Wheelchair basketball has featured in every Games since its introduction in 1960.
The sport is very similar to able-bodied basketball. The court, the hoop and the backboard are
all the same dimensions. Each team consists of 12 players, with five
on court at any one time. Players are classified on a points system
from 1 to 4.5 – the higher the number the lower the impairment.
Each team cannot exceed a total of 14 points on the court at any time.
Players must not “travel” with the ball and are required to throw or bounce it after
every two pushes on their wheels. Like the able-bodied version, free throws
resulting from a foul, score one point; field goals within the three point line score two
points and for all baskets scored outside three points are awarded.
Fouls occur when a player or their wheelchair comes into contact with an opponent. Each game consists of 4 periods of ten minutes. Extra periods of 5 minutes are played if scores
are tied at the end of regular time. Players use light-weight easy-to-manoeuvre
wheelchairs. The chair is comprised of one or two small
wheels at the front, two large wheels at the back – set outward at a slant to ensure
balance and stability. Players are strapped into the chair so any
slight movement will see the wheelchair react with you to achieve maximum agility.
This is a fast-paced and frenetic sport requiring eye-hand co-ordination and stamina.