A balancing act
Classification is the process by which a team's total functional potential on the court is leveled off with respect to its opponent. It is a functional evaluation taking into consideration each player's ability to perform skills specific to the sport of wheelchair basketball; wheeling, dribbling, passing, reaction to contact, shooting, rebounding.
Each player is then assigned a point value based on their functional ability. That point value determines a player's classification. The point value is between 1.0 and 4.5 points, athletes without a disability are 4.5. When adding the classifications of all 5 players on the floor, the total must not exceed 15 points or the set point value for a particular league. Nationally the total number of points on the floor is 14 points.
Description: Class 1.0 and 2.0
The athletes are similar in that neither have control of their sitting position.
For example, they use their arms to regain their balance after leaning forward to dribble, catch a pass, or make a shot.
Athletes are generally unable to move their trunk in any of the planes of movement. For example, most are unable to rotate their upper body to receive an over the shoulders pass in a fast break.
Athletes are generally able to rotate their upper body without using their arms for support. This greatly improves their ability to scan the court, as well as receive or shoot the ball from different directions.
Description: Class 3.0 and 4.0
The athletes are similar in that they both have control of their sitting position.
Athletes are generally able to turn their shoulders as well as lean forward without difficulty. They can dribble the ball far off the front of the wheelchair for example. They, however, cannot lean to the sides and return to upright without using their arms as an assist; most class 3.0 athletes lack the leg power necessary to perform such an action.
Athletes are able to move their trunk in all planes of movement. They can rotate, lean forward and to at least one side without difficulty. Athletes in this category can lean to the side to contest a shot or protect the ball from an opponent or catch a rebound. Class 4.0 athletes differ from class 4.5 athletes in that they often are not able to lean equally to both sides due to limited power in one leg.
Occasionally, an athlete displays characteristics of two classes. In these instances a .5 class may be assigned for instance 1.5-2.5-3.5
To see the IWBF video on classification: Click here