Frequently Asked Questions

I would like to play wheelchair basketball. How can I get involved?

There are numerous wheelchair basketball teams and clubs targeting various ages and skills located throughout Canada and chances are there is a program located in, or around, your community. Most of these programs are coordinated by independent provincial and regional organizations that can be located through our Find A Club page.

Do I have to have a disability to play wheelchair basketball in Canada?

In Canada you do not need to have a disability to play wheelchair basketball and everybody regardless of skill or experience can enjoy the sport. Wheelchair Basketball Canada believes in a policy of inclusion, meaning able-bodied participants and athletes with a disability play alongside each other at the domestic level. The one exception is that you must have a disability to compete internationally.

How do athletes with various disabilities, and functional capacities compete fairly against each other?

In wheelchair basketball fairness is ensured through a process called classification, where every athlete, with or without a disability, is assigned a numeric value that reflects his or her functional potential on the court to perform skills specific to the sport such as wheeling, dribbling, passing, reaction to contact, shooting, and rebounding.

In Canada, classifications are closely based on the international classification system and range from 1.0 to 4.5. Lower class athletes are more limited in their functional skills. Athletes assigned higher classes have few, if any, limitations. The total number of points on the court assigned for each of the five players may not exceed 14 points at any one time in most divisions. Find out more about classification.

How does wheelchair basketball differ from stand up basketball?

The basic rules of wheelchair basketball are very similar to stand up basketball with a few minor modifications. The aim of each team is to score into the opponents’ basket and to prevent the other team from gaining control of the ball or scoring. The measurements of the court and the height of the baskets are identical, as well as the scoring system. A game consists of four periods of ten minutes. Particular attention must be paid to the wheelchair, as it is considered to be part of the player.

How does dribbling work in wheelchair basketball?

A player may wheel the chair and bounce the ball simultaneously, however, if the ball is picked up and/or placed on the player’s lap, he/she is only allowed to push twice before being obligated to shoot, pass, or dribble the ball again. There is no double dribble rule in wheelchair basketball. A traveling violation occurs if the player takes more than two pushes while in possession of the ball and not dribbling.

What’s the difference between the Paralympic Games and the Special Olympics?

The Paralympics and Special Olympics are two separate and distinct organizations that are both recognized by the International Olympic Committee. The principal differences between the two lie in the disability of participating athletes and levels of sports ability.

The Paralympic Games are elite sport events for high performance athletes with a physical disability, similar to the Olympic Games, which are held every two years, alternating between Summer and Winter Games. The Paralympics emphasize the participants’ athletic achievements rather than their disability and have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games.

The Special Olympics is a movement dedicated to enriching the lives of athletes with an intellectual disability through sport. It aims to help people with intellectual disabilities develop self-confidence, social skills and a sense of personal accomplishment.

Is Wheelchair Basketball Canada a registered charity?

Wheelchair Basketball Canada is a Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Association (RCAAA) registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency. As an RCAAA, we enjoy the same tax privileges as a registered charity and may issue official donation receipts.

Our Registration Number is: 14082 5191 RR0001

The proceeds from all charitable donations benefit participants of the sport in Canada and are administered by Wheelchair Basketball Canada.

I received a telephone call from somebody who claimed to be calling on behalf of Wheelchair Basketball Canada. Is this legitimate?

Wheelchair Basketball Canada uses an outside telephone donation collection agency to help obtain charitable donations on our behalf.  Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns at 1-877-843-2922 or at

I am a volunteer and would like to help out with a wheelchair basketball event. How can I get involved?

There are numerous opportunities to get involved with a Wheelchair Basketball Canada event, and/or wheelchair basketball events held by the various provincial and regional organizations. Please contact for more information.

I am a player and I want to try out for Canada’s National Teams. What information can you provide me with?

Wheelchair Basketball Canada holds annual National Team selection camps. A limited number of the top athletes in the country are invited to selection camp each year at the discretion of the respective head coach. However, Team Canada is always on the lookout for up-and-coming talent among players that show commitment and determination. If you are currently playing or training at an elite level, have your coach contact Wheelchair Basketball Canada to make a recommendation on your behalf.

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