Powerchair Football is a competitive team sport for people with disabilities who use power wheelchairs. The game is played in a gymnasium or a basketball court. Two teams of four players use powerchairs equipped with footguards to attack, defend, and spin-kick a 13-inch football in an attempt to score goals.
The sport is played on a standard-sized basketball court. Each team is allowed 4 players on the court at one time including the goalkeeper. A match consists of two 20-minute periods. Because of the two-dimensional aspect of this game (players are typically unable to kick the ball into the air), artificial space has to be created around the players.
The two distinct differences in the laws from the able bodied game are: 1) the “two-on-one” rule, and 2) the 3-in-the-goal-area violation.
“2-on-1”: only a player and an opponent are allowed within 3 meters of the ball when it is in play. If a teammate of either one comes within the 3 meters the referee may call an infringement and award an indirect free kick. This forces the players to spread the field and prevents clogging up of play, allowing for a greater free flow of play. The only exception to this violation is if one of the 2 teammates is a goalkeeper inside his/her own goal area, then there is no infraction of the laws.
“3-in-the-goal-area”: the defending team is only allowed to have 2 players in their own goal area. If a third player enters the area, the referee may stop the game and award an indirect free kick to the opposing team.
What’s in it for you?
Studies show that potential benefits to participating in group activities, particularly power chair football, include improvements in:
- Upper body strength
- Range of motion
- Respiratory functioning
- Eye-hand coordination
- Powerchair driving skills
- Overall quality of life
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