was a general perception that only perfectly fit persons can do great in sports until disabled beings got the ground. Over time people learned that disabled persons can also do sports with the same passion as any other person. Now the world and all disabled and wheelchair games have accepted disabled sports. Wheelchair basketball or basketball wheelchair is the most popular one. Wheelchair basketball dunk is developed especially for those having lower limb disabilities due to any possible reason or accident. So that they can also enjoy this beautiful sport, not from the crowd but directly from the court.
Wheelchair Basketball is also known as disabled basketball.
History and milestones achieved yet
Mostly Basketball lovers ask that when was wheelchair basketball invented? The game found its roots back in the 1940s. After World War II, disabled veteran soldiers which were abled players before the war started playing a form of wheelchair basketball in war veteran hospitals of the USA.
In wheelchair basketball history, the rules and regulations of the game were locally modified a little bit. Dr. Timothy Nugent at the University of Illinois founded the National Wheelchair Basketball Association in 1949.
This association flourished under his supervision for 25 years. Soon it became popular and spread across the USA, eventually into the whole world. In 1956, wheelchair basketball was first played at International Stoke-Mandeville Games. That tournament was won by the “Pan Am Jets” team of the US. In 1989, International Stoke-Mandeville Games establish a sub-section for wheelchair basketball 1973 while in 1989 accepted its previous sub-section as International Wheelchair Basketball Federation.
International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF)
In 1993 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) independently got all responsibilities for the development of the sport. And it became the world body for wheelchair basketball.
Moving forward, In upcoming years membership grew in size, more and more countries join the federation. The major milestone achieved was in 1960, the wheelchair basketball was first played in Summer Paralympics in Rome. Then at the Summer Paralympics wheelchair basketball has been contested regularly. The highest honor is winning the Paralympics in international wheelchair basketball. While the World Championships of IWBF for men and women come second.
In 1973, the World Championships for wheelchair basketball were held in Belgium. Great Britain won the first world championship for men. Since the beginning of the world men’s championships; out of 11, the United States won six tournaments (1979, 1983, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2002). Great Britain won two (1973, 2018), two were won by Australia (2010, 2014); and one each by Israel (1975), France (1990), and Canada (2006). Among women’s world championship tournaments Canada has won five of the women’s world championship titles (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2014). The United States two (1990, 2010), and the Netherlands one (2018).
Classification of Players
Generally in handicapped basketball, players are classified according to different levels of disabilities. And a team is built up by harmonizing players at different disability levels. The classification is done by assigning a point value from 1.0 to 4.5. Athletes with minor disabilities are assigned as 4.5 and athletes with quite major disabilities are assigned a 4.5 point value. While playing on the court five players from a team are allowed to play at one time a team must not exceed 14.0 points for the five on-court players. Some countries allow mixed teams, such as Canada, Australia, and England. In a mixed team, disabled athletes using wheelchairs compete alongside other athletes. In countries where mixed teams are allowed to play non-disabled players are assigned either a 4.5 or 5 point value, but they are not allowed to compete internationally.
Design of Wheelchair
All the players must play while seated on specially designed basketball wheelchairs. The wheelchairs for the basketball court are designed by keeping under consideration the stability, sustainability, safety, and ease in mobility of players.
The seating arrangement is done in such a way to equally distribute the mass of the chair and the mass of athlete mass in all directions. To avoid tipping in the court sideways of the chair are the fulcrum.
Basketball chairs are kept lower seated to avoid tipping and the wheels are angled outward to ease the movement of the athletes. The forwards and centers are mostly under the net, so their chairs are designed with higher seats but higher seats allow less mobility. From the increased height, the reach of the player for shots at the hoop and rebounds increases significantly. For enhanced stability, while ball-handling guards have lower seating arrangments that allow ease in descending the court as quickly as possible.
Wheel Chair Basketball Rules and regulations
we have defined some rules of Wheelchair basketball and running basketball share similarities in rules, like the basketball hoop, distance to the foul line, three-point line retains the same measurements as in the game of running basketball, but evolution came with time as well. In 1964, standard international basketball rules were adjusted to make it possible to play the game in a wheelchair. So the rules of Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) were modified for International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF).
Along with some similarities, there are also some exceptions in rules which have been modified with consideration for the wheelchair. For example, a specific condition “traveling” in wheelchair basketball occurs if after receiving or dribbling the ball, the athlete touches their wheels more than twice. Before touching the wheels again the athlete must pass, bounce, or shoot the ball. Every aspect of the game has its own certain rules which are summarized as under.
The playing court in paraplegic basketball must be a flat, hard surface having no obstacle. Dimensions of the court must be fixed 28 X 15 m from the inner edge to the boundary line.
