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
The teams: Teams of 12 players (with only five players from each team on the court at a time) go head-to-head to battle it out for gold!
The match: Same as running basketball — four quarters of 10 minutes for a total of 40 minutes.
The equipment: Basketball shorts, jersey, shoes, a high-performance wheelchair, a basketball and two baskets.
The play: When a team has the ball they have 24 seconds to shoot it into the other team’s net and score. If they don’t score in 24 seconds, the other team gets the ball. It’s a fast-paced game (check out the photos below)!
The points: Shots made within the three-point arc area are worth two points. If a player makes a shot from downtown (anywhere outside of the three-point arc line), they get three points. Throws made from the free-throw line by a fouled player are worth one point. The team with the most points after four quarters wins!
The athletes: It’s about teamwork! And knowing when it’s best to take it to the hoop or pass. They also need loads of stamina (a lot of energy for long periods of time) and incredible upper body strength!
Did you know: Players use specially designed wheelchairs that usually need to be replaced after only six months of heavy use. Wheelchair basketball is so intense that it causes a lot of damage, wear and tear to the wheelchairs!
Things to watch for
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.