In the field of team sport wheelchair basketball is the most successful and popular Paralympic sport in Germany.
There are about 2000 registered athletes playing in the German league system, but together with players in recreation centers and other informal environments there are actually a lot more.
The league system in Germany is very similar to a number of others in Europe. There are a number of different levels from the regional leagues up to the Bundesliga (RBBL). In some cases there are up to six different leagues in the region depending on the region.
Although there is a big national league, currently there is no special junior league because of the few numbers of players of this age in the country, but in some regions there are what are known as beginner leagues to help develop players.
In the highest German class the Championship title is determined through a playoff system where the top four teams in the Bundesliga compete for the title following the regular league season. The German top teams also play in different international competitions organized by IWBF Europe.
The sport has experienced an enormous development on both the physical and athletic level during the last few years. Intense training units are a main part of it, plus the attractiveness and speed of the sport has grown. It is also attracting more and more spectators than years before, especially in the RBBL which is probably the strongest league in Europe at the moment. It also receives great media interest, who are now regularly reporting on wheelchair basketball.
The leagues, clubs and the national team are all responsible for their own marketing and they also have ensure they secure sponsorship for themselves. Therefore they offer services in return in the free economy.
The teams of the RBBL are the pioneers. “If you have a professional presentation, you can be competitive with regards to regular sports.” explains Andreas Joneck, German Wheelchair Basketball Public Relations.
Furthermore there is a specific department for wheelchair basketball in Germany called Fachbereich Rollstuhlbasketball (FA), they have launched a campaign to establish wheelchair basketball nationwide as a sport where disabled and non-disabled people can exercise together. The FA is the supreme body of the sport.
The aim and the ambition for the future of the sport in Germany is to gain even more media attention and interest.