In this sport, athletes play basketball while sitting in wheelchairs. During games, players use specially designed wheelchairs that allow them to make quick movements and turn easily. Wheelchair basketball is the same as regular basketball in terms of the number of team members (five players from each team are allowed on the court at any given time), the area of the court, and the height of the basketball hoops. However, the rules for wheelchair basketball differ in some aspects, having been determined in consideration of the fact that the athletes are sitting in wheelchairs. For example, in wheelchair basketball, it is a travelling violation to make more than two pushes on the wheels without dribbling the ball.
Wheelchair basketball applies a point allotment system that allows players with different levels of impairment to make up a team. Players are assigned points according to their classification in 0.5-point increments. For example, 4.5 points are allocated to a player with minimal impairment, and 1.0 to a player with the most severe impairment. The total number of points of all five players on the court must be 14 or less. During a game, players often get close to each other resulting in physical contact between their wheelchairs. Therefore, the wheelchairs used in this sport are equipped with a bumper projecting from the front of the wheelchair (11cm above the floor) to protect the player's legs, and, in addition, are designed not to damage the floor if they topple over.
Wheelchair basketball originated in the US and the UK in the 1940s after World War II. In the US, wheelchair basketball was first played mainly by war veterans with an impairment, before gaining more widespread popularity. Around the same time, in the UK, this sport was reportedly introduced as a type of rehabilitation programme. Wheelchair basketball has been an official sport since the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960.
Limb deficiency (lower limb impairment)
As of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
Courtesy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Preparation (as of January 2016)
- Ariake Arena
- Musashino Forest Sport Plaza