The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) is delighted with the news and would like to congratulate Birmingham, England on being awarded the rights to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
The decision will mean that wheelchair basketball is set to make its debut at the Commonwealth Games in 3×3 format.
IWBF’s Executive Council Member and Chairman of the Competition Commission, Charlie Bethel, welcomed the announcement saying, “This news means that wheelchair basketball should be in the Commonwealth Games for the first time in its long history, having featured in the bid proposal from the city. Whilst there is still a long way to go in the planning, we do know the format of the competition will be 3×3.”
“IWBF has been working closely with partners including The Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport and Loughborough University, together with British Wheelchair Basketball in refining the 3×3 regulations for wheelchair basketball.”
The 3×3 version of basketball has already been very successful in the running game, resulting in FIBA recently achieving inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for the format.
Bethel explained, “As we have seen with FIBA, the 3×3 format provides an opportunity for more countries, who are not usually seen in the top rankings, to be competitive and become successful.”
It is proposed that Birmingham’s Victoria Square would transform into a sporting and cultural landmark for the Games, with the city centre location becoming the venue for 3×3 Basketball and 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball. Set against the historic backdrop of the Council House and Town Hall, 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball would take place in the open-air of Victoria Square, showcasing the city as well as the youngest Commonwealth Games sport.
Birmingham has an established track record of hosting wheelchair basketball events as the host city for the U23 Men’s World Championships in 2005 and the World Championships for Men and Women in 2010.
Bethel continued, “Birmingham was such a welcoming city, one which demonstrated great accessibility and commitment through the City Council, volunteers and public. I have no doubt that it will be a fantastic Games and on behalf of IWBF, I would like to pass on our congratulations to Birmingham on being selected as the host city.”