Following the directive from the Dubai Government that the 2022 IWBF World Championships can no longer take place in November 2022, the new dates for the Championships will be the 9-20 June 2023 (Dates for teams’ arrivals and departures 5-21 June 2023 inclusive).

IWBF understands and shares the shock and disappointment of the late notice of this decision.

In December 2019, the United Arab Emirates were awarded the privilege to host the IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championships following an extensive bidding process. After three years of preparation, the Dubai Sports Council instructed the Local Organising Committee (LOC) that they would no longer be able to host the event in November 2022. This information was communicated to IWBF on 30 August 2022.

This was not an instruction restricted only to our wheelchair basketball event but has a wider bearing on other sporting events also scheduled to take place at this time, for example, the Dubai Marathon has also been postponed.

All available alternative options were considered, such as a change of location and different dates. Aspects taken into account for a change of location were the scale of the World Championships (28 teams, 6 courts, accessible accommodation and transport for over 600 participants including players, staff, ITOs etc.), in addition to the increased financial implications to teams and federations. For different dates there was the need to consider the least disruption to domestic leagues, European club competition, Ramadan, and the requirement the World Championships must take place before any Zonal Championships to determine the distribution of qualification spots between zonal qualifiers and the Repechage tournament for Paris 2024. Considering all these factors the IWBF Executive Council unanimously voted to postpone to the new dates listed above as the best suitable option.

IWBF President, Ulf Mehrens, said:

“IWBF recognises and truly regrets the impact that the postponement has on players, team preparations and the reverberations it has on some domestic leagues. We apologise for the inconvenience to not only the teams, but also the friends, families and supporters of wheelchair basketball planning to attend.

“We have endeavoured to find a balance to safeguard the delivery of a successful World Championships that will facilitate the best performances of players and teams as well as cause the least disruption to the world calendar in the unprecedented circumstances that we have found ourselves in.”

Erica Gavel, interim Chair of the IWBF Players’ Commission said:

“We, the IWBF Players’ Commission, are extremely disappointed about the recent postponement of the 2022 World Championships. We know that athletes dedicate their lives around these type of major tournaments – specifically from a training, family, and career perspective, which makes this extremely difficult for all people involved. As a Players’ Commission, we will work with the IWBF to ensure the rearranged World Championships will meet and/or exceed athlete expectations, and additional strategies are in place moving forward. If players have any suggestions or needs surrounding this matter, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we will do our best to be able to support you.”


Classification Eligibility

IWBF is in the process of an approach to the IPC to grant an exception to the Transition Period to ensure that players who would have been covered by the initial transition period, and allowed to play until 31 December 2022, can still participate in the World Championships on the new dates.

Competition Calendar

The shortened Paralympic cycle already means a condensed calendar, nonetheless IWBF will endeavour to ensure upcoming World events, not already scheduled, are placed in the best possible way to limit the impact on the international calendar.

Reimbursement of Costs

The Local Organising Committee have committed to reimburse or purchase new flights for teams, officials, and congress members where flights are non-refundable and were booked prior to IWBF’s notification of the postponement of the Championships.

Unfortunately, this does not extend to friends, families and supporters. Similarly to most other events, not just sporting events, there is always a risk of cancellation or postponement and in the unfortunate situation this does occur, it is unlikely to be able to claim back additional expenses such as travel or hotel accommodation unless covered by their own travel insurance. However, if supporters do require any official documentation that may assist insurance/rebooking claims this can be arranged.

There will be a significant reduction on the negotiated rates for additional team members, congress members, media, friends and family from the November 2022 price rates.

IWBF World Congress and Forum

The IWBF World Congress and Forum which was scheduled to be held alongside the World Championships in November is under review by legal experts to confirm if it can be rearranged to June 2023.