|Athlete playing wheelchair basketball|
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association offers six levels of competition:
- Division I, Division II, Division III, Women's Division,
- Intercollegiate Division, and Junior's Division (ages 6 to 21). Females are allowed to play on teams in any of the divisions.
The Junior Division offers three levels of play: Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Prep. Varsity and Junior Varsity are played according to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules with few variations. Prep is played with an 8.5-foot basket and no shot clock and is designed as an entry-level opportunity for youth just learning about the sport.
Very few rules differ from the NCAA rules that govern the non-disabled game. The chair is considered part of the body. The rule modifications include: there is no double dribble, a player is allowed 4 rather than 3 seconds in the free throw lane and a player must dribble the ball once for every two pushes, otherwise it is a traveling violation.
During sanctioned competition (except in the junior division), each player is assigned a point value from 1-3, based on his or her level of ability. A description of the three classes is as follows:
- Class I: Complete motor loss at T-7 or above or comparable disability where there is a total loss of muscular function originating at or above T-7.
- Class II: Complete motor loss between T-8 through L-2 where there may be useful motor power of hips (hip flexors, hip adductors); however, where there is no useful motor power of the lower extremities. Hip flexors may muscle test grade good (4); hip adductors may muscle test grad fair (3); and quadriceps may muscle test grade poor (2).
- Class III: All other physical disabilities as related to lower-extremity paralysis or paresis originating at L-3 or below. Included in this class are lower-extremity amputees with manual muscle test grades of good (4) to normal (5) motor power of the pelvis and the residual limb.
Who Can Participate
Wheelchair basketball is available to athletes in the following categories:
- spinal cord injured/wheelchair
- cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke
- les autres
- Basketball Factsheet - http://www.ncpad.org/5/6/Basketball
- Wheelchair Basketball Video-enabled Factsheet: http://www.ncpad.org/402/2211/Wheelchair~Basketball