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National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Returns to Louisville

Luca Bertolli, 123rf Stock Photo

Louisville is hosting what’s billed as the world’s largest wheelchair basketball tournament. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association competition will be held on a dozen courts set up inside the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Chris Rathje is president of the NWBA’s junior division. He said a record of 96 teams are competing across six divisions. He said the rules of wheelchair basketball are not much different from those in any other hoops competition.

“One of the main differences is that for every dribble of the ball, you get two pushes on the wheels, and pushes are considered any kind of touching,” said Rathje. “In theory, if someone was to dribble the ball and touch their wheels three times, that’s considered a travel.”

The tournament has been held in Louisville since 2013 and has been played in Kentucky eleven times.

It begins Thursday at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Rathje said a total of 192 games will be played on twelve courts in the KEC through Sunday.

Rick Howlett is a reporter based out of WFPL in Louisville, Kentucky.