Bernd Best Tournament

Bernd Best Tournament

Bernd Best Tournament

Bernd Best Tournament


Everything about rules, eligibility and much more.

General Information

Around 350 players play wheelchair rugby in Germany, including 40 women. It is played in 3 divisions - 1st national league, 2nd national league (North & South) and regional league. The national team has qualified for three Paralympic Games so far: Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. The team is ranked between 6th and 11th in the IWRF world rankings.

Eligibility to play

People who have limitations in at least three limbs. These are usually caused by paraplegia, amputation, polio or spasticity. Due to the impairment of the arms, the majority cannot play wheelchair basketball. Women and men play together.

Rules and teams

The playing field is the same as for basketball. There is an 8m wide goal at each end line and a 1.75m deep zone in front of it, the so-called key. Two teams of 4 players face each other on the court. According to the classification system, the players receive points from 0.5 to 3.5 according to their agility. All players are given a fair chance to participate, as the 4 field players together may not exceed 7.0 points. Internationally, the team point limit is 8.0. The participation of women is encouraged by increasing the team points by 1.0 point (0.5 internationally) for each woman fielded.

Goals and ground rules

Goals are scored by one player driving the ball (a volleyball with a good grip) over the 8m wide goal line. The team only has 40 seconds to do this. The other players help by blocking the opponent or passing the ball. The ball may be carried on the lap, but must be dribbled or passed after 10 seconds at the latest. The defending team may also block with the wheelchairs and block the path to the goal. This is mainly attempted in the half of the opposing team, which must bring the ball upfield within 12 seconds. The ball may be knocked away and intercepted without touching the body of the opposing team. Scoring is made easier because only 3 defenders are allowed to secure the goal in their own zone. The dynamics of the game are encouraged by the fact that an attacker is only allowed to stay in the opponent's zone for 10 seconds.

Playing time

4 x 8 minutes of effective playing time challenges the stamina of the players. In the short breaks between the quarters and 4 timeouts of 1/2 minute each as well as two technical timeouts from the bench, the players can recover from their exertions.

Examples of rule violations:

  • Physical contact; violent, unfair wheelchair contact
  • Ball is held for longer than 10 seconds
  • Throw-in does not take place within 10 seconds
  • Ball is not brought into the apron within 12 seconds
  • Playing back in your own half
  • Penalties: Loss of possession; up to 1 minute in the penalty box (end when conceding a goal)

Wheelchair Rugby Germany

The official health and mobility partner of Wheelchair Rugby Germany.