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Wheelchair Basketball

Aug 14, 2008
Those who are mobility challenged might in some ways feel that they are limited in the places they can go and the things they can do, but there is no reason to accept these limitations and many people do not. There are many mobility products available, like wheelchairs and stair lifts, that make it possible to go to many places freely and without assistance. Many people take this philosophy one step farther and engage in sports like wheelchair basketball.

Wheelchair basketball is a sport that is over 60 years old. Due to advances in medical technology, like the discovery of penicillin, many veterans survived World War II with amputations and spinal cord injuries.

Prior to World War II, most severe spinal cord injuries and injuries that resulted in amputation usually resulted in death, often as a result of infection. In fact only 20% of seriously wounded soldiers wounded in World War I survived to make it home. This number was basically inversed during World War II and close to 90% of severely wounded soldiers survived.

Wheelchair design also greatly improved during this time with the premier of the folding steel tube E&J wheelchair. This chair allowed for easy transport and was a big step up from the bulky and blocky wooden chairs that were used prior to this. They could also be created relatively inexpensively and helped make wheelchairs available to everyone, and not just the privileged.

As the number of those who were disabled and relied on wheelchairs rose during the 1940's, many veterans began looking for ways to stay active and find enjoyment. Wheelchair bowling became popular, as did wheelchair basketball, both of which as still played today.

Wheelchair basketball has rules that are similar to traditional basketball. A 10 feet basketball goal is used, as is a full sized basketball court, but there are several differences. A player can hold the ball without dribbling, but they can not touch their wheels more than twice without passing the ball or bouncing it, they must forfeit control to the other team. Also if the player tips over and makes contact with the ground, or tips backwards far enough that their anti-tip wheels make contact with the ground, control of the ball is given to the other team.

One of the other differences in wheelchair basketball is a special player classification system that is used to make the teams as fair as possible. Each player is rated on a scale of 1 to 4.5, with 1 being individuals with the highest level of disability. During a game the total number of points for the five men on the court can not exceed 14. In some places non-disabled people are allowed to play as well and they are given a rating of 5 points.

While going out and playing basketball is not for everyone, it is important to stay active and find hobbies and interests that make you happy. There is no reason to feel like you are overly limited just because you use a wheelchair.
About the Author
Sean Noughtly, a writer, knows that finding something that you enjoy doing that is positive is very important for all types of people. Wheelchair basketball is one of the many sports that people who use wheelchairs participate in. If you are interested in learning about home mobility equipment, like manual wheelchair lifts for your vehicle, visit AmeriGlide
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