The Relationship of Skills of Elite Wheelchair Basketball Competitors to the International Functional Classification System


  • Frank M. Brasile
  • Bradley N. Hedrick


Wheelchair Basketball, Elite, Skills Testing, Functional Classification, Paralympics


Wheelchair basketball is a fast paced exciting sport that conforms to the same standards as its stand up counterpart. Unlike most sports for persons with disabilities, wheelchair basketball is a team oriented activity that allows athletes with varying degrees and levels of disabilities to participate in an inclusive atmosphere based on a player classification system. However, over the past decade the wheelchair basketball participant has become more proficient at the skills required to participate in the activity. The purpose of this investigation was to identify the relationship between skill performance levels of elite wheelchair basketball participants and their international player classification level. Results support Vanlandewijck, Spaepen and Lysens (1995) and Brasile's (1986b, 1990) suggestions regarding the need to re-evaluate the "functional" classification system used in wheelchair basketball competitions. The study poses several implications for therapeutic recreation professionals. The most salient is that it reinforces the need for research wherein the validity of "accommodative" modifications is continually questioned and assessed relative to the purpose and goals of the endeavor.





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