Wheelchair Basketball

Organizing Play

Students with disabilities can have great fun participating in Hoops For Heart. Many students with disabilities can play in a tournament format. Be sure they're evenly represented among the teams. If you have participants in wheelchairs, consider a wheelchair tournament. If many of your students have severe limitations, format your event around skill games or conduct them simultaneously with tournament play. Many participants without disabilities may enjoy these games, too. Adapt your skill games so your students will feel successful. For example, lengthen or eliminate time limits and reduce distances between participants for passing games.

With few exceptions, the rules of wheelchair basketball are identical to the rules established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Exceptions to NCAA rules are made to facilitate play in situations unique to wheelchair basketball. For a complete set of rules, contact the National Wheelchair Basketball Association at www.nwba.org.

A few exceptions
  • Traveling - A player may hold the ball while executing one or two pushes on his or her wheels. A push is made when either forward or backward force is exerted upon the wheel (by one or both hands). When a player with the ball takes more than two consecutive pushes (without dribbling, passing or shooting), a traveling violation is called.
  • Tilting or Falling - A violation is called when a player who is touching the ball tilts, leans or falls in a direction to the extent that the hands, feet, body, wheelchair footrests or wheelchair anti-tip (safety) casters touch the floor.
  • Physical Advantage Foul - A player must remain firmly seated in the wheelchair at all times. Raising from the seat or using a functional leg (or stump) to gain an advantage results in a physical advantage foul. This infraction is treated as a technical foul.
  • Five-Second Lane Violations - A player may remain up to five seconds in the free-throw lane while the ball is in control of his or her team in the front court. Remaining in the lane more than five seconds is a violation.
  • Double-dribbling - There is no double-dribble rule in wheelchair basketball, so grasping or holding the ball does not prevent subsequent dribbles. This makes changing sides of the dribble a relatively simple task since no crossover dribble is required. The player must be careful, however, to push on one or both wheels. Taking a third consecutive push is a traveling violation.

Wheelchair Basketball Handling Skills