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Wheelchair Basketball

Wheelchair basketball is a dynamic, exciting sport. While there are some significant differences between it and it's traditional counterpart, wheelchair basketball requires athleticism, agility and finesse. 

Challenge Alaska is excited to offer wheelchair basketball to the Anchorage community. Wheelchair basketball is currently held at Spenard Recreation Center on Wednesday evenings during the season.

Play is "drop-in" style, with different teams being formed weekly. Referees are volunteers and/or Challenge Alaska staff. Some weeks the play takes a more competitive style, while other weeks it's much more relaxed. All players are welcome and more experienced players are there to help newer players develop skills to make the game more enjoyable.

We will have a 12 week season Wednesday evenings January 10 - March 20, 2024. Times vary depending on rec center hours, so check below. Community wheelchair basketball is open to everyone regardless of age, level of experience or level of ability. The only requirements are the ability to understand and follow the rules of the sport, and the ability to safely operate a wheelchair in close proximity to others. 

Dates for Winter 2024 are:

  • Wednesday January 10, 2024;  5:00 - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday January 17, 2024;  5:00 - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday January 24, 2024;  5:00 - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday Janunary 31, 2024;  5:00 - 7:00 pm
     
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024;  6:00 - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024;  6:00 - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024;  6:00 - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday February 28, 2024;  6:00 - 8:00 pm
     
  • Wednesday March 6, 2024;  6:00 - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday March 13, 2024;  6:00 - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024;  6:00 - 8:00 pm

All players must play in a wheelchair (manual sport wheelchairs provided on a first-come, first-serve basis). Each player must have a current waiver on file with Challenge Alaska staff (can be signed at the gym by individual or legal guardian - no exceptions) prior to play. Cost of admission is $5 general admission fee to the recreation center. There is an additional $2 fee for sport chair use paid to Challenge Alaska.

Wheelchair Basketball 101

The rules to wheelchair basketball are as similar to NCAA basketball as possible and are modified only as necessary to accommodate players using wheelchairs. Some of the key differences are:

  • Players are allowed two contacts with their push rims before having to dribble, pass or shoot. A "contact" is define as one or two hands working singly or together, exerting force on the push-rim of the wheel. Hence, pushing forward twice requires a player to dribble the ball at least once, pass, or shoot to avoid "traveling."
  • There is no "double dribble" violation in wheelchair basketball.
  • The wheelchair is considered "part of the player's body" and cannot be charged, grabbed, or rammed.
  • A player cannot lift their bottom off the wheelchair seat, nor use their legs to maintain control of the ball in their lap, nor create any type of unfair advantage.
  • There are specific rules and specifications that the wheelchair must conform to, ensuring equal equipment used by all.
  • In competition at tournament levels, athletes are "classified" based on functional physical ability. Each player is assigned a number ranging from 1-3. That player represents that many "points" from the total a team is allowed to have on the court at any given time (no more than 12 points and no more than three "3's" at one time).
  • Wheelchair basketball players which compete above a recreation level use a classification system to evaluate their functional abilities.
    • Players are assigned a point value based on functional ability on a point scale of 1 to 4.5. Minimally disabled athletes are classified as a 4.5, and an individual with the highest degree of disability would have the classification of 1.0.
    • In places where teams are integrated, non disabled athletes compete as either a 4.5 or a 5.0. Non-disabled athletes are not allowed to compete internationally.
    • The five players from each team on the court during play may not exceed a total of 14 points

Challenge Alaska is a
501(c)(3) organization

EIN: 92-0080897


ANCHORAGE:
740 Bonanza Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99518


P: 907-344-7399
F: 907-344-7349


GIRDWOOD:
426 Crystal Mountain Road
(Mailing: PO Box 1166)
Girdwood, AK 99587

P: 907-783-2925
F: 907-344-7349