Episode 20:


Published: February 2012: Updated: June 2013, August 2017

Partners: Alexy Valet and Baskin

Baskin was invented in Italy by a very creative and forward looking team of people. It’s a form of basketball that has been built on universal design principles from the ground up. This is a great example of inclusive sport in action.

We’re off to Italy this week. Great country doing great things in the field of sport for people with disability.

Baskin is an inclusive sport, based on Basketball but with it’s own identity and structure. The founders of Baskin are Antonio Bodini and Fausti Cappellini from Cremone, northern Italy. It is thanks to their vision and persistence that Baskin came about. People like Antonio and Fausti make a difference in the world—no question.

Inclusion Club subscriber Alexy Valet sent us material about Baskin, his description of the approach of Baskin is really interesting:

In Baskin, it is no longer people that must adapt themselves to an already built sport, but it is the sport that is tailor-made to people. As many experts notice it, it is more effective to include Design for All principles early in the design process than making alterations after solutions are already in the market.
That’s what Baskin did and that is its real innovation. Instead of developing the usual accessibility strategies to improve “HOW” to offer activities which are already in the sport market, like basket-ball, focusing on economical, architectural and human factors, Baskin’s strategy was to focus previously on improving “WHAT” to offer, by changing the pedagogical architecture of the sport itself.
Indeed, redesigning the sport structure in a more ergonomic way towards human diversity, Baskin invented a new way to practice sport, completing the current opportunities of the sport market.

—Alexy Valet in “Sport, Innovation and Design for All: the example of Baskin”

So they took the approach of building an inclusive basketball type activity from the ground up. Sure, it was based on regular basketball, but the construction of rules, playing strategy and even court structure were built with the intention of providing maximum possibly opportunity for a diverse population of people.

Clever! And a great example of an effective inclusive technique. All too often it is too easy to fall into the trap of developing activities that are constructed on the principles of an existing activity. Which, by default, has not been constructed in the first instance to be particularly inclusive of diverse populations.

But, it takes quite a skill to do this and we all have in-built structures and rules for sport and games in our psych!

Anyway, how does Baskin work?

How does Baskin work?

The Inclusion Club—Episode20 Illustration of a game of Baskin

The players have different roles designed to maximises inclusion and give everybody an important part to play.

Without entering here into a detailed description of the ten rules that govern the game, we can identify four main kinds of adaptation that characterize the methodology of Baskin:

  • Material adaptation
    Two extra basketball rings on the half way sideline, at a lower height. Different size and weight balls are also used.
  • Space adaptation
    Protected areas designed to ensure stability and security in the shot in the side baskets.
  • Rule adaptation
    Each player has a role defined by his or her skills. These roles are numbered from 1 to 5 and have their own rules. Defending is allowed only between players who have the same role, each player has therefore a direct opponent of the same level
  • Communication adaptation
    Use of a mentor, a team player which can accompany players with disability when necessary.

Now, there’s a lot more to it than that, but these are the basic adaptations. The best way to explain Baskin is to show you. As it happens we have an excellent instructional video for you below put together by our Italian friends. Also, you can then see a match in action. This will really give you a good understanding of what Baskin is all about.


You can see from the video that Baskin has a lot of scope to adapt and modify even further. We would suggest that implementing the various elements of Baskin be gradually fazed in over time, rather than starting from the finished version you see here.

You can also take a look at the website of Baskin where you can see more photos and videos of Baskin in action. Just click on the link underneath the graphic below.

Baskin website

To finish we’ll leave you with a quote from Alexy that summarises very well the approach of Baskin.

Enjoy, and be sure to make yourself a good Italian meal tonight with a glass of Italian wine to wash it down—say ‘salut’ to our colleagues and friends for some great work!

It is not the person who has to adapt to the sport, but it is the sport which has to be adapted to the person!
—Alexy Valet, from paper presented at EUCAPA, September 2006.

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About the author: Peter Downs

About the author: Peter Downs

Founding Director - The Inclusion Club

Peter is Founding Director of The Inclusion Club and Manager of Play by the Rules – a national initiative to promote safe, fair and inclusive sport. Peter has worked for over 25 years in the field of inclusive sport, disability sport and physical activity including 17 years managing the Australian Sports Commission’s Disability Sport Unit.  In 2013 Peter was fortunate enough to receive a Churchill Fellowship to study models of best practice in inclusive sport and physical activity.