Youth Wheelchair Basketball is played on a regulation court using NCAA men’s basketball rules with some exceptions. Rules for dribbling and lane violations are the main exceptions. ENWAA’s youth team is called the Nebraska Red Dawgs. The Red Dawgs participate in the youth division of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (www.nwba.org). The Red Dawgs typically have enough players to have varsity, junior varsity and prep teams. The younger players will play on a court with a lower rim and smaller basketball. Our team generally practices once a week during the fall and winter and participates in several tournaments across the U.S. each year.
Who may participate? Generally, anyone with a permanent disability to a lower extremity can play wheelchair basketball. Every player needs to be “certified” to determine eligibility and level of disability. Players under 21 and in high school or younger grades may play on our youth team. Both boys and girls are invited.
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Youth wheelchair softball is offered to children in elementary school through high school. In 2007 ENWAA established the Nebraska Jr. Barons. The Nebraska Junior Barons team has won the varsity national championship several times. Practices are held from June through August at the AllPlay Sports Complex (www.allpay.org) ; Omaha’s only wheelchair accessible softball complex, located in Seymour Smith Park at 72nd and Harrison Streets. Boys and girls with a certifiable permanent disability affecting a lower extremity are eligible to participate.Youth with all types of disabilities who are looking for a less competitive baseball experience should check out the Omaha Miracle League, which is also based at AllPlay (www.allplay.org).
As needed, ENWAA has supported other youth wheelchair sports such as tennis and swimming. Contact us if there is a sport we can help you with.