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Wheelchair Basketball - Essay Example

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Wheelchair Basketball was credited as being developed by Sir Ludwig Guttmann at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital shortly after World War II…
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Download file to see previous pages The fact that these soldiers were recently paralyzed led to a lot of frustration and no outlet for them to channel their energy. As they began rehabilitation and searched for a physical outlet to relieve stress they decided what better than sports? (Schweiker: 1954) The soldiers began with sports such as ping-pong, catch and pool, then it went to bowling, volleyball and swimming, then to the more energy requiring sports such as water polo, touch-football, softball and basketball. Although several other sports have now been added, it was basketball that overshadowed the others in a few years time in overall popularity. In 1946, other historical documents reveal that the California Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America played the very first match of organized wheelchair basketball, two weeks prior to the New England Chapter. According to these facts, it thereafter spread across the nation to the VA hospitals in Chicago, Memphis, Boston, Richmond and New York. Not before long, the sport had spread across the border to the UK and to Canada as well.
(Schweiker: 1954) By time 1948 rolled around, there were six teams in total in the United States. All were members of the PVA and all functioned from Veteran hospitals. This was the same year that the Birmingham, California team obtained a sponsored tour to travel by plane, and play other paraplegic teams across the nation. The immediate result of the first sponsored tour of the Birmingham Flying Wheels was the development of the first wheelchair basketball team outside of VA hospitals in Kansas City. The first ‘civilian’ hometown team was known as the Kansas City Wheelchair Bulldozers (later known as the City Rolling Pioneers). (Schweiker: 1954) In 1955, the Touring U.S. Pan Am Jets team was the first to bring wheelchair basketball to England, when they participated in the first international competition at Stoke Mandeville. (GBWA.org: 2011) Now, there are several teams throughout the United Stated, UK, and rest of the world. The first World Championships for Men, the Gold Cup, took place in Bruges, Belgium in 1975, but has long since continued on thereafter. In the UK, The Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association governs wheelchair basketball. The GBWA is a registered charity and forms the representative body of wheelchair basketball in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. Teams in the GBWA league consist of the RGK TCAT Rhinos, Sheffield Steelers, Teamside Owls, GLL Capital City Raiders, Essex Outlaws, Knights and Aces. However there are several more teams at different divisional levels. GBWA.org: 2011) Aside from the GBWA there is also the Welsh Wheelchair Basketball Association WWBA. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) governs the sport itself. The height of the basket and the size of the court are the same as in the running version of the game (10 feet from the floor and 28mx 15m, respectively). The duration of for all international games is 40 minutes. In terms of eligibility, athletes using wheelchairs play wheelchair basketball, and whose disabilities might include lower limb amputations, paraplegia, polio and cerebral palsy. In general terms, any individual who cannot participate in stand-up running basketball as the direct result of an injury, disabling condition, etc. is eligible to play wheelchair basketball. It is important to note that not all participants in wheelchair basketball use a wheelchair for daily living. (Paralympics.org: 2011). Other important classifications to notice are the points rating system. Athletes in wheelchairs are classified by their physical ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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