If you want to get a good idea of a team’s strengths and weaknesses, play the best opponents you can find.
In the case of the Team B.C. wheelchair basketball players, that meant inviting teams from Alberta and Quebec for a weekend of games at the Timms Community Centre in Langley City.
“It’s a great chance for us to sort of get a little tune-up heading into the nationals and make sure we’re ready to go,” Team B.C. coach Simon Cass said.
While the visiting teams won all four games Saturday and Sunday, they had to work for their victories.
There were no blow-out losses like the last time the B.C. players went up against Alberta.
“The kids showed some strides,” Cass said.
The event will help decide the makeup of the B.C. team heading to the junior nationals in Quebec in March, which will determines the seeds for the Canada Games next year.
“We’re going to be making those selections in the next week or so,” Cass said.
The junior nationals will be held in Montreal March 16, 17 and 18.
There are about 150 wheelchair basketball players in B.C., ranging from beginners who took part in “have a go days” to try it out, to club level players.
“The awareness is growing,” said Sian Blyth, executive director of the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society (BCWBS).
The sport is unique in that it allows able-bodied competitors to play against people with disabilities.
It is not to be confused with full-contact wheelchair rugby, as seen in the collision-packed documentary “Murderball,” Blyth said.
Contact between players is not encouraged in basketball.
“If they do (make contact), it can be a foul,” Blyth said.
Aspiring players who would like top try the sport out should email firstname.lastname@example.org to locate the nearest club or phone BC Wheelchair Basketball at 604-333-3530
The BC Wheelchair Basketball Society (BCWBS) is a non-profit organization formed in 1983 and registered with Revenue Canada as a charity since 1985.
Wheelchair basketball made its debut at the winter edition of the Canada Games in 1995.
Depending on ability level, players are classified and assigned a point value.
The total point value of the five players competing on the court may not exceed a certain number depending on the league or level of play.