Wheelchair Basketball: 12 Facts for London 201211.06.2012
Here’s a list of 12 interesting things you should know about Wheelchair Basketball at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
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"IPC President Sir Philip Craven was formerly a Wheelchair Basketball player for Great Britain, having participated in five Paralympic Games in the sport from 1972 to 1988."
1. Who, what, when?
The world’s top 12 men’s and top 10 women’s Wheelchair Basketball teams will compete with 12 players each from 30 August – 8 September.
The London 2012 Wheelchair Basketball event will be held at both the Basketball Arena and North Greenwich Arena. The initial group phase will take place at both venues with the playoff action being held at the latter.
Wheelchair Basketball was developed by American World War II veterans as part of their rehabilitation programme and is practiced in more than 80 countries today.
4. History at the Games
Wheelchair Basketball has featured at every Paralympic Games since Rome 1960, with the women’s competition being added at the Tel Aviv 1968 Games.
Players are assigned point values based on their functional ability from 1.0 for the least physically functional to 4.5 for the most physically functional. During play, the total on-court point value for each team of five cannot exceed 14.
6. High cost
Top Wheelchair Basketball players use specially designed titanium chairs that cost more than 3,500 pounds sterling and can last for as little as six months during periods of high-level competition.
7. Basics of play
Wheelchair Basketball uses similar rules to the able-bodied game with the same size court and basket at the same height. Players are required to throw or bounce the ball after every two pushes of their wheels.
8. Competition format
In London, the teams are divided into two groups, with the top four men’s and top four women’s teams from the group stage qualifying for the quarter-finals, at which point the knockout rounds begin.
9. Ones to watch
On the men’s side, look out for defending Paralympic gold medallists Australia, as well as Canada. In the women’s competition, USA will have a tough time defending its Paralympic title against the likes of Germany and Canada.
10. Gold haul
USA’s men’s programme has won Wheelchair Basketball gold a record five times, while on the women’s side, both USA and Canada have finished atop the podium three times each.
11. President on court
IPC President Sir Philip Craven was formerly a Wheelchair Basketball player for Great Britain, having participated in five Paralympic Games in the sport from 1972 to 1988.
12. World’s best?
Everybody’s saying it – that Canada’s Patrick Anderson is arguably the top Wheelchair Basketball player in the world, and potentially the best to have ever played the game.