Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball

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Wheelchair Basketball
Wheelchair Basketball
Wheelchair Basketball
Wheelchair Basketball
Wheelchair Basketball

© London 2012

Hugely popular wheelchair basketball was developed as part of the rehabilitation of World War II veterans. It arrives at the 2012 Paralympics at the Basketball Arena and the North Greenwich Arena. 

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What is Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball?


Wheelchair Basketball is one of the most popular of Paralympic sports and is played in 80 countries throughout the world. The rules are very similar to that of regular Basketball: the court is the same size, the basket the same height, and the scoring system identical. Like in Basketball, players cannot ‘travel’ with the ball, and must bounce or throw the ball after every two pushes of the wheels of their specially-designed titanium chairs (which can costs up to a staggering £3,500). Five players from a squad of 12 are on court at any one time, and each player has a point value corresponding to their impairment and functional ability (1.0 to 4.5). During play, the total on-court value for each team of five players may not exceed 14. A round-robin group preliminary stage will be split between the Basketball Arena and the North Greenwich Arena, before the larger North Greenwich Arena hosts all knock-out and medal games.


Who won Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball gold in Beijing in 2008?


Australia took the men’s gold medal in 2008, beating Canada 72-60 in the final. The ‘Rollers’ blew away all before them on route to the gold, dropping only one game (their last group game against the USA when qualification was already ensured). They comfortably defeated Japan and Great Britain in the quarter and semi-finals respectively before their triumph against the Canadians. Great Britain took the bronze medal after defeating the USA 85-77 in the bronze match.

In the women’s tournament, the USA took gold after a comfortable 50-38 win over Germany in the final. Australia picked up the bronze, beating Japan in the 3rd/4th place playoff, with Great Britain 8th after losing the quarter final and finishing last in the 5th to 8th place classification round.


Do ParalympicsGB have a chance of winning any Wheelchair Basketball medals?


Beijing saw the men’s side take bronze for the second Games in a row, while the women’s team put in some strong performances to finish 8th despite being drawn in a ‘group of death’ with Australia, Germany and the USA. Since then, both GB teams developed new players and the teams go into London with a fair number of Paralympic debutants. These include youngsters Laurie Williams and Amy Conroy for the women. Both teams have retained some experience, though, with Simon Munn on target to compete at his 6th Paralympic Games and Terry Bywater ready to appear at his 4th. For the women, Clare Strange is a stalwart for the team and London will be her 4th Games. Since Beijing, the GB men have won gold at the BT Paralympic World Cup in 2010 and also secured silver in 2012. The women’s team won gold in 2011. The men’s team are targeting a medal at London 2012 and the women have also set themselves the ambitious target of securing their highest-ever ranking.


Where is the Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball?


The London 2012 Paralympics Basketball competition promises to pull in the crowds at the Olympic Park's Basketball Arena and the North Greenwich Arena in the River Zone from Thursday 30th August to Saturday 8th September. For more information take a look at our handy Paralympic venue map. A round-robin group preliminary stage will be split between both venues, before the larger North Greenwich Arena hosts all knock-out and medal games.


When is Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball?


The Wheelchair Basketball takes place on Thursday 30th August to Saturday 8th September with medal events on the 7th and 8th September. See our Paralympics Day-by-Day Guide for the full schedule of events.


How do I get to the Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball at the Basketball Arena and the North Greenwich Arena?


The Basketball Arena is located in the Olympic Park. There are numerous options when travelling to the Olympic Park. Driving is not advised due to high levels of traffic and restricted parking - limited, pre-booked parking will be available for disabled spectators. There are various public transport options. Delivering passengers from St Pancras to Stratford International in just seven minutes, the Olympic Javelin high-speed train shuttle service will take up to an estimated 25,000 travellers per hour. National Rail, Docklands Light Railway and London Overground will run trains to Stratford, Stratford International and West Ham.
There are two London Underground stations that service the Olympic Park - Stratford and West Ham. The North Greenwich Arena is located south of the Park, on the banks of the River Thames. It is accessible via North Greenwich Underground station and also via the brand new Emirates Air Line cable car, which transports passengers from the Greenwich Peninsula to Royal Victoria Docks on the other side of the Thames.


How do I get tickets for Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball?


Tickets can be purchased from More than 2.1 million of the 2.5 million available tickets have already been sold - organisers are claiming this could be the first Paralympics to sell out in the 52 year history of the Games. Twitter users could start following @2012TicketAlert, an unofficial feed set up during the Olympics which runs a check on the official site every three minutes and tweets every time a ticket becomes available.


What are the disability divisions for Paralympic wheelchair basketball?


The Wheelchair Basketball competition is open to athletes with a permanent physical impairment in the lower limbs, which can be objectively verified. Impairments may include paraplegia, lower limb amputations, cerebral palsy and polio. Not all players are daily wheelchair users, so athletes can be ambulant. Classification is based on a player’s functional capacity to complete the skills necessary to play. This includes pushing, pivoting, shooting, rebounding, dribbling, passing and catching. Players are classified by a points system from 1 to 4.5, with higher classification numbers representing those with the least physical impairment such as a lower limb permanent injury. During a match a team must field five players whose cumulative classification does not exceed 14.0 points.


When did wheelchair basketball first appear at the Paralympics?


Wheelchair basketball has been a fixture of the Paralympic Games since the first Games in Rome in 1960. The game was first played by injured World War II soldiers in the USA adapted the running game to wheelchairs.





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