Wheelchair Basketball

Ian Sagar of Britain in action with Morteza Abedi and Mohammad Nezhad of Iran. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

What's it all about?

“We the North! We the North!” If you’ve let loose chanting this for the Raptors then we got next! If you’re into intense hoop-shooting action, wheelchair basketball is for you!

How it's played

Things to watch for

a female athlete tilts her wheelchair onto one wheel to try and read for the ball in the lap of another athlete
Cindy Ouellet tilts her wheelchair as she fights for the ball with Long Yuan of China at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Ueslei Marcellino/Reuters)
  • When a player will go up on one wheel of their chair in order to get more height for blocking, to get rebounds and to make shots. 
  • This takes a lot of strength and great skill!
an athlete bumps his wheelchair into his opponent to try and block him
Shaun Norris of Australia and Mitsugu Chiwaki of Japan in action at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
Cutting-edge wheelchairs
  • The wheelchairs used in the sport are very specialized. 
  • Not only are they made from titanium to be super strong, but the wheels are also angled for quick turns. 
  • They have a front bumper designed to not lock up with their opponent.
a female athlete holds the basketball in her lap as she pushes her wheelchair forward on the court
Mariska Beijer of the Netherlands holds the ball on her lap at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)
Lap ball
  • Athletes can put the ball in their lap while in motion. 
  • But once the ball is in their lap they can only push the wheels of their chair two times or they will get a “travelling” call from the referee.