The backcourt of a team includes the basket of the team, the entering part of the backboard, the sidelines, and the centerline. While the frontcourt of a team consists of the basket, the inner edge nearest to the basket, the entering part of the backboard, the sidelines, and the centerline of the opponent team.
The lines drawn on the surface of the playing court must be of the same color and 5 cm in width. The color used to draw lines must be white or another contrasting color that can be visible easily. The playing court is limited by the boundary line, the boundary line includes end lines and the sidelines.
These lines are not considered part of the playing court. A distance of 2 m minimum should be maintained outside the boundary line of the court for any kind of seating. The most important lines of the court are centerline, center circle, and free throw semi-circles. The centerline is part of the backcourt and it is drawn 0.15 m extended beyond each sideline from the mid-point of the sidelines and parallel to the end lines. The center circle is drawn in the exact center of the playing court in a radius of 1.80 m. The free-throw semi-circles on the playing court are drawn in a radius of 1.80 m, while their centers aligned at the mid-point of the free-throw lines. The other lines of the playing court are the free-throw and throw-in lines, the lines marking the 3-point field goal area, and the restricted area.
How to play basketball for beginners or how to play wheelchair basketball? The wheelchairs are considered a part of the player in the playing court, so there is a set of rules needed to be followed strictly and any violation leads to a ban.
For a wheelchair, there must be a protective bar or footrest at 11cm from the ground at the most forward point. If the footrest is not the most forward point of a wheelchair it can be of any length after an 11cm high protective bar. Protective cushions are implanted undersides of the footrest to protect the playing surface from damage. At the rear of the wheelchair anti-tip castors are present, they must be at a maximum of 2cm height while moving and designed in such a way that they can be easily and frequently came in contact with the floor. Anti-tip casters that mark the floor are not allowed.
The wheelchairs should be having three or four wheels. In the case of a four-wheel wheelchair; there must be two large wheels at the backside and two small wheels at the front. While for a three-wheel wheelchair; there should be two large wheels at back and one small wheel in the center of the front.
The diameter of a large wheel should not exceed 69cm. Any kind of lightning or flashing is strictly prohibited on wheels. One hand rim on each wheel should be present while no kind of gears, brakes, or steering wheels are allowed. The overall design of the wheelchair should be maintained in such a way that allows; maximum flexibility, sustainability, safety, and ease in mobility while playing on the court. If any damage occurs to a wheelchair during the game the referee decides the appropriate time to stop the match. And allow the team to repair the damage. If repair time exceeds 50 seconds the player must be replaced.
What comprises a team in basketball? In wheelchair basketball teams; each team of wheelchair basketball matches consists of 12 players including a captain, one coach, and an assistant coach in some scenarios. Maximum 7 other members with special duties like medical or nursing staff, doctor, manager, physiologist, physiotherapist, and statistician are allowed. They can sit on teams’ seats during the match. At a time during the match, only 5 players from each team are allowed to compete. Players can be substituted or replaced on the order of authorities or request by team members during intervals.
The uniform of all team members should be of the same dominant color from the front and back. The shirts and shorts or trousers should not necessarily be of the same color. Shirts should be tucked in the bottom. A T-shirt is allowed under the shirt regardless of the fashion. The shirts should be numbered from 0 to 99 from the front and back in colors contrasting. The first team or home team should wear lighter color. While the second team or visiting team should wear a darker color uniform. Players cant play barefooted.
Things Not To Follow
Any equipment that can give illegal disadvantage to players during the match is not allowed. Guards, helmets, and castors made up of leather, plastic, metal or any other hard object are not allowed even if padded in some soft material. Any sharp objects that can cause harm or injury to other players or the surface of the court are strictly prohibited. Any jewelry, hairpiece, personal decorative object, or ornament is not allowed.
Sufficiently padded safety equipment for the arm, leg, and thigh are allowed only if there is not any kind of hard material is used in its manufacturing. The headgear should not cover any part of the face, eyes, and nose. There should not be any projection or extruder part. The headgear should not be dangerous to the player who is wearing it or to fellow players. Knee and ankle braces, transparent mouthguards, and spectacles are allowed if they not causing any harm to anyone. For an injured nose a protector is allowed even if made up of hard material. Bands of textile material a maximum of 10cm width is allowed. Compression sleeves and tapping of body parts are allowed. Shoes of any color can be wear during the match. But left and right shoes must be of the same color.
The whole attire of all team members should be in the same symmetry and the same color. Any flashing or lightning material or object is not allowed to be worn. During a match; it is strictly prohibited to show affiliations to any political or religious group or to promote any brand, organization.
