This event was among one of the original events in the Paralympics. When it was included in the second Paralympics in the 1964 Games in Tokyo, Japan, it was open exclusively to lifters suffering from spinal cord injuries. The rules for this sport are the same as in the International Olympic Games. For the first time, in the 2000 Sydney Games, women were allowed to take part in this event.
Wheelchair rugby is a sport for both male and female handicapped athletes. It was originated in Canada, during 1977, and has quickly developed around the world. Wheelchair rugby combines elements of basketball, football and ice hockey. A volleyball can be carried, dribbled, or passed in anyway except for kicking across a basketball court. Once every ten seconds, the ball must be bounced. Each team has four players and may have up to eight substitutes. The players are grouped based upon their abilities and receive a point value ranging from 0.5 through 3.5 points. The four players on the court may not exceed points in value. A goal is scored when a player carries the ball over their opponent's goal line.
Wheelchair tennis first appeared on the Paralympic venue in the 1992 Barcelona Games. It was originated in the US during 1970 and is continuing to grow. Regular tennis rules apply and high skill levels are maintained. The one major difference seen in this sport during the Paralympics is that the players are allowed two bounces of the ball; the first bounce being within the boundaries of the court. In the Olympics, players are only allowed one bounce of the ball.
Wheelchair basketball is physically demanding as well as fast-paced. This sport has one of the highest profiles in the Paralympic Games. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation governs the sport to ensure that the rules and player classifications are followed. This sport often includes three guards and two forwards to help increase movement on the court.
In the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, sailing was a demonstration sport. However, in the 2000 Sydney Games, it was a full medal sport in which all disability categories were eligible to participate. The sport has five basic factors: stability, visibility, hand functions, hearing, and ability to maneuver the boat.
The yachts used in this event have keels that offer an increased amount of stability. The keelboats have ample room in the cockpit for the sailors. All yachts race the course simultaneously, which is also known as the fleet racing format. Points are awarded based on the yacht's finishing position. The sailor with the least amount of points is declared "the winner."
In 1991, the International Sailing Federation, formally known as the IYRU, International Yacht Racing Union, recognized the International Federation for Disabled Sailors (IFDS) as a member and made the first World Disabled Championships. The sport has grown since then and now includes 28 nations.
Swimming has origins in physiotherapy and rehabilitation. However, now swimming is used in races and is among the largest most popular competitive event in the Paralympics. These events are open to athletes with all types of impairments. While competing, no assistive devices or prostheses can be worn.
In the Paralympics, the shooting competition is divided into rifle and pistol events. There are not any disability categories in the shooting competition. The athletes are judged by their abilities as opposed to their disabilities.
This event deals with riders and horses. Athletes with cerebral palsy, visual impairments, physical disabilities, blindness or mental disabilities may compete in this event. These competitors are grouped according to their disability. In a dressage competition, individual riders perform a pattern with variation of pace and direction. The riders are judged on their control in maneuvering the horse.
Speed on the track and strength and power in jumping and throwing events are what the crowd looks at when it comes to Athletics (Track and Field.) In the Paralympic Games, these events draw the most athletes and spectators. They offer many events and a wide range of competition. Athletics was a sport in the original Paralympic Games, and has been so ever since. The athletes' dedication to the sport combined with technological advances made once unimaginable feats a reality.
All athletes are eligible to participate in this sport. Some may use wheelchairs or prostheses. Visually impaired athletes compete with a sighted companion. Athletes compete according to their classification in the events. Events such as jumping, marathon, pentathlon, throwing, and track are continually being modified to include as many athletes as possible.
Goalball is a sport played by visually impaired athletes. The team consists of three players who are on the court at one time. The object of this game is to throw the ball into the opponent's goal. Inside the ball is a bell whose purpose is to indicate from what direction the ball is coming. Matches last a total of fourteen minutes and are divided into two seven minute halves. To avoid advantages granted to the competitors with better eyesight, masks are worn over the eyes of all athletes.
Boccia, a sport that tests the athletes' accuracy and muscle control, made its premiere during the 1992 Barcelona Games. Athletes who have cerebral palsy play boccia. In the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, it became possible for athletes to use assistance from devices to shoot the leather balls for them.
The game of boccia is played indoors on an even surface. In boccia, the athletes kick or throw leather balls as close as possible to a little white ball known as the target. Individuals or teams can participate in boccia.
Cycling is a fairly new sport to the Games. Visually impaired athletes were the first group to compete in this event. When visually impaired athletes compete, tandem bikes and a sighted rider are included. During the 1984 Paralympics in England, athletes with cerebral palsy and amputees began racing. Amputees competed with modified bicycles to fit the athletes' needs.
Until 1992, all of the categories were kept separate in competitions. Yet, for the first time, in 1992, onlookers witnessed extreme competitions in both road races and on the track among all three disability categories.
Fencing is a fast-paced sport played in the Paralympics and was introduced in the 1960 Rome Games. Wheelchair athletes, amputees, and athletes with cerebral palsy compete in the fencing events. In fencing, all athletes compete in wheelchairs that are strapped to the floor. Although the wheelchairs are anchored, they still allow the athletes freedom of movement.
Volleyball is a sport played in the Paralympic Games. The competition is separated into two events -- standing volleyball and sitting volleyball. Volleyball competition is open to athletes with a variety of mobility impairments. A smaller court and a lower net are the main differences between standing volleyball and sitting volleyball.
Judo, an event played in the Paralympics, was first introduced at the 1988 Seoul Games. Visually impaired athletes are eligible to compete. The rules follow those of the International Judo Federation. Fifty-three athletes participated in the judo competition at the Barcelona Games in 1992.