Due to the impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the world and all sports, IWBF Executive Council have reviewed and decided on necessary alterations to the international calendar for the next two years which include the dates for the 2021 Men’s U23 World Championship and the 2022 World Championships.

As the global situation and response to coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves, IWBF have been closely monitoring the developments and there has been continuous discussion and consultation with the Local Organising Committees (LOCs) of both the 2021 Men’s U23 World Championship and the 2022 World Championships. Changes in the wheelchair basketball calendar, such as the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, will have an affect on the host of these competitions, the qualification events, and the teams’ preparation.

Following the IWBF Executive Council Conference call on Saturday 4th April 2020, the subsequent solutions have been agreed upon:

Dates of the 2021 Men’s U23 World Championship – Chiba, Japan

Having considered the rearrangement of the Summer Paralympic Games to the new dates in August 2021, IWBF are working with the LOC in Japan to change the Men’s U23 World Championship to December 2021 (awaiting confirmation).

The aim of the new date is to cause the least disruption to the programme and allow for the maximum amount of time to complete the qualification events in the zones.

Qualification for the 2022 World Championships

The IWBF Executive Council noted the pressure the revised dates of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games will put on the Zonal qualification events for the 2022 World Championships. For that reason, the Executive Council decided to suspend the introduction of the repechage qualification system for the 2022 World Championships. This is to provide our zones plenty of opportunity to host qualification events for the World Championships in Dubai.

Following the 2022 World Championships, the repechage tournament, which was agreed upon by members at the 2018 World Congress, will be reinstated and provide the final opportunity for teams from each zone to qualify for the Paris 2024 Summer Paralympic Games. The regulations have been amended to reflect this late alteration and be found in the updated IWBF Handbook.

Dates of the 2022 World Championships – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

IWBF is also in dialogue with the LOC for the 2022 World Championships with regards to finalising dates. The likelihood (not confirmed) is that the Championships will take place in November 2022. This is to cater for the average temperatures in Dubai and again provide enough time for Zonal qualification events.

IWBF Chair of Competition Commission, Charlie Bethel, said:

“Although the exact dates are yet to be confirmed, we wanted to provide all our federations and athletes with the proposed changes as soon as possible to assist with their long-term planning.

“On behalf of the IWBF Executive Council, I would like to thank all our zones and NOWB’s for their understanding and support with regards to these adjustments as we know it may impact on some NOWB’s ‘usual league dates’ and competition schedule. However these are unprecedented times we are facing, which is much bigger than our sport, and we believe some slight modifications to the calendar will ease the pressures on all involved.”

The final dates of all competitions will be published as soon as they have been confirmed.