Here are some wheelchair basketball facts: There should be 4 quarters in the wheelchair basketball Paralympics game, each should be of 10 minutes. The game should begin with a 20 minutes interval after the scheduling. Between the first and second quarter, third and fourth quarter, there should be a break of 2 minutes, while between the first and second half there should be a break of 15 minutes. Before each overtime, there should be a break of 2 minutes. If the fourth quarter ends with a tie, the game should be continued with overtime of 5 minutes, which are repeated until the tie break.
Status Of Ball During The Basketball Match
During the match, the status of the ball can be regarded as alive or dead. The ball is called live when the crew chief throws the ball on a toss (tap off), during the free throw and throw in.
The ball is considered dead when an official blows the whistle when the ball is live, when the game clock and shot clock gives the sound signal, and after any free throw and goal.
Therefore, the ball is controlled and played by using hands only. It is considered a violation to intentionally push the ball with the wheelchair, block it with any part of the body or wheelchair, and striking it with its fist. A team can control the ball when it is in live status and pass it between teammates. The control on the ball of a team ends when a team member of the opposite team gets access to the ball or the ball becomes dead. If the player touches the floor with any part of his body except his hand or if make the wheelchair deliberately tips while controlling or following the ball, it is considered a violation.
What is a Goal?
When a player throws the live ball to the hoop from above and it passes from the hoop completely or remains in the hoop, this is considered a goal. 1 point is given to the goal made from the free throw, 2 points are given to the goal made from the 2 point field goal area, and 3 points are given to the goal when the throw has been made from the 3 point field goal area. If accidentally a player scores a goal in their team’s basket it is recorded as 2 point goal made by the opponent team’s captain. But if a player intentionally scores a goal in their team’s basket it is considered a violation and no score is count.
In wheelchair basketball; When the coach or assistant coach requests the halting of the match it is termed as a time out. Time out is requested when a ball becomes dead after a successful free throw or when a non-scoring team scores a field goal. Each team is provided with 2 time-outs during the first halves. And 3 time-outs during the second half and 1 time-out during every overtime.
If one of the team is not present at court or failed to gather 5 players within 15 minutes after the wheelchair basketball game scheduled to play or if a team doesn’t start the adapted basketball game after the instructions it is considered a game lost by forfeit. In this case, the win is awarded to the opposite team, and if a team forfeits for the second time in a tournament the team is disqualified from the tournament.
If less than 2 players from a team are ready to play during the game the game is lost. And it is considered a game lost by default. If the awarded team has scored more than that of the team which is lost by default the scoring stops. If the defaulting team scored ahead the 2-0 points should be credited to the awarded team; while the defaulted team should receive 1 classification point.
Dribbling and traveling
When during a match player got full control of a live ball and push, bounce, tap and roll it. Such movement is called dribbling. If in a wheelchair basketball during dribbling a player loses control of the ball accidentally and got it back again; such movement is called fumbling. A player can take one or two pushes while keeping the ball in his lap this is also considered dribbling. If a player takes more than two pushes while keeping the ball under his full control without dribble it; this movement is called traveling.
If a player got full control of the ball then his team member shouldn’t be in the opponent team’s restricted area for more than 3 seconds.
If in the backcourt a player got control of the live ball, or during a throw-in, the ball is legally touched by a player. That ball should move to the frontcourt by the controlling team within 8 seconds.
An attempt for field goal must be shot within 24 seconds by a team; if its player got control of a live ball or a live ball touches a wheelchair or any body part of its member legally.
If a player commits illegal contact with an opponent player, this is called a personal foul. If the victim player is not shooting the ball, the game should be resumed with a throw-in by the non-offending team. And If the victim player is in act of shooting a no of free throws should be awarded based on his position in the field area.
If two players at the same time commit illegal physical contact with each other, this is called a double foul. In case of a double foul, a personal foul should be charged against each player and the game will resume without any free throw.
Any deliberate, repeated, or non-cooperative behavior in violation of any rule during the match is termed as a technical foul. Any unethical or degrading behavior committed by a player to its opponents is considered an unsportsmanlike foul. Technical fouls and unsportsmanlike fouls are charged against offenders and free throws are awarded to victim players. If a player commits 5 fouls in a match, he must be substituted within 30 seconds.
The game of wheelchair basketball or chair basketball game is very popular and refreshing. Its rules are also quite simple and interesting.
One must practice and watch matches to gain a complete grip on the game. There are multiple leagues of the wheelchair basket that conduct tournaments, which are enjoyed by a huge audience. Several seasons and movies are also made on the theme of wheelchair basketball showing the popularity of the game. It allows the disabled person to saw the world in a new revolutionized view full of opportunities.