Unicycles Vs Wheelchairs



O

Ottawa Dave

Guest
The other day our unicycle club played a game of basketball against a
local wheelchair team. We played four quarters and the final score was
30 to 36, the wheelchair team takeing the win. Next to down hill muni
this was the most fun I've ever had on a unicycle. The play was fast
and felt well matched and every one seemed to have a good time. Some of
our better riders could pick the ball up off the floor on the move,
some thing the other team was not expecting.
I would play wheelchair/unicycle basket ball again in a heartbeat and
highly recomend it to others.
I'll try and post some photos later.

Thanks to Dr kaboom for organizing the event. :D


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A

andycookuk

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COOL!

I'd feel bad about beating disabled people, so in a way I'm glad you
lost! har har har, sorry!
-AndyC


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S

s7ev0

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Inspiring! I've had only a few minutes to think about this, but could
this be the first mixed able/disabled sport where there is parity of
access?

Was there not a height difference that -should have -worked to the
advantage of the unicyclists?

Do they have a forum? I'd be interested to hear what they thought.


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K

kington99

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s7ev0 wrote:
> could this be the first mixed able/disabled sport where there is parity
> of access?
>




Pistol shooting. If you don't think it's a sport argue with the olympic
committee, not me :)


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kington99

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T

tholub

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s7ev0 wrote:
> Inspiring! I've had only a few minutes to think about this, but could
> this be the first mixed able/disabled sport where there is parity of
> access?
>
> Was there not a height difference that -should have -worked to the
> advantage of the unicyclists?
>
> Do they have a forum? I'd be interested to hear what they thought.




I've played a lot of unicycle basketball, and watched some wheelchair
basketball, and I'd have to say that I don't think a wheelchair team
should be able to beat a good unicycle team. The wheelchairs will
have great difficulty defending passes or shots, and the unicycles are
far more manuverable. Against an inexperienced team, the wheelchairs
will have a shooting advantage, but I think that effect would disappear
or at least be greatly reduced against a strong team.


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A

anso

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Our basketball uni association in Paris plays sometimes with
wheelchairs, at least twice a year.

The first time I've played, in 1999, I was afraid about falling on the
wheelchair guys... And realized quickly they didn't care and rushed at
me if they needed in order to get the ball
AT the beginning, we used to play unicycles against wheelchairs, and
because, as you said, Tholub, wheelchairs had difficulties defending
passes or shots, we used to win.
Now our friends in wheelchairs are very good (but I can't say we are
inexperienced, our team play almost every week), some of them are part
of the French basketball wheelchair team that goes to the Paralympic
Games! So we decided to mix the teams and we have lots of fun.

Our association has a rolling basket we use during parade, like that
one, the Defistival which goal is to promote the meeting between
handicaped persons and the general public.

[image: http://543210.free.fr/photos/defistival/p9249943.jpg]

Not many unis on the pic but I'm on the right, the uni in my hands

An'So


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M

mscalisi

Guest
We should try to find a team close to Berkeley. That would be TONS of
fun. Do the guys in chairs have to dribble the ball down the court, or
do they just carry it?

Also, after seeing Murderball, I'm skeptical that unicycles are much
more maneuverable.


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M

Mikefule

Guest
How nice to find a sport where people with a very unusual
-ability-(unicyclists) can play on equal terms with people in
wheelchairs. That a unicycle team can play against a wheelchair team
is great. That someone should immediately think of mixing the teams is
even better. Not all people in wheelchairs are helpless, as is shown
by the people who do marathons in them and beat thousands of runners in
the process.

A friend of mine has a degenerative disease, and is now barely able to
operate an electric wheelchair. His disease makes him unable to speak,
and he can only communicate with nods of the head, grins, and by typing
laboriously into a communicator machine. He will die in the next few
years as his organs shut down.

I can remember when he was much younger, he could beat all of us at
armwrestling because he went everywhere on elbow crutches. A year or
three ago, when he was a little more able, I raced him around a
campsite - he in his electric wheelchair, me in his manual wheelchair.
He won when I capsized in a rut. His hysterical laughter is a
cherished memory.


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A

anso

Guest
tholub wrote:
> The wheelchairs will have great difficulty defending passes or shots,
> and the unicycles are far more manuverable.




I forgot to say :
It is much easier for the wheelchairs to pick up the ball on the floor
and I'm not sure the unis are more manuverable : we are not as stable
as they are and the handicaped are really at ease in their wheelchairs,
they don't use those just for fun (even if some of them can walk, and
some are not even handicaped, they just like to play in wheelchairs
with the handicaped persons).

I don't really know who should beat the other ones but anyway it is
much better to mix the teams.

An'So


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O

Ottawa Dave

Guest
Hi mscalisi,

The folks in the chairs have to dribble the ball after every two
pushes. The rules were the same as basket ball played on foot, except
that if some one fell out of a chair or off a uni they were out of play
untill they got back on there ride.

Dave


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D

drkaboom

Guest
Dave,

The final score was actually 38 to 30 - they schooled us but not so
badly that we were embarrassed. Now that we know the rules we'll have
to work on our scoring percentage per shots fired. We also have to work
on defence, defence, defence. The wheelchairs ripped back their own end
and were sitting there waiting for us after every one of their goals!

I've spoken with the Ottawa-Carleton Wheelchair Sport Association
(OCWSA) organizers and we'll be playing again in 2006. I'm sure now
that we've shown the way lots of other unicycle-wheelchair exhibition
games will be popping up around the country. We are working on the
video of the game and as soon as it's ready we'll post it. The OCWSA
would also like us to play against them in a 10 minute exhibition game
during the half-time show at the Harlem Globetrotters game at the Corel
Centre in April.

Just a note - it is possible to ride a unicycle on stilts and we have
the video to prove it. Sadly, I didn't have the skill level to stilt
unicycle ride myself (three attempts - zero successful) but Devon and
Thomas are both on record for having ridden my custom made six foot
high (12" tire) uni while wearing my stilts - amazing!

David (Dr. Kaboom)


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D

drkaboom

Guest
Ottawa Dave,

Now look what you've done! I'll have to call Marc the Welder to have
him put big wheels on two basketball nets so we can drag them through
the city for parades. I'll have him work out a way to collapse them so
we can stuff them in the van after we're done. It'll cost me a bundle
but think of the fun we'll have playing street unicycle-wheelchair
basketball.

Marcy says she went easy on us in the game and that in the re-match the
kid gloves come off and you better be wearing a cup.

Dr. Kaboom.


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N

ntappin

Guest
hey Dr. Kaboom, where do you get your welding done? Alcon welding?

And do you have any idea when the next game will be?

Thanks for getting all of this organized, I had a great time at the
last game and I am really looking forward to the next game.


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T

tholub

Guest
anso wrote:
> I forgot to say :
> It is much easier for the wheelchairs to pick up the ball on the floor
> and I'm not sure the unis are more manuverable : we are not as stable
> as they are and the handicaped are really at ease in their wheelchairs,
> they don't use those just for fun (even if some of them can walk, and
> some are not even handicaped, they just like to play in wheelchairs
> with the handicaped persons).
>
> I don't really know who should beat the other ones but anyway it is
> much better to mix the teams.
>
> An'So




Wheelchairs have a number of manuverability problems. For example,
turning requires you to use one hand; turning sharply requires you to
use two. So you can't ever shoot reliably while you're turning, and
you can't turn sharply while handling the ball at all. Think about the
circle inscribed by the outside wheel when a moving wheelchair user
turns by stopping his inner wheel; the radius is the width of the wheel
base, so the circle is something like two meters in diameter. That's
an enormous turn compared to what a unicycle is capable of.
Wheelchairs may be able to accelerate and decelerate faster than
unicycles when the wheelchair user is not handling the ball, but when
handling the ball the unicycle has a clear advantage.

Neither steed can move laterally, but a unicycle with its tight turning
radius can simulate lateral movement (critical on defense) much more
easily than a wheelchair.

And finally, the height advantage alone would be almost impossible to
overcome. I don't see any way the wheelchairs could even attempt to
defend against unicycles playing keep-away with the ball; the
unicyclists sit half a meter higher, and wheelchairs can't jump. The
unicycles will get almost all contested rebounds, will be in position
to block most shots, and will have a clean look at the basket every
time. Shortness will get the wheelchairs some steals off the dribble,
and loose balls, but I don't see how that could overcome the
disadvantages.

Again, that's assuming an experienced unicycle team. It takes most
people quite a while to be able to shoot reliably on a unicycle, and
many unicyclists spend a lot of time off their unicycle when they're
playing uniBB. But if I were to take the top 5 players from the
Berkeley group and give them 10 minutes of coaching, I think we'd beat
a top wheelchair team every time.

Mixing the teams sounds fun and competitive; I'm sure there would be
interesting strategies and tactics. I could see pressure defense
involving one wheelchair and one unicycle attacking the ball; the
wheelchair takes up a lot of space and blocks the low passes, while the
unicycle can apply pressure and block the high passes.

I have seen wheelchair basketball at halftime at Cal games, so I think
there may be a group around here we could try to hook up with.


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G

gerblefranklin

Guest
I think the mixed teams is best. I agree with Tom ont he maneuverability
and height issues. However, a mixed team could likely remove many of
these problems... And hey, we could be wrong. Until two expert teams
meet, I don't see any reason to make presumptions.


As for stilted unicycles... This isn't a first. There was a unicyclist
at Camp Winnarainbow who rode a girraffe of sorts while on 32" stilts.
He made it quite a ways, but eventually fell, shattering a kneecap. He
was the first, and until the just now, the last unicyclist I had ever
heard of who attempted this. I don't see it as being all that
difficult, except for the weaker leverage afforded to the rider.


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