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Photo courtesy Danny-Ralph Cäsar

For the first time in the history of the FISU World University Games Summer, Para Sport will be included in the programme of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU Games. 3×3 wheelchair basketball will celebrate its premiere at the Games in summer 2025. Eight men’s and eight women’s teams will compete for the medals at the Arena-Sportpark in Düsseldorf.

3×3 basketball has become increasingly popular in recent years. In contrast to traditional basketball, this fast-paced version sees three athletes per team play on court at the same time. In the 3×3 version, the three-point line serves as a two-point line and a team has a maximum of twelve seconds to try to score. The winner of the match is the team first to 21 points – or the one leading at the end ten minutes of play. The 3×3 wheelchair basketball is considered to be action-packed and is often compared to bumper cars due to the frequent collisions between wheelchairs.

The inclusion of 3×3 wheelchair basketball in the programme of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games has also been well received by athletes. “It’s great that wheelchair basketball will have a whole new stage at the FISU World University Games Summer and will certainly attract many more spectators. This spectacular sport is sure to quickly win them over. At the same time, it will certainly be good for our sport that young talents can prove themselves here once again and gain important experience in international competition,” says Mareike Miller, national wheelchair basketball player.

Photo courtesy Danny-Ralph Cäsar

FISU is also looking forward to having Para Sport in its programme in the future. “Including 3×3 wheelchair basketball in the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games sport programme is a positive step toward promoting inclusivity and diversity in international university sports. This will be the first time to have Para Sport in the FISU Games Summer programme, and we believe it will bring positive impact in public relations and event culture, showcasing a commitment to social responsibility and community engagement. In Rhine-Ruhr, we will be integrating 3×3 wheelchair basketball into existing basketball programme, which allows for shared resources, facilities, and expertise, promoting a seamless collaboration,” says Jing Zhao, Director of the FISU Summer Games.

3×3 basketball has been an Olympic sport since the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, but 3×3 wheelchair basketball is currently not played at the Paralympic Games. The first time it was held at an international multisport event was at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom. For this competition at the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU Games, two groups of four teams will play three group matches each, with the group winners going straight to the semi-finals and the second and third-placed teams playing an intermediate round. Both the able bodied 3×3 basketball competition and the 3×3 wheelchair basketball competition will take place at the same venue in Düsseldorf’s Arena-Sportpark.

“I very much welcome the fact that we have a Para Sport in the programme at the FISU World University Games Summer for the first time,” says Thorsten Hütsch, Sports Director at the German University Sports Federation (adh), which is organising the FISU Games in 2025. “This is a very important signal for university sport – also for us as a national university sports federation, which aims to create inclusive programme within the university championships in the future.”

Information provided by Rhine-Ruhr 2025 Organising Committee