The inaugural 3x3 Open World Championships will take place during the 2020 IWAS World Games ©IWBF

The inaugural International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) 3x3 Open World Championships are set to take place during the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games 2020 in Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand. 

Hopes are high that the sport could be included in the 2028 Paralympics in Los Angeles, with the IWAS World Games due to be held between February 20 and 28.

The 3x3 wheelchair basketball competition, the first-ever world competition in the discipline, is  scheduled from from February 25 to 27, with a men's and women's competition running simultaneously.

The Open World Championships will not have any qualification tournaments and are open to all IWBF member national teams.

The IWAS World Games 2020 are expected to attract more than 1,000 athletes from 50 countries.

They are the biggest event on the IWAS calendar and have featured the international debuts of athletes who have gone on to become Paralympic champions and medallists.

"I am delighted that we are able to announce the first ever Open 3x3 World Championships for national teams in wheelchair basketball," IWBF President Ulf Mehrens said.

"To be able to host a major event in 3x3 is extremely important and allows us to grow our sport across the world, and widen our network of athletes, supporters and stakeholders.

The IWAS World Games will be held between February 23 and 28, 2020 ©IWAS
The IWAS World Games will be held between February 23 and 28, 2020 ©IWAS

"Working with a well-established partner in IWAS, and having Thailand as the host country, we know it will be an extremely well-run event.

"There is a key focus on the 3x3 discipline to help develop the game in smaller nations and developing countries, as well as establish a formal competition structure that will include high-profile events such as the Commonwealth Games, and maybe even the Paralympics in 2028."

Rudi Van Den Abbeele, President of IWAS, is delighted to see 3x3 wheelchair basketball included on the World Games programme.

"The IWAS World Games are the perfect platform for developing disciplines and initiatives such as 3x3, as they have been for many other sports over the years," he said.

"The exciting and diverse programme offers athletes and teams the chance to test themselves on a world stage and showcase their potential.

"With our wide membership we hope that this event will help in the development of 3X3 and support an even more positive and fruitful relationship in the years to come.

"We look forward to welcoming the world to Thailand in 2020 and extend a warm hand of friendship to our friends in IWBF."