52 male elite wheelchair basketball athletes, classified into 4 functional ability classes, were studied to determine wether overall wheelchair basketball performance in a game situation is relation to the functional ability level of the participant. To dtermine the quality of the individual's game performance, 18 championship games were videotaped and analysed by means of teh Comprehensive Basbetball Grading System. Physical fitness parameters (propulsive force and aerobic power) were determined in specific laboratory conditions. Force application on the wheelchair handrims was measured by means of an ergodyn device. Finally, the subjects, while in their wheelchairs, performed a maximal exercise capacity test on a motordriven treadmill. The analyses indicated significantly differences in field performance and aerobic power between Class I and the rest of the classes. However, isometric and dynamic force application on the handrims could not be proven to be functional ability dependent. In conclusion, reducing the number of classes to improve fair and equitable competition in wheelchair basketball was considered viable.