Wheelchair Basketball Rules | Recreational Services
The University of Iowa

2017 Wheelchair Basketball Rules

Rule 1: Facility | Rule 2: Player Eligibility | Rule 3: Team Composition | Rule 4: Equipment | Rule 5: Beginning a Game | 
Rule 6: Game Time and Time-Outs | Rule 7: ScoringRule 8: General Rules | Rule 9: Protests

Rule 1: Facility

  1. All games will be played at the Field House Main Deck unless otherwise noted.

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Rule 2: Player Eligibility

  1. All Intramural Sports eligibility rules apply. Please check the Intramural Sports Rules and Regulations carefully.
  2. All players must check-in with their University ID cards or government-issued photo IDs with the scorekeeper prior to the start of each game.

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Rule 3: Team Composition

  1. The game shall be played between two teams of five players each on the court at one time. A minimum of four players is required to prevent a forfeit. There is no maximum to the number of players that can be on a team’s roster.

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Rule 4: Equipment

  1. Chairs for competition will be provided by a local organization. All participants are required to follow the proper safety procedures and use care with the borrowed equipment. Any player deemed using reckless or excessive force will be assessed a technical foul.
  2. Players on a team must wear the same color shirt during matches. Players without matching color shirts will wear pinnies provided by University of Iowa Intramural Sports.

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Rule 5: Beginning a Game

  1. The game will begin with a tap-off from the center circle administered by an official. 
  2. A minimum of four players must be present to start an official game.  If less than four players are present and ready to play (signed-in, dressed properly etc.), the game will be declared a forfeit 10 minutes after the scheduled game time.  A team may only play with less than four players if a player fouls out or becomes injured during the game.  However, a team cannot continue the game with less than four players unless the officials believe that team has a legitimate chance to win.

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Rule 6: Game Time and Time-Outs

  1. A game will consist of two 10-minute halves. Each team will be entitled to two full-length (60 second) time-outs during each game. A team that requests a time-out after using all of its allotted time-outs will be charged with a team technical foul. If a game goes into overtime, each team will receive one extra time-out during each overtime period.
  2. The clock will be stopped for all fouls, held balls, out-of-bounds, violations, and time-outs.  This includes injuries, conferences with scorekeepers, etc.
  3. Overtime: If the score is tied at the end of regulation or any overtime period, the ball will be put into play with a tap-off from mid court. The first overtime period shall be two minutes in length. If the score is still tied at the end of the first overtime, a second "sudden death" overtime period will be played to determine the winner.  

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Rule 7: Scoring

  1. Official Score: The official score will be kept by the scorekeeper. In the event of a discrepancy, the score kept on the score sheet will be considered the official score. It shall be the running score at the bottom of the score sheet.

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Rule 8: General Rules

  1. The wheelchair is considered part of the player’s body.
  2. A player must dribble the ball once for every two pushes of his/her wheelchair.
  3. A player is considered out-of-bounds when any part of the player’s body or wheelchair touches the floor on or outside the boundary.
  4. Personal Foul: A personal foul is a player’s illegal contact with an opponent (including the wheelchair), whether the ball is live or dead. A player shall not hold, block, push, charge, trip or impede the progress of an opponent by extending their hand, arm, elbow, shoulder nor by bending their body into an ‘abnormal’ position (outside their cylinder). Hooking the front bumper to impede the progress of an opponent is considered a personal foul.
    • PENALTY: If a foul is committed on a player not in the act of shooting, the game will resume with a throw-in by the non-offending team at the place nearest the infraction. Fouls against a shooter in the act of shooting two or three free throws will be attempted if the player’s try was not successful, one free throw, if the shot was made. 
  5. Physical Advantage Foul (PAF): All players must remain firmly seated in the wheelchair at all times when attempting to play the ball. No player shall use their lower extremity to gain an advantage. PAFs act as a technical foul towards the offending player. 
    • PENALTY: Two free throws are awarded and the ball is given to the opposing team, out-of-bounds. Three PAF fouls disqualify a player from the game. 
  6. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Not a legitimate attempt to directly play the ball within the spirit or intent of the rules. Excessive, hard contact caused by a player in an effort to play the ball. 
    • PENALTY: Free throw(s) shall be awarded to the player who was fouled, followed by a throw-in from center court. A player shall be disqualified for the remainder of the game if charged with two unsportsmanlike fouls.
  7. A turnover occurs if both big wheels of the chair come off the ground while the player is in possession of the ball. 
  8. When the ball is in-bounded on the offensive end of the floor, the offensive players cannot occupy a spot in the offensive lane, until the ball is handed to the in-bounder. 
  9. The offensive player has only three seconds in the offensive lane before a lane violation occurs. When any part of the wheelchair is in the lane, the count begins. 
  10. Players are allowed to enter the lane on free throws when the ball is released by the shooter.
  11. A player must leave the game after they have received five fouls (Exception: Three PAF’s is an automatic ejection). 

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Rule 9: Protests

  1. If a team feels an official has misinterpreted a rule, it must lodge a protest at the time of the ruling. The team must call a time-out at the time of the ruling and inform the official it wishes to protest a misapplication or misinterpretation of a rule. The game will be stopped to obtain a ruling from the Intramural Supervisor.  Failure to call time-out and obtain an immediate ruling from the Intramural Supervisor at the time of the rule in question will void any future right to protest. If the official’s ruling stands, the protesting team will be charged the time-out.  If the official’s ruling is changed, the team is not charged a time-out. No protest concerning officials’ judgment will be considered. 

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