4.5 point player

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Troy Sachs is a 4.5 point player

4.5 point player is a disability sport classification for wheelchair basketball.


The classification was created by the International Paralympic Committee and has roots in a 2003 attempt to address "the overall objective to support and co-ordinate the ongoing development of accurate, reliable, consistent and credible sport focused classification systems and their implementation."[1]


This classification is for wheelchair basketball.[2] Classification for the sport is done by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation.[3] Classification is extremely important in wheelchair basketball because when players point totals are added together, they cannot exceed fourteen points per team on the court at any time.[4] Jane Buckley, writing for the Sporting Wheelies, describes the wheelchair basketball players in this classification as players having: "These players have the least disability on court. Usually have minimal lower limb dysfunction or single below knee amputation. Normal trunk movements in all directions."[2] The Australian Paralympic Committee defines this classification as: "Players with normal trunk movement in all directions who are able to reach side to side with no limitations."[5] The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation defines a 4.5 point player as "Normal trunk movement in all directions, able to reach side to side with no limitations."[6] The Cardiff Celts, a wheelchair basketball team in Wales, explain this classification as, "(minimal disability) - able to move the trunk forcefully in all directions during shooting and passing Class 4.5 players can lean forward or to either side with arms overhead to grasp the ball and are able to push and stop the wheelchair with rapid acceleration and maximal forward movement of the trunk. Typical Class 4.5 Disabilities include : Single below-knee amputees. Some double below-knee amputees. Players with extensive orthopedic involvement of hips, knees or ankles. Post-polio paralysis with minimal (ankle/foot) involvement on one or both sides." [7]

Beyond 4.5[edit]

Beyond 4.5, there is sometimes used a 5 point player classification for abled bodied athletes.[7] The 5 point player is not recognised by wheelchair basketball's governing body. [6] There has been a push by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association to allow for able-bodied athletes to compete in wheelchair basketball games. The argument is the sport is called "wheelchair basketball," not "disability basketball." Able bodied athletes, in a wheelchair, have the same functionality as 4.5 point players.[8]


4 point players and 4.5 point players receive less playing time than 1 point players because of their higher point value.[9]

Getting classified[edit]

Wheelchair basketball players who are going to compete at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in this classification need to have their classification be in compliance with the system organised by the IWBF and their status being listed as ‘Review’ or ‘Confirmed’.[10]

In Australia, wheelchair basketball players and other disability athletes are generally classified after they have been assessed based on medical, visual or cognitive testing, after a demonstration of their ability to play their sport, and the classifiers watching the player during competitive play.[11]

Once a player is classified, it is very hard to be classified into a different classification. Players have been known to have issues with classification because some players play down their abilities during the classification process. At the same time, as players improve at the game, movements become regular and their skill level improves. This can make it appear like their classification was incorrect.[9]


Wheelchair Twin Basketball is a major variant of wheelchair basketball.[12] This version is supposed by the International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation, [12] and played in Japan.[13] Twin basketball has a three-point classification system based on the evaluation of the mobility of people with cervical cord injuries. In this variant, the equivalent to 4.5 point players would be players without a head band. These players are "Players without a headband (no band players) - the players possess good triceps, a good balance of the hand and some finger functions. They can score by shooting with a smaller and lighter basketball to the normal basket."[12]


Australians Brad Ness, Troy Sachs and Justin Eveson are 4.5 point players.[14][15][16] Amber Merritt is 4.5 point player for Australia's women's national team.[17] Joey Johnson, Patrick Anderson and David Eng are a 4.5 point players for the Canadian men's national team.[18]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Paralympic Classification Today". International Paralympic Committee. 22 April 2010. p. 3. 
  2. ^ a b Buckley, Jane (2011). "Understanding Classification: A Guide to the Classification Systems used in Paralympic Sports". Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "IPC CLASSIFICATION CODE AND INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS" (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. November 2007. p. 21. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Wheelchair Basketball". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Classification Information Sheet: Wheelchair Basketball" (PDF). Sydney, Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 27 July 2010. p. 2. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "International Wheelchair Basketball Federation Functional Player Classification System" (PDF). International Wheelchair Basketball Federation. December 2004. p. 8. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Simplified Rules of Wheelchair Basketball and a Brief Guide to the Classification system.". Cardiff Celts. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Berger, Ronald J. (March 2009). Hoop dreams on wheels: disability and the competitive wheelchair athlete. Routledge. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-415-96509-5. 
  9. ^ a b Berger, Ronald J. (March 2009). Hoop dreams on wheels: disability and the competitive wheelchair athlete. Routledge. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-415-96509-5. 
  10. ^ "Wheelchair Basketball: LONDON 2012 PARALYMPIC GAMES" (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "Understanding Classification". Sydney, Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c Strohkendl, Horst (2002). "WHEELCHAIR TWIN BASKETBALL... an explanation" (PDF). International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation. p. 9-10. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Brad Ness". Basketball Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Justin Eveson". Basketball Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Troy Sachs". Basketball Australia. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "2010 WC Team". Basketball Australia. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Team Canada: Men's Roster". Canada: Wheelchair Basketball Canada. 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.