Paul Schulte has been playing wheelchair basketball since he was 14, following a car accident which fractured his L2 vertebrae. He catapulted to the top as a Jr. by winning two national championships. He has gone on to win mulitiple national championships in the NWBA Men's division and one Intercollegiate Championship. Paul is a member of the USA Men's National Team and has won gold at the World Championships in 2002, 1998, along with a Bronze at the 2000 and 2012 Paralympics. Paul is currently co-captain of the USA Men's National Team and is employed at Invacare Top End as a design engineer.
Are the rules the same in wheelchair basketball as they are in able-bodied basketball?
For the most part, the rules are the same. We play on a regulation sized, hardwood basketball court. The lines are the same as you would see on a high school or college sized court (i.e. free throw, three point line, etc.). Your chair is considered part of your body, so a degree of contact is allowed when playing defense, setting a pick or boxing out for a rebound. For dribbling, traveling consists of pushing your chair three times without dribbling. So, for every dribble, you’re allowed to push twice. Double dribbling is allowed.
Who is allowed to play wheelchair basketball?
Anyone who has a physical impairment that doesn’t allow them to play able-bodied sports would be allowed to play. Most commonly this includes spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, amputees. Recently, more and more athletes who have had a knee replacement qualify to play
How tall of a wheelchair can you play in?
21” is the tallest that your seat rail can be above the ground. Playing effectively at this height requires a good amount of stabilizing muscle groups. Amputees and other high functioning players typically play at this height as ‘big men’ or ‘centers’. Spinal cord injuries and other players of less function typically opt for a rear seat height of 15 – 19” and play the ‘guard’ position.
Should I use an adjustable or a fixed chair?
If you are just beginning to play basketball or don’t know yet what your best seating position is, yes, you should use an adjustable chair like the new Invacare Top End Pro Basketball Wheelchair. If you have been playing a while and want to up your game, a fixed chair will deliver more performance as everything is welded to your specifications rather than clamped. The key here is to get measured by someone with experience by using your existing chair as your guide. You can call me for chair configuration advice at Top End (800-532-8677 # 2233), meet up with me at a tournament or fill out the contact us form. If you want a computer generated design of your chair first, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seemed like some people used to have titanium basketball chairs and now most have aluminum. What do you recommend?
I used to play in an Invacare® Top End® Schulte Signature Titanium chair (guess where that name came from) but changed to aluminum because I wanted to play in what most players can afford. Then I decided to redesign our aluminum version so that it was as light as titanium, yet perform even better. So the Invacare® Top End® Schulte 7000 Series Basketball chair does just that. It is build of 7005 material with many enhancements that maximizes performance by minimizing play in the front casters and rear wheels.plus easier to maintain! View the video where Paul Schulte answers this question.
I am an advance player and want to buy a Schulte 7000 Series BB but there are so many choices on the order form. How do you choose the footrest style and wing?
There are three footrest styles based on how much adjustments you want. The wing choices are based on the position you play on the team and a bit of geography. We try to offer whatever will help you play your best.
What is the benefit of a double anti-tip?
The double anti-tips are preferred by most players because they give more stability and you tip over less than using a single anti-tip. Paul explains how they help in what he calls the "tip zone".
How do you choose the rear wheel size?
Rear wheels size is based a bit on wheel speed and the rear seat height. Most players choose a 24" wheel if they want a quick start and have rear seat heights of less than 16". The 25" wheel size is the best of both worlds allowing a fairly quick start but more "roll" per push and are used for rear seat heights between 16.5" -19". Paul Schulte uses this size as a point guard. The "big men"or centers go for 26" or 700C because of rear seat heights of 19-21" sothat they can reach the wheel but this size is not quite as quick as the smaller sizes.
Can you play all amputees at the same time?
No, in wheelchair basketball there exists what is called the Classification System. In this system, players are assigned values (1, 2 or 3) based on their overall muscle control and function. A class 1 has the lowest amount of balance and muscle control while a class 3 has highest. Typical class 3’s would be amputees, club feet, polio, etc. Class 2’s have limited use of their legs but still a reasonable amount of core control (abs, low back muscles). Class 1’s typically have very limited use of their abdominal and low back muscle groups. Teams are allowed to play up to 12 classification points at one time. So a traditional combination of points would be 3 Class 3’s, a Class 2, and a Class 1 (3+3+3+2+1=12).
How many points get scored in a wheelchair basketball game?
Like in any sport, there are defensive battles (low scoring) and offensive shootouts (high scoring). At a junior or beginning level, typical game scores could be anywhere from 20-50 points for each team. At an elite level, teams scoring from 80 – 100 points is common
How do I find a team near me?
Contact the National Wheelchair Basketball Association at www.nwba.org. They have several different divisions for helping everyone to participate!
Is there wheelchair basketball on TV?
It’s not very common to see it on national television, but you can watch games over the internet. If you’d like to watch a game of wheelchair basketball, visit the videos page of www.paulschulte.com.
I’m not US-resident, how do I get an Invacare Top End product?
For product information outside the USA, please contact the Invacare location in your country.