Basics of Classification in wheelchair basketball
To play wheelchair basketball at an international level (i.e. for your country at an IWBF competition) you must meet both the following criteria:
- Have one of the following Eligible Impairments: Impaired Muscle Power, Impaired Passive Range of Movement, Limb Deficiency, Leg Length Difference, Hypertonia, Ataxia or Athetosis. (These Eligible Impairments are defined by the IPC Athlete Classification Code and Players must have an accepted Underlying Health Condition also defined within the IPC Classification Code)
- Meet the sports’ Minimum Impairment Criteria (MIC) for their Eligible Impairment. (the MIC can be found in the IWBF 2021 Player Classification Rules)
For more information regarding the implementation of the new 2021 Classification Rules read our Frequently Asked Questions.
Player Evaluation Process
A Player must go through the Player Evaluation process to confirm they meet both of these before they are able to be assessed to have a sports class allocated. Click here for further information on the Player Evaluation.
The new Player Evaluation process is part of the new Classification Rules that came into effect on 1 October 2021 which also included the new Minimum Impairment Criteria. To ensure all internationally classified players meet the new MIC, all players (including those already internationally classified) will be required to go through Stage 2 & Stage 3 of the Player Evaluation Process. Further information on the process of reassessment for already internationally classified players can be found here.
- Player Evaluation for New Players
- Player Evaluation for Review Transition Players (internationally classified players with eligible impairment confirmed prior to 1 October 2021)
Sports Class Allocation
Sport Class is based on the players’ functional capacity to complete the skills necessary to play – pushing, pivoting, shooting, rebounding, dribbling, passing and catching. It is not an assessment of a player’s level of skill, merely their functional capacity to complete the task. In particular, the trunk movement and stability observed during these actual basketball situations form the basis for the assignment of a player to a particular class.
Players are assigned points as their classification – 1, 2, 3, and 4 are the recognized classes, with 0.5 classes between for the exceptional cases which do not fit exactly into one class, and the 4.5 category for the player with the least disability.
Volume of Action
Classes are defined according to players’ “volume of action”. Each class has a clearly defined maximal volume of action, which the player may exhibit. The volume of action refers to the extremes to which a player’s trunk stability will allow them to reach, without holding on to the wheelchair, before overbalancing.
Each class has characteristics unique to that class, which are used by the classifier. These characteristics are evident in each of the basketball skills observed as part of the classification process.
The total number of points allowed on court at any time is 14.0. That is, the total points of all five players actually playing. If a coach allows the team to have over 14.0 points, they will incur a technical foul on the bench.
For further information on the Classification Rules for the sport please refer to the Player Classification Rules and Manual (Links below).