Photos by M&K Images
DRSSA manages the Adelaide Thunder, the state team representing South Australia in the National Wheelchair Basketball League (NWBL). After a hiatus from the National League, the team returned to the competition in 2017 and has competed fiercely for the past two years. DRSSA & the Adelaide Thunder are extremely grateful for the support of the West End Community Fund who have supported the Thunder for the 2017/2018 seasons.
Looking to 2019, the Thunder has laid the foundations for a successful campaign. The team has become unified and determined under the leadership of captain Jay Dohnt and experienced player Adam Roocke. Players train twice a week in the evening, participate in Disability Recreation and Sports SA’s social basketball program, and organise early morning trainings amongst themselves for extra practice. Footage of past games is reviewed, and players engage in honest and open discussions about where they need to improve to become more professional. Ultimately the team will be looking to secure more wins in 2019 and even push for a finals berth.
You can check out the Adelaide Thunder Facebook Page below to show your support, and you can find results of the 2019 season here.
Who can compete in the NWBL?
To be eligible to play wheelchair basketball, a person must in their lower limbs have an objective and measurable permanent physical disability, which prevents them from running, jumping and pivoting as an able-bodied player.
The classification of wheelchair basketball players has evolved significantly over the past 15 years. Wheelchair basketball classification is based on the players' functional capacity to complete the skills necessary to play - pushing, pivoting, shooting, rebounding, dribbling, passing and catching.
It is not an assessment of a player's level of skill, merely their functional capacity to complete the task. Players are assigned points as their classification - 1, 2, 3, and 4 are the recognised classes, with 0.5 classes between for the exceptional cases which do not fit exactly into one class, and the 4.5 category for the player with least or minimal disability.
Classes are defined according to players' "volume of action". Each class has a clearly defined maximal volume of action, which the player may exhibit. Players are observed in their competition wheelchairs, complete with all strapping they will use, but in a training situation before the tournament commences. From this initial observation, a player is assigned a class with which they will begin the tournament. The player is then observed in an actual competition game, at which time their classification will be confirmed or modified if the classification panel feels it is necessary.
The total number of points allowed on court at any time is 14.0. That is, the total points of all five players actually playing. If a coach allows the team to have over 14.0 points, they will incur a coach technical foul.
Adelaide Thunder on Facebook