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Your Aussie Guide to the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023

As the excitement builds for the upcoming Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023, Team Australia are putting the finishing touches on their preparation ahead of competing in the sixth iteration of the global adaptive sports event taking place in Germany this September 9th – 16th

We’ve pulled together some of the info you should know ahead of the Games kicking off.

What are the invictus games?

The Invictus Games are a multi-national sporting event for wounded, injured and ill Servicemen and women, held globally since its inception in 2014 by the Duke of Sussex. 

Invictus Australia works collaboratively with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to support former serving members and their families to attend the Invictus Games and other adaptive sport activities.   
The word ‘invictus’ means ‘unconquered’. It embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and ill Service personnel and personifies what these tenacious men and women can achieve post injury. The Games harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country. 
The Invictus Games is about much more than just sport – it captures hearts, challenges minds and changes lives. 
The Games recognise the significant contribution made by family and friends in the recovery process.

The Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 presented by Boeing, scheduled from September 9 to 16, will bring together 500 competitors from 22 nations to compete in 10 individual and team adaptive sporting events. Team Australia, comprising 31 serving and former serving ADF personnel, along with over 80 of their family and friends, is set to make their mark on the world stage. 

your overview to the 10 adaptive sports

There are 10 adaptive sports being showcased in Düsseldorf 2023 including the debut of Table Tennis! Each Games the host city selects a sport for inclusion in the program, this year it’s Table Tennis. In Germany, and especially in Düsseldorf, table tennis is one of the core sports making it the perfect inclusion into the program as the city plays host to 21 nations.

  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Cycling
  • Indoor Rowing
  • Powerlifting
  • Sitting Volleyball
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Wheelchair Basketball
  • Wheelchair Rugby

There will be 10 sports on display!


The aim of archery is to shoot arrows as close to the centre of a target, marked with ten concentric scoring rings, as possible. The highest scoring competitor wins. Competitors are permitted to shoot from a sitting or standing position across a distance of 18m.

There are individual and team events. 3 archers can compete in the individual events in each category. For the team events each nation can enter 1 team per category comprised of 3 archers.

There are 3 categories – Novice Recurve, Open Recurve and Open Compound.


Competitors of all abilities may participate, including those competing in wheelchairs, with prostheses, or under the guidance of a sighted person known as a guide. Events are divided by the functional categorisation of the competitors with separate events for men and women – excluding the relay which is mixed.

Track events include the 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m and 4x100m relay.

Field events include Discus, Shot Put and Long Jump.


Thanks to different types of bikes, adaptive-cycling allows for those with different impairments to participate. Competitors can use bicycles, tricycles, tandems, recumbent or road bikes to compete in 2 different event formats – time trial and criterium. Time Trials are held as individual competitions in a race against the clock but the criterium race lasts 20 minutes plus a final lap and the cyclist who has completed the most laps is the winner.

There are 2 formats of events the Time Trial: completed on a single 1.6km loop and the Criterium: several laps of a 1.76km course against the clock.

Indoor Rowing

Competitors compete with each other on rowing ergometers that can be modified to ensure they are adaptive to all impairments. The competitors are classified into 6 different categories with men and women competing in separate events. The objective is to cover the greatest possible distance within a specific period of time.

There are 2 formats of events, the Individual Sprint: lasting for 1-minute and the Individual Endurance: competed over 4-minutes.


Classed according to weight group, competitors are given 3 attempts to bench press the bar. Competitors lie flat on their back on the bench and must lower the bar to their chest, and press it upwards until their arms are completely straight. The bar must be loaded progressively for each round, meaning the weight lifted becomes heavier each time. The AH Formula will be used to determine medals within each bodyweight category.

There are 5 bodyweight categories for women and 5 for men.

Sitting Volleyball

Sitting Volleyball embraces both competitors with and without impairments, showcasing inclusivity. Players are required to remain in contact with the floor during the match and is played by 2 mixed gender teams with a minimum of 6 players for each side. Taking place on a smaller court with a lower net than in traditional volleyball. The objective of sitting volleyball is to send the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court while preventing them from achieving the same. All matches are best of 3 sets, with the first two sets being played to 21 points. The third set is a tie-break to 15 points (with a 2 point advantage) to determine the winner.


Swimming has been a staple at the Invictus Games since 2014 and is adaptive and open to all. Swimmers compete individually in their set events grouped by classification and gender in a 25m pool. Men and women compete together in the 4 x 50m freestyle relay event.

There are 3 strokes, Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke. Competed across various distances, 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and breaststroke and the 4 x 50m freestyle relay.

Table Tennis

Table tennis is making its debut at the 2023 Invictus Games in Düsseldorf. An inclusive sