A transition period until 30 September 2021 for any players deemed non-eligible in the Classification Reassessment Process, currently being undertaken by IWBF, has not been approved by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board.
The proposed transition period would have allowed players deemed non-eligible in the reassessment process the chance to play in a number of competitions that fall under IWBF jurisdiction scheduled before the 30 September 2021, which would include the postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the European Championships for Men Division B, and the Men’s U23 European Championships.
An initial transition period request had been refused by IPC in January 2020, primarily based on administrative inaccuracies and misjudgement of the appropriate procedures, and IWBF felt that players should not be impacted because of this. Therefore, following consultation with IWBF’s member federations and players, IWBF again approached IPC in January 2021 asking them to reconsider granting a transitional period for players impacted by the Classification Reassessment Process.
A comprehensive transition proposal was submitted to the IPC Governing Board at the end of February 2021 for consideration by the IPC Governing Board at their Board meeting in March, where the decision was made to not approve the renewed request for a transition period. IPC communicated this decision to IWBF on Thursday 8 April 2021.
IWBF President, Ulf Mehrens, said:
“It was our hope and desire to try to find a solution that allowed the impacted players the option to compete at the postponed 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games or any of the other relevant competitions, with the support of the IPC. However, this has not transpired.
“We understand this news will be immensely disappointing for all concerned and we wholeheartedly feel for our players who will not have the opportunity to now compete in these scheduled competitions due to the reassessments.”
As stated in all previous communication, IWBF continues to be committed to modifying all the IWBF Classification Regulations and Rules to align with the IPC’s Athlete Classification Code and become compliant by the 31 August 2021 deadline stipulated by the IPC, to allow the sport of wheelchair basketball to remain in the Paralympic movement and be reinstated onto the sport programme for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.