The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) have collaborated with The Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom for their assistance to develop the new format of the 3x3 discipline within wheelchair basketball.

Together with investment from Loughborough University, IWBF tasked the centre to provide clear evidence, so an informed decision could be made, about which game format should be employed by IWBF to complement its World Championship programme and to provide an option for the inclusion of wheelchair basketball at world major events such as the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

At the quadrennial IWBF Forum in August, The Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport will present their findings to representatives of national organisations governing wheelchair basketball from across the world.

It was essential for IWBF to select a format that would support development across the world, provide a sporting spectacle and a competitive opportunity that will push athletes to excel.  The centre developed a testing protocol to provide an evidence base of physical and technical demands on players as well as qualitative research taking stakeholder perceptions of various formats into account.

Led by the Chairman of IWBF’s Competition Commission, Charlie Bethel explained, “We had identified 3x3 as a format of competition that has had an incredible impact on the running game with FIBA, in wheelchair basketball, however, 3x3 was being played in a variety of formats, all with strong advocates. We wanted to make sure that we selected a system that worked logistically, would market wheelchair basketball and most importantly be true to the sport in how it is played.  We are confident that we have selected the best format for the sport and it will help to drive our sport forward.”

IWBF’s Executive Council approved the half-court version of 3x3, mirroring the system used by FIBA, and the new Regulations and Rules to support this format will be presented at the IWBF Forum, with a period for review.

The findings of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport provided detailed information on both perceptions, technical and physical attributes of the different formats considered.  This was complemented with further research and discussion around delivery and development opportunities.

This was a global piece of work with a collaboration between Loughborough University, The University of British Columbia and students from The Netherlands. British Wheelchair Basketball very kindly provided athletes for the testing at the birthplace of the Paralympic Games, Stoke Mandeville.