Wheelchair basketball at the Rio 2016 Paralympics: All you need to know

Paralympic Games on the BBC
Venue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: 7-18 September Time in Rio: BST -4
Coverage: Follow on Radio 5 live and via live text commentary.
Great Britain's Terry Bywater in wheelchair basketball action at London 2012
Great Britain's men's team finished fourth at London 2012 but have won three successive European titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015

How does it work?

Wheelchair basketball has been one of the mainstays of the Paralympics since the first Games in Rome in 1960.

It is similar in many ways to the running game - the court is the same size and the the basket is the same height, each team consists of five players and a team has 24 seconds from taking possession of the ball to complete an attempt on the basket.

The scoring system is the same too - one point for a free-throw, two for a field basket and three for a shot made behind the three point line.

Matches consist of four quarters of 10 minutes each.

Players move the ball around the court by passing or dribbling. A dribble is when a player bounces the ball and pushes their chair simultaneously or, places the ball on their lap and takes up to two pushes of the chair before bouncing the ball again.

Players are required to throw or bounce the ball after every two pushes of the wheels on their chairs to avoid being penalised for 'travelling'.

A player who commits five personal fouls must be replaced in the game by another player.

The sport is open to athletes with a permanent physical impairment. However, not all players are daily wheelchair users.

All players are given a points total from 1.0 (the most impaired) up to 4.5 (the least impaired) and this is based on an athlete's functional ability to complete all skills necessary to play the game.

Each squad can consist of up to 12 players, with only five players on the court at any one time. To ensure fair play on both sides, the points total of all five players on a team must not exceed a combined total of 14.0 points to rule out any physical advantage on either side.

Who are the British medal hopes?

The GB men go into the competition having finished fourth at London 2012 but the winners of three European titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015. The team won bronze in Beijing and will look to the likes of Terry Bywater, Abdi Jama and newcomer Phil Pratt to get on the medal podium again.

The women have made massive strides over the past four years and could feature in the medal shakeup after just missing out on contesting for a medal at the 2014 World Championships as they finished in fifth place. Great Britain have never won a Paralympic medal in the women's tournament but Helen Freeman and Amy Conroy will be key figures for a team which features four teenagers.

Who are the other challengers?

Canada's men won gold in London but star player Patrick Anderson has retired and they are not as strong as they were. Australia, silver medallists and current world champions who are known as the Rollers, will figure strongly along with the USA.

In the women's event, defending champions Germany and the Netherlands will expect to be in the medal shake-up along with Canada and the US. Surprisingly, Australia, silver medallists in London, failed to qualify.

Did you know?

Simon Munn is appearing at his seventh Paralympics, Clare Strange at her fifth.

Gregg Warburton, Harry Brown and Phil Pratt were part of the London 2012 opening ceremony carrying the Paralympic flag into the stadium along with their GB Under-22 team-mates.

ParalympicsGB London 2012 medals


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