3×3 wheelchair basketball Worlds to debut at 2020 IWAS World Games
The inaugural International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) 3×3 Open World Championships will take place during the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games 2020 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, held between the 23rd to the 28th February.
The 3×3 wheelchair basketball competition, which will be the first ever world competition in this discipline, will occur over three daysfrom 25-27 February, and have a men’s and women’s competition running simultaneously.
The Open World Championships will not have any qualification tournaments and is open to all IWBF’s member national teams who are interested in participating.
The first ever wheelchair basketball World Championships were part of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Committee (ISMGC), now known as IWAS, so it is fitting to now have the first ever 3×3 Open World Championships as part of the IWAS World Games.
The IWAS World Games 2020 are expected to attract more than 1,000 athletes from 50 countries. They are the biggest event on the IWAS calendar and have featured the international debut of many athletes who have gone on to become Paralympic, World and Regional champions and medallists over the years.
IWBF’s President, Ulf Mehrens, said, “I am delighted that we are able to announce the first ever Open 3×3 World Championships for national teams in wheelchair basketball. To be able to host a major event in 3×3 is extremely important and allows us to continue to grow our sport across the world, and widen our network of athletes, supporters and stakeholders.
“Working with a well-established partner in IWAS, and having Thailand as the host country, we know it will be an extremely well-run event.
“There is a key focus on the 3×3 discipline to help develop the game in smaller nations and developing countries, as well as establish a formal competition structure that will include high profile events such as the Commonwealth Games and maybe even the Paralympics in 2028.”
Rudi Van Den Abbeele, President of IWAS, responded to the inclusion of wheelchair basketball saying, “I am absolutely delighted to see wheelchair basketball back on the programme for the IWAS Games.
“The IWAS World Games are the perfect platform for developing disciplines and initiatives such as 3X3, as they have been for many other sports over the years. The exciting and diverse programme offers athletes and teams the chance to test themselves on a world stage and showcase their potential. With our wide membership we hope that this event will help in the development of 3X3 and support an even more positive and fruitful relationship in the years to come.”
“We look forward to welcoming the world to Thailand in 2020 and extend a warm hand of friendship to our friends in the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation”