Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Greetings

It is estimated that Santa will visit 842,000,000 homes this Christmas at a speed of 4,796,250 mph!

Hope he remembers your house and brings all your Christmas wishes!

All best wishes for the festive season.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Paralympic Games 2012- Wheelchair Basketball

Where: North Greenwich Arena; Olympic Park - Basketball Arena
: Thursday 30 August – Saturday 8 September 2012
Medal events: 2
Athletes: 264 (144 men, 120 women; 12 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams)

Wheelchair Basketball was developed by American World War II veterans as part of their rehabilitation programme, but its popularity soon spread around the world. Now played in more than 80 countries, it is one of the most dynamic on the Paralympic programme, and should draw large and enthusiastic crowds to the Basketball Arena and North Greenwich Arena during London 2012.

The Basics
The rules of Wheelchair Basketball are broadly similar to Basketball. The court is the same size, the basket is at the same height, and the scoring is identical: two points for a regular shot from open play, one point for each successful free throw and three points for a shot from distance (6.75m from the basket). Players move the ball around the court by passing or dribbling, and are required to throw or bounce the ball after every two pushes of the wheels on their chairs to avoid being penalised for travelling.

There are 12 players in each team, with no more than five on court. Every player is assigned a point value based on their functional ability, 1.0 to 4.5. During play, the total on-court point value for each team of five players cannot exceed 14.
Both the men’s and women’s tournaments begin with a round-robin – the 12 men’s teams divided into two groups of six teams, the 10 women’s teams divided into groups of five. The top four teams in each group qualify for the quarter-finals, from which point the tournaments are played to a knockout format.

Wheelchair Basketball - Past & Present
Wheelchair Basketball featured at the first Games in Rome 1960, and has remained on the Paralympic programme ever since. The women’s competition was added at the Tel Aviv 1968 Games.

At London 2012, the Basketball competition will take place at two venues. The preliminary games will be split between the Basketball Arena, a new purpose-built venue in the Olympic Park, and the state-of-the-art North Greenwich Arena just across the Thames. All quarter-finals, semi-finals and medal games will take place at North Greenwich Arena.

Jargon Buster
Assist: A pass that leads directly to a basket scored by a teammate.
Downtown: The area outside the three-point line.
Shot clock: A timer measuring the length of time since the last shot. If the ball doesn’t touch the rim or pass through the net within 24 seconds, possession passes to the opposition.

Courtesy of

Monday, 5 December 2011

Paralympic Games 2012- Sitting Volleyball

Where: ExCeL
Thursday 30 Aug – Saturday 8 Sept 2012
Medal events: 2
Athletes: 198 (110 men, 88 women; 10 men's teams and 8 women's teams)

Sitting Volleyball emerged in the Netherlands in the 1950s, a combination of Volleyball and a German game called Sitzbal. It really began to increase in popularity during the 1960s, and has since grown into one of the most fast-paced and exciting Paralympic sports. Now played by athletes in more than 50 countries around the world, the sport should draw big crowds at London 2012.

The Basics
Sitting Volleyball is played by two teams of six on a 10m x 6m indoor court divided by a net (1.15m high for men, 1.05m for women). The object of the game is to land the ball in the opposition’s half of the court, with each team allowed three touches of the ball (in addition to a legal block) before it must cross over the net.

Matches are the best of five sets, with the first four sets played as the first to 25points; if a fifth set is necessary, it is won by the first team to reach 15 points. In all sets, a margin of at least two points is required for victory.

At London 2012, both the men’s and women’s events will begin with a round-robin group stage: the 10 men’s teams will be divided into two groups of five teams, with the eight women’s teams divided into groups of four. In the men’s competition, the top four teams in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals, from which point the competition will be conducted to a knockout format. For the women’s event, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals, with the winning semi-finalists then facing off for the gold.

Sitting Volleyball – Past & Present
Sitting Volleyball made its debut as a Paralympic medal sport at the Arnhem 1980 Games. A women’s event was added to the Paralympic programme in 2004.

At London 2012, the Sitting Volleyball competition will be held at ExCeL, a multi-purpose events venue that will also host a number of other Paralympic and Olympic sports.

Jargon Buster
Block: Preventing the attacking ball to come over the net by forming a ‘wall’ of hands at the net.
Dig: A defensive passing shot from close to the ground.
Setter: The player who ‘sets’ the ball for the attacker, usually on the second of the team’s three permitted shots.
Wipe: To return the ball off an opposing block so it lands out of bound

Courtesy of

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Paralympic Games 2012- Table Tennis

Where ExCeL
Thursday 30 August – Saturday 8 September 2012
Medal Events: 29
Athletes: 276 (174 men, 102 women)

Table Tennis has come a long way from its origins in the late nineteenth century, when it developed as an after-dinner game played by upper-class English families. A permanent part of the Paralympic programme since the first Games in 1960, the sport blends power, speed, skill and subtlety – no wonder it is the biggest participation sport in the world.

The Basics
Table Tennis is based on the same basic principles as Tennis, but it has a very different scoring system. At the Paralympic Games, matches are played over the best of five games, with the first player to 11 points (by a margin of two clear points) winning each game. The programme includes individual and team events for both standing players and wheelchair athletes.

At London 2012, all individual events will begin with a group qualification stage followed by a knockout competition, with athletes progressing through the draw until the finals. The team events will be conducted according to a direct knockout format.

A total of 11 different classifications are used in Table Tennis at the Paralympic Games. Classes 1-5 cover wheelchair athletes, classes 6-10 cover standing athletes, and class 11 covers athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Paralympic Table Tennis – Past & Present
Table Tennis has been part of the Paralympic programme since the first Games at Rome in 1960 (28 years before the sport made its Olympic debut). Events for standing players were first included at the Toronto 1976 Games, while athletes with cerebral palsy took part for the first time at Moscow in 1980.

At London 2012, the Table Tennis competition will be held at ExCeL, a multi-purpose events venue that will also host a number of other Paralympic and Olympic sports.

Jargon Buster
Blade: The flat, rigid part of the racket used for striking the ball.
Loop: An attacking shot, often played with plenty of topspin.
Penhold: A type of grip where the racket is held as if it was a pen.
Let: As well as service lets (similar to Tennis), a let may be called if play is interrupted – for example, by a ball from another table entering the playing area. If this happens, the rally is replayed.
Time-out: Each player may claim a time-out of up to one minute during an individual match.

Courtesy of