10 of the Most Popular Wheelchair Sports

10 of the Most Popular Wheelchair Sports



Wheelchair sports are basically regular sports that have been adapted to fit wheelchair users. Fortunately, wheelchair sports is gaining popularity and has grown globally, promoting a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle for wheelchair users. Among the most popular wheelchair sports are:


  1. Basketball



Wheelchair basketball is extremely popular. There are leagues and clubs all over the world, even in smaller countries. It is one of the more difficult wheelchair sports because the court size and rim height are the same as regular basketball. The athletes use chairs that are adaptive to the sport, with either 4 or 5 wheels; two large in the back, two small in the front, and sometimes one small in the back to prevent rolling.


  1. Tennis


Wheelchair Tennis


First introduced in 1970, wheelchair tennis is played similar to regular tennis, with the same ball, racket, and court size. The only difference is that the ball is allowed to bounce twice, and outside the court for the second bounce. The wheelchairs used are similar to that of basketball.


  1. Cycling


Top End Handbike on DisabledGear.com (Full Size)


The cycling sport for the wheelchair-bound uses a special kind of lowered bike that is manually pedalled by the arms. The bikes are available for purchase and can be used for recreational purposes, or to compete in actual races.


  1. Rugby


As in regular rugby, wheelchair rugby has plenty of contact too. First introduced in Canada, this sport has grown in popularity and is now played in 25 countries, and is an official sport in the Summer Paralympics. It was initially intended for patients who suffer from quadriplegia, but it gained a lot of interest and became one of the more popular wheelchair sports.


  1. Softball



There are currently more than 30 wheelchair softball teams globally. The rules are the same as regular softball, except that pitching is done with a 16-inch slow-pitch ball.


  1. Track Racing



Wheelchair racing is also one of the most popular wheelchair sports in the world. Athletes use a special kind of wheelchair that enables them to propel forward fast and manoeuvre according to obstacles present. Yup, wheelchair racing is not a straight-forward race, it includes obstacles such as ramps, rails, etc.


  1. Fencing



The rules are the same as regular fencing with a few minor changes. It’s the same concept, with body armour, a headgear, and a sword, but in a wheelchair. It’s really the same amount of fun.


  1. Snow Sports


Wheelchair snow sports include skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. There is adaptive equipment for wheelchair users and almost every ski resort globally will have them.


  1. Sailing



Sailing is done exactly the same for wheelchair users, but in order to sail, there must be adaptive equipment on board that allows the athlete to sail and be safe. Wheelchair users are allowed to compete with the rest of the world in pursuit of championship titles.


  1. Hockey



A highly adaptive sport, wheelchair hockey allows people with different kinds of disabilities to play. The game can be played with either a manual or powered wheelchair, and there are two kinds of sticks permitted to use. This is to cater to different disabilities.