Adaptive sports and recreational activities come in an extremely wide variety ranging from collision sports such as wheelchair rugby to skill sports like boccia and wheelchair tennis. There are sports of every type, played in every season and environment, and adapted to people with any type of disability. We believe there is an adaptive activity out there for you and a place for you to give it a shot. Check out some of our favorite adaptive sports below and contact us if you need a hand!
Adaptive Sports Resources
- Five-a-side Football (Blind Football) is a adaptive version of soccer for athletes with visual impairments. It has been featured in the Summer Paralympics since the Athens 2004 Games
- 7-a-side Football (AKA CP Football) is an adaptive version of soccer for athletes with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders. It has been featured in the Summer Paralympics since 1984.
- Amputee Soccer is another form of seven vs. seven soccer but in this case the field players have a lower extremity amputation or limb difference and travel using forearm crutches while each team’s goalie has an upper extremity amputation. Amputee Soccer was invented in 1980 and has grown to more than 40 countries.
- Power Soccer (AKA Powerchair Football) is a 4-on-4 form of soccer played on a basketball court by anyone that makes use of a power wheelchair. Players pass and shoot the larger-than-usual ball with a metal guard around the chair, aiming to move past defenders and the goalie. It is a fast-paced sport by any standards and is expanding rapidly around the country and around the world. Power Soccer is the sport that got Athletes Roll started and introduced us to adaptive sports!
- Check out our coverage of the 2017 USPSA Nationals, 2017 FIPFA World Cup, and more!
- Teams in the Northeast:
- Links to all registered teams in the US
- Sled Hockey (AKA Sledge Hockey) is a 5-on-5 sport with gameplay that nearly mirrors that of its able-bodied counterpart, ice hockey. Athletes sit in a seat (known as a bucket) that slides on the ice on two parallel skates and propel themselves with the ends of two shortened hockey sticks.
- Teams/Organizations in the Northeast:
- Links to all registered teams in the US
- Special Hockey is a fast-growing discipline of ice hockey geared towards athletes with developmental or cognitive disabilities.
- There are over ninety special hockey teams around the United States, organized by ASHA.
Other USA Disabled Hockey Disciplines
- Rock Climbing is a sport with an incredibly strong community and the adaptive form is no different. Programs around the country and world cater to people with physical, mental, and neurological disabilities to help them climb both artificial rock walls indoors and the real thing outdoors.
- Sitting Volleyball (AKA Para Volleyball) is a sport played by people with lower body disabilities. It is similar to able bodied volleyball but with a smaller court, lowered net, and a rule that your butt must be touching the floor whenever making a play on the ball.
- Countries compete in sitting volleyball in the Summer Paralympic Games. It is governed in the US by USA Volleyball.
Stand-Up Adaptive Tennis
- Stand Up Adaptive Tennis (AKA TAP) is played by athletes with amputations or other disabilities which alter their athletic ability but still allow them to compete on their feet.
- Read about the 2017 TAP World Tour event in Houston Texas.
- Wheelchair tennis is a Summer Paralympic sport which is very similar to its able bodied counterpart. The biggest rule difference is that the ball can bounce twice on each side of the court before the player hits it back.
- Wheelchair Tennis has become increasingly recognized on the international stage with a world tour sponsored by UNIQLO.
- Wheelchair Basketball is one of the most well known adaptive sports out there. It is played on a standard basketball court with only minor rules changed from the able-bodied sport.
- There are well established leagues in the US, run by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, from youth championships to college tournaments to adult leagues, as well as professional leagues developing overseas.
- Wheelchair Rugby (AKA Quad Rugby, Murderball) is a fast-paced collision sport played in specially designed wheelchairs. The sport was initially created for athletes with spinal cord injuries and players are rated based on the level of function they have. It is a combination of rugby and team handball played by teams of 5 on a basketball court. One point is scored by wheeling across the goal line. Players can collide into each other to impede their progress and try to steal the ball.
- More info: Official USA Wheelchair Rugby Website
Wheelchair Motocross (WCMX)
- Wheelchair Motocross (AKA WCMX) is essentially riding and doing skatepark tricks in a push wheelchair. It is exciting and thrilling and has been described as one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports.
The Paralympic Games are one of the most watched sporting events in history and are easily the most recognized adaptive sporting event. They are held every two years in the same cities and venues as the Olympic Games.
|Athletics (Track and Field||Shooting Para Sport|
|Football 5-a-side||Wheelchair Fencing|
|Alpine Skiing||Ice Hockey (Sled Hockey)|
|Cross-Country Skiing||Wheelchair Curling|