Deaf International Basketball Federation
Deaf International Basketball Federation (DIBF) is a world governing body for international deaf basketball with support of International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and in cooperation with Deaflympics and its confederations. DIBF is an independent association composed of the National Organisations governing deaf basketball.
DIBF encourages the growth and development of deaf basketball in all nationals of the world through an organised program of education and instruction. They serve as the official governing body for the scheduling and conduct of all international contest and championships in deaf basketball in cooperation with the Deaflympics and its confederations. They also maintain a documented history of the basketball by recording and reporting on all major international contests from the inception of international competitions to the present. DIBF aims to expand its organisation and to empower deaf basketball world in the future too.
Privileged board consisting of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary-General and members at large - better known as Central Board, manages DIBF. This enthusiastic board, made in majority of deaf people, brings together many years of management and basketball experiences, and are composed of representatives from all over the world.
Sport of basketball has increased in popularity among elite deaf athletes around the world. Several international and national basketball competitions have already been held for several years under an international organisation of sports for the deaf called the Deaflympics. This international deaf sports organisation has had a long and rich history in Deaf sports since establishment in 1924 - being the oldest of the international organisations on disability sports for disabled people.
On 2 May 1988, a group of highly respected deaf sports athletes involved in basketball came together in Turku, Finland. They recommended the need for a world governing body for international deaf basketball, so it can focus entirely on the deaf basketball game and to improve its standards. The first provisional Central Board was formed, consisted of President - Jussi Raiso (Finland), Vice-President - Aleksas Jasiunas (Lithuania), Secretary - Christian Boklund (Sweden), Board Member - Riina Kuusk (Estonia) and Board Adviser - Kjell Gunnå (Sweden).
From this special meeting, "International Deaf Basketball Association" (IDBA) was founded and the first IDBA Constitution with Statutes and Regulations were approved. The IDBA started informing other deaf people of its inception and invited organisations interested in deaf basketball around the world to join.
On 27 July 2001, during Summer Deaflympics in Rome, Italy, a first meeting was convened officially establishing IDBA as an organisation. Although the necessary two-third attendance from countries from all over the world playing deaf basketball was not achieved in Rome, still it was decided that the provisional Central Board would continue its work. Elected President was Jussi Raisio (Finland), Secretary - Christian Boklund (Sweden), Treasurer - Rick Balk (USA), Member-at-large - Lyndon Borrow (Australia) and Yaakov Keren (Israel), and Board Advisor - Kjell Gunnå (Sweden).
A year later, during the 2002 1st World Deaf Basketball Championships in Athens, Greece, IDBA held a founding meeting with two-third majority votes achieved of officials from countries practicing deaf basketball countries thus it was officially founded. The name IDBA was also changed to Deaf International Basketball Federation (DIBF) for more corporate visibility and comprehensiveness.
The first official DIBF Central Board was composed of President - Jussi Raisio (Finland), Vice-President - Lyndon Borrow (Australia), Secretary General - Kjell Gunna (Sweden), Treasurer - Rick Balk (USA), Member-at-large - Ioannis Stoufis (Greece). Later, two additional female members were added - Yue-Tong Zhu (China) and Iryna Chepchyna (Ukraine). The Central Board was elected with term to next World Deaf Basketball Championships in 2007.
At the Congress of Comité International des Sports de Surds (now known as Deaflympics) during the Winter Deaflympics in Sundsvall, Sweden, in February 2003, the Congress officially decided to recognise the DIBF as an Associate Member. The DIBF gained Associate Membership with the Deaflympics and henceforth can operate independently by itself for the development of deaf basketball around the world.
Presently, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has granted recognition of DIBF as the world governing body and sturdily supports its organisation and efforts for development camps for deaf basketball and organisation of seminars across the six different continents. DIBF has continued to grow significantly and the standards of deaf basketball has increased in notability and visibility.
- American Lance Allred and Slovenian Miha Zupan are notable deaf basketball players who have played basketball professionally with hearing people.