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A Strange guide to wheelchair hoops
Around the Academy:

Clare Strange gives her guide to wheelchair basketball
Tactics are everything in this wonderful sport
Britain's wheelchair basketball star Clare Strange has been to two Paralympics.

Here she gives a basic guide to one of the fastest growing sports in the world.



GB wheelchair basketball star Clare Strange reveals all to the Sport Academy


Wheelchair basketball is just a fantastic sport.

In 1997 I broke my back in a horse-riding accident and a year later was playing for the GB wheelchair team at the World Championship in Sydney.

And then two years after that I was back in Sydney for the Paralympics.

I had never played basketball before but I worked so hard on my physio.

And playing for the Milton Keynes Aces wheelchair basketball club really helped.

It's not that different from able-bodied basketball though. Apart from a few different foul rules because of the wheelchair.

One of the things that can seem confusing in the game is the points classification system for the players.

Clare Strange inaction for GB at the Paralympics
Clare battles for the ball at the 2000 Paralympics

Each player is given a points total that is measured by their disability.

These range from a one point player - who is the most disabled.

And it goes up to a 4.5 player, who typically has arthritic knees or is a below the knee amputee.

The points added up for each of the five players that are allowed on the court at any one time must not go over 14.5.

So you have to be really careful on who plays.

It's a technical foul if this happens and gives free throws to your opponents, which is not what you want.

Watch those subs

At Sydney, my coach Paul Hudson printed out every possible combination of players so he knew which players he could bring on and when.

But the classification system emphasises the importance of tactics. It is not just a case of making a simple sub like in the able-bodied game.

Some lower pointed players, like the guard, may actually be stronger and quicker and be preferred sometimes.

But it just depends on the type of player the coach wants.

Basketball's popularity is rising fast in the world and I can't get enough of it.

More and more people are playing wheelchair basketball. Why not give it a go.



Did you know?
Clare was voted British Wheelchair Sports best newcomer in the press awards in 2001

Fancy knowing a bit more about wheelchair basketball?
Check the GBWBA site, phone or email development officer Gordon Perry
Phone: 01234-708741



INTERNET LINKS >>
:: Disability Sport England
:: GB Wheelchair Basketball Association

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


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VIDEO MASTERCLASS ::
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