What is Powerchair Football?
Powerchair football is a unique sport that provides opportunities for people with a high level of impairment to access the game of football. It is the only active team participation sport for people who use electric wheelchairs (Powerchair).
The game is for anyone who uses a powered wheelchair or those who have limited movement in a manual wheelchair.
The sport is fast-paced, dynamic and very enjoyable to watch. The unique nature of powerchair football allows all ages, disabilities and genders to compete together.
FIPFA was established in 2006 when the founding members came together to create an international version of Powerchair Football. FIPFA is an independent Federation composed of National Organisations governing Powerchair Football in their separate countries. Its primary mission is to practice, develop, coordinate, and support Powerchair Football in countries worldwide. It is responsible for taking charge of the sport at the competition level and putting adapted promotional actions in place.
FIPFA currently has 24 Member Countries spread across three Zones; the American Powerchair Football Confederation (APFC), European Powerchair Football Association (EPFA) and the Asia Pacific Oceania Powerchair Football Association (APO).
Who can play?
Powerchair Football is played only by those with a diagnosed, severe physical impairment that leads to a verifiable, permanent activity limitation, as a consequence the athlete needs the use of powered mobility in order to play a sport.
Powerchair Football Rules
Powerchair Football is a team sport played in a power wheelchair that respects the same rules as football with some adaptations.
Some of the adaptations
- An indoor basketball court with a specific floor marking being 28m x 15m.
- Powerchair adapted to the play of football thanks to a footguard that that enables the player to control and hit the ball.
- A ball of 13 inches.
- Official game play at international – two halves of 20 minutes each.
- Two teams of four players – (three field players and a goal keeper).
Players are classified to play in national or international competitions and there are two eligible classes: PF1 (higher-level impairment) and PF2 (lower level of impairment). A team must have a minimum of two PF1s on court at any time.
Eligible impairment types must be permanent and verifiable (for example, will not resolve in the foreseeable future regardless of physical training, rehabilitation or other therapeutic interventions) and cause a permanent and verifiable activity limitation that causes difficulty in sport performance.
FIPFA provides sport opportunities for individuals with the following impairment types:
- Neurological impairment including spastic hypertonia, dystonia, athetosis and ataxia
- Myopathies including muscular dystrophy
- Spinal cord lesions
- Orthopaedic impairments
FIPFA is the international federation governing the sport of Powerchair Football, dedicated to empowering persons with High level Physical Impairments to play football. FIPFA is committed to governing and developing the sport of Powerchair Football in line with their respective mission and objectives and collaborate with Para Football in facilitating the growth of football for persons with disabilities.