Powerchair football

How to get involved with powerchair football

Powerchair football is a unique sport that provides opportunities for people with a high level of impairment to access the game of football. It is the only active team participation sport for people who use electric wheelchairs.

The game is for anyone who uses a powered wheelchair or those who have 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 both genders to compete together.

The FA works in partnership with The Wheelchair Football Association (WFA) and County FAs to develop the sport of powerchair football in England. The WFA was formed in 2005 and is currently run by a group of voluntary trustees. The FA funds a full-time national powerchair football development manager, who is employed by the WFA to retain and grow participation levels.

Classification & eligibility

Players are classified to play in national or international competitions and there are two eligible classes: PF1 (higher-level impairment) and PF2 (lower level of impairment). A team must have a minimum of two PF1s on court at any time.

Classification does not tend to be applied in regional or localised league competitions.

Rule adaptations

The laws of powerchair football are based on the 18 laws of the game, as laid down by FIFA, with some key adaptations: 

• Played indoors on a 30mx18m court
• Goalposts consist of two upright posts (pylons or cones) placed 6m apart - there is no crossbar
• Larger 33c,m diameter ball is used
• The game is 4v4 but match squads can be upto 8 players
• 2 halves of 20 minutes
• Only 2 defenders are allowed in the penalty area at once, no restrictions for the attackers
• Two on one rule replaces offside - if two teammates and an opponent are within 3m of the ball whilst it is in play, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposition. Only exception is that a goalkeeper can commit a two on one
• A push in replaces the traditional throw in
• Tackling is allowed as long as it is playing attachment to playing attachment - contact with any other part of the chair or ‘ramming’ is not permitted

See the full laws of the game.

The FA ;

Grassroots player pathway & competition structures

As of January 2019 there were 107 affiliated powerchair football teams across England, with over 1000 players training on a weekly basis. In addition to this, there are a range of less-formal turn-up-and-play recreational opportunities for those new to the game or who simply prefer a more-relaxed kick-around.

The WFA currently oversees nine competitions, including the National Premiership and Championship, six regional leagues and the WFA Cup.

There are also a number of club organised tournaments, festivals and friendly events that are run outside of the formal WFA competition structure, providing opportunities for new clubs or inexperienced players to take part in matches.

To find out more about powerchair football, visit the WFA website.

For more information about opportunities in your local area please contact your local County FA or the WFA’s national development manager, Adam McEvoy, via adam.mcevoy@thewfa.org.uk

Highlights of the Powerchair final at the 2016 FA Disability Cup: