Transforming School Athletic Paradigms
The American Association of Adapted Sports Programs, Inc. (AAASP) provides equitable opportunities in school-based sports for students with physical disabilities and has successfully demonstrated that it is reasonable to add adapted sports programs to existing school districts’ extracurricular athletic offerings without creating an undue administrative burden or requiring changes to existing rules for non-disabled student athletes.
Under the guidance and leadership of AAASP, our member school districts and state high school associations have expanded their view of providing extracurricular athletics for students with physical disabilities by realizing that “inclusion” must extend to the sport offerings, thereby including adapted sports within the school districts extracurricular athletic offerings. This mindset has created comparable opportunities for students with physical disabilities to take part in interscholastic sanctioned adapted sports programs so they can experience the rewards and satisfaction of competitive school-based sports just as their non-disabled peers.
Extracurricular adapted athletic programs create an atmosphere for student athletes with physical disabilities to achieve lasting friendships, improvements in their physical development, and academic performance, as well as teach students fundamental skills, teamwork, strategy, and concepts of sport participation while having high expectations and clear standards for success, which relate back to the students performance in the classroom just as school athletic programs do for non-disabled students.
There are standardized seasons; rules of play, policies, procedures, regulations, and guidelines that school districts adhere to for students with physical disabilities who participate in the AAASP adaptedSPORTS® programs.
A fast–paced game that is easily played by students using either manual or power wheelchairs. Played inside on a basketball court, many of the same skills required for wheelchair basketball are used in wheelchair handball.
One of the most widely recognized sports for athletes with disabilities. Although they are able to walk unassisted, with devices, or use manual propelled wheelchairs, all participants must compete in a manual wheelchair. Power wheelchairs are not permitted.
A fast–paced sport that is best played when athletes are in maximum physical condition, and at the top of their game in teamwork, strategy, and wheelchair handling skills. The game is in the spring on a standard basketball court with all players using either a manual or a power wheelchair.
Wheelchair Track & Field
All high school students in Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky with a permanent, physical disability may be eligible to participate on their school’s track and field team. Students must meet all eligibility requirements. Students will have the opportunity to compete in the wheelchair races and shot put.
I would say AAASP is an organization that really “gets it.”Mike Emory Athletic Director, Gwinnett County Schools
We’re not raising a CAN’T. We’re raising a CAN. Your programs help make that possible.Jed Butler, Parent
This is the only place we’ve found where the rules aren’t bent or watered down to include him.Chrystal Bashakas, Parent
adaptedSPORTS® Wheelchair Handball
AAASP Wheelchair Handball Kits are available for purchase through FlagHouse
Wheelchair Handball kicks off the AAASP sports year in August. Wheelchair Handball is a fast–paced game that is easily played by students using either manual or power wheelchairs.
The ball, which is a Tachikara Official SV–5W loose bladder constructed white leather volleyball, is easier for children in the early stages of learning fundamental sports skills and enables them to achieve higher levels of confidence and success; therefore they are motivated to continue playing. The sport is played inside on a basketball court and many of the same skills required for wheelchair basketball are used in wheelchair handball, such as learning to move, pass, dribble, shoot and pick up the ball. In wheelchair handball, however, a player may use their hands, feet or the wheelchair to move the ball.
AAASP has two divisions of play for its member teams — varsity and junior varsity. Teams are placed by AAASP in these divisions with input from the Area Coordinator. This placement is based on many factors, such as the teams overall experience, years of play, and functional ability of individual players. The season ends with the state Wheelchair Handball Championship, where the best varsity and junior varsity teams from across the state compete for their respective championship titles.
* Wheelchair handball is also called indoor wheelchair soccer in its adult format.
adaptedSPORTS® Wheelchair Basketball
Wheelchair Basketball is one of the most widely recognized sports for athletes with disabilities and is one of two AAASP sports organized during the winter.
Although they are able to walk unassisted, with devices, or use manual propelled wheelchairs, all participants must compete in a manual wheelchair. Power wheelchairs are not permitted. The wheelchair is considered part of the body, offensive players are allowed four seconds in the lane and there is no double dribble.
As in Wheelchair Handball, teams play within either junior varsity or varsity division. Junior varsity teams use an 8½foot hoop and a NCAA’s women’s basketball and the varsity teams use a standard 10–foot hoop and a NCAA men’s basketball. The AAASP season ends with two state Wheelchair Basketball Championships — one for varsity and one for junior varsity — where the best teams from throughout the state compete for their respective titles.
ACHIEVING BIG THINGS TOGETHER SINCE 1996:
adaptedSPORTS® Wheelchair Football
Wheelchair Football is a fast–paced sport that is best played when athletes are in maximum physical condition, and at the top of their game in teamwork, strategy, and wheelchair handling skills.
adaptedSPORTS® Wheelchair Track & Field
Wheelchair Track and Field is integrated as an adapted division within the state high schools existing track and field program in partnership with AAASP. Heats and events are added based on interest.
All high school students in Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky with a permanent, physical disability may be eligible to participate on their school’s track and field team. Students must meet all eligibility requirements. They will have the opportunity to compete in the wheelchair races and the shot put. There will be two (2) divisions of competition in the shot put based upon the disability.
Students will be members of the school’s track and field team and will compete at all the school’s meets (regardless of the number of wheelchair competitors). The athletes must complete in their school’s team uniform. The top eight (8) qualifiers over the entire track season in each event will advance to compete at the State Track Meet.
Coaches receive training from AAASP with regard to coaching student athletes with physical disabilities.