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    Wheelchair basketball classification

    Two women in wheelchairs, playing basketball, fighting for the ball Marina Mohnen in a match against the USA durng the London 2012 Paralympic Games. © • IPC

    This is a brief overview of the sport and is in no way legally binding. In all cases the sport specific classification rules will take precedence. Should this page be out of date please contact [email protected].

    Eligible impairment types:

    Impaired muscle power


    Impaired passive range of movement


    Limb deficiency


    Leg length difference

    Sport classes:

    Wheelchair basketball players are allocated one of eight sport classes from 1.0 to 4.5. Sport class 1.0 describes the most significant activity limitation.

    All athletes compete in a wheelchair and have an impairment affecting their legs or feet. Players, for example, have amputations or paraplegia. Not all the players are wheelchair users in daily life.

    While most athletes have normal arm and hand function, the main differences between athletes of different sport classes are trunk control and sitting balance, which allows them to lean forward and sideways to catch and pass the ball:

    Sport class 1.0

    Players in sport class 1.0 have no trunk control and thus cannot bend forward or sideways or rotate to catch and pass the ball. To keep a stable position, the backrest of the wheelchair is a bit higher and the athletes are strapped to the wheelchair.

    Sport class 2.0

    These players can lean forward and rotate their body to some extent, allowing them to catch the ball within a larger radius. Like their team members in sport class 1.0, their wheelchairs have a higher backrest and strapping for trunk support.

    Sport class 3.0

    This profile describes players who can fully rotate and lean forward, but cannot lean to the sides. As they do not need sitting support, their wheelchair has a low backrest.

    Sport class 4.0

    While 4.0 players can move forward and rotate like their team members in sport class 3.0, they can partially lean to the sides as well. Often players in this sport class can lean to one side only, for example, because an impairment in one leg would cause a loss of balance to the other side.

    Sport class 4.5

    Players in this sport class have the least eligible impairment and have no restriction in trunk rotation or leaning forward or sideways. Players with a foot amputation or a 6 cm leg length difference would be eligible for this sport class.

    An athlete can also be allocated the sport classes 1.5, 2.5 or 3.5. The activity profile of these “half-pointers” fit in between the profiles of the lower and higher class.

    Sport-technical rules

    Each team of five players is only allowed to have 14 points on the field of play at the same time.

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