Wheelchair Basketball Association

The UF Student Government-run Wheelchair Basketball Association (WBA) was created by UFOT in February 2019 to provide a team sport opportunity for UF students with neurological disease/injury and mobility impairment. Students with and without disabilities learn how to propel a manual wheelchair while executing dribbling, passing, and shooting skills.

Vice President of UF WBA

Sara Mairs, BHS-OTD student

“Wheelchair basketball has become a staple in my weekly routine, it gets me moving and helps me appreciate the need for inclusive sports here at UF. The community that has already been built aroundthis sport is supportive, encouraging, and keeps people coming back every week.”

UF students run drills in wheelchair basketball.

Faculty advisor for UF WBA

Carolyn Hanson, OTR/L, PhD

Dr. Hanson has extensive experience conducting sports camps for adults with physical disabilities. “Wheelchair basketball at UF is an inclusive sport as students with and without disabilities play basketball with everyone in specialized wheelchairs,” says Dr. Hanson. “Participants have a great time learning new physical and tactical skills! This facilitates socialization, promotes health and may change attitudes about disability.”

Carolyn Hanson with UF Wheelchair Basketball Association

Twenty students practice weekly on UF’s Broward Courts using newly acquired basketball wheelchairs provided by the UF Medical Guild and UF Health Rehab Hospital. The student players are being trained by 4 former wheelchair basketball players of national and international acclaim. Two of those coaches are occupational therapists practicing in north-central Florida.

UF students play wheelchair basketball at Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex

Did you know…

  • After World War II, many injured veterans took up wheelchair basketball thanks to Ludwig Guttmann – an early rehabilitation specialist and founder of the Paralymic Games. The sport became very popular for veterans using wheelchairs and has continued to be a popular sport for even more athletes who use wheelchairs.
  • Wheelchair basketball was one of the eight Paralympic sports played at the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960.
  • Wheelchair basketball retains most major rules and scoring of basketball, but some rules (e.g., traveling violations) have been modified with consideration for the wheelchair.
  • The wheelchair is considered to be part of the body. For example: A player is out-of-bounds when any part of his/her body or wheelchair touches the floor or any object on or outside of a boundary line.
  • To execute a dribble, players must allow for one bounce of the ball for every two pushes of their wheelchair.
  • Wheelchair basketball is played for a total of 40 minutes, which is split into four 10-minute quarters. Teams have four timeouts per game.
UF students play wheelchair basketball at Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex
UF students play wheelchair basketball at Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex.