Are you looking to have fun, playing a fantastically friendly team sport designed for electric wheelchairs users?
Then powerchair football could be just what you need.
What’s this then?
Powerchair football is a competitive team sport for disabled people who use power wheelchairs played on an indoor five a side pitch or gymnasium, so there’s no need to worry about rain.
The game has been played across the UK for a number of years now, with many professional clubs and development programmes providing regular coaching.
Who can play?
This game is for anyone who uses a powered wheelchair or has 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 – so what are you waiting for you?
What’s the aim of the game?
As with all levels of football, the aim is simple, score more goals in your opponents' net than they score in yours.
The game is played using a larger football and each team is made up of four players each, with four subs.
A match is 40 minutes long with a couple of unique rules. Push-ins are used instead of a throw-ins, and only 2 players from the defending team may enter the penalty area at any one time, so if you’re losing in the last minute it’s time to send everyone up front.
What do I need to play?
As long as you have a power wheelchair equipped with footguards to attack, defend, and spin-kick then you are almost ready for kick off. You don’t need a fancy pair of multi-coloured, expensive boots to play this version of the beautiful game.
Shin pads are not required but tackling is allowed as long as it is player to player. Contact with any other part of the chair or ramming is a foul.
Where can I play?
There are clubs up and down the country so hopefully no one should have to travel far to find a team. The Wheelchair Football Association has a handy club map showcasing where each club resides.
The Muscular Dystrophy UK Premiership has 12 teams including the Bolton Bullets, West Bromwich Albion Throstles and Manchester United PFC, but the game is played at all levels from international to a kick-about with friends.
Anything else I need to know?
We are proud sponsors of Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club, who enable people with physical disabilities from the region to have the opportunity to play football.
The club is run entirely by volunteers and has weekly grassroots sessions for beginners, intermediate sessions and advanced sessions for the team who play in the national league.
If you’d like to help out then they’re always looking for additional support.
How do I find out more?
The FA’s website has loads of helpful information if you’re looking to try powerchair football for the first time.
Alternatively, head over to the specially set up Wheelchair Football Association website which has everything you’d ever need to know about the sport.