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Team Navy Road to the Warrior Games Sport of the Week #11 – Wheelchair Basketball

August 16, 2021 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command

WASHINGTON -- In this weekly series, we will explore each of the twelve sports that will be featured during the 2021 Warrior Games: archery, cycling, field, golf, indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting (precision air sports), sitting volleyball, swimming, track, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.

During week eleven, we are focusing on wheelchair basketball. Wheelchair basketball is one of three team sports events at the 2021 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games.

To any aspiring or avid basketball, the phrase, “It’s all in the wrist,” is a fundamental concept on how to shoot a basketball the right way. This is especially true for wheelchair basketball players.

Just because players are sitting in wheelchairs doesn’t mean they get to change one of the most iconic parts of the game. At least once every two pushes of the wheelchair, players must dribble the ball on the ground. To achieve maximum agility, athletes are strapped into their chairs so that with any slight movement, the wheelchair will react with them.

The fast-paced and frenetic sport, requires hand-eye coordination and stamina. In the 60 years since its debut, wheelchair basketball is a staple sport to watch during the Paralympic Games.


From the explaining the sport’s origin and competition style, here are a list of four facts to know.

  1. Sport’s Origin: The sport originated in the 1940s in the United States by World War II veterans. Many amateur basketball players suffered injuries from serving in the armed forces and developed wheelchair basketball in order to continue playing a sport they loved.
  2. Paralympic History: Wheelchair basketball has been featured in every Paralympic Games since its introduction in 1960. Women started playing in the Paralympic Games during the 1968 games in Tel Aviv, Israel.
  3. Warrior Games Competition Style: During the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games, the wheelchair basketball teams consist of a maximum of 10 athletes of either the same or combined genders across three classification categories: minimum, moderate and maximum. Service teams can field no more than five athletes, and no more than four of any one classification category, on the court at the same time. The tournament consists of pool and bracket play to determine which teams contest for the bronze and gold medals. 
  4. How Different is Abe-Bodied Body Basketball from Wheelchair Basketball? With a few small exceptions, the rules are the same between Wheelchair basketball and able-bodied basketball. The court, hoop, and backboard are all the same dimensions. Like the able-bodied version, free throws resulting from a foul are one point, baskets from within the three-point line are two points and baskets outside the three-point line are three points.


Follow along on Team Navy's Road to the Warrior Games on the official Team Navy webpageFacebook, and Instagram, and join us in cheering for the team at the 2021 Warrior Games!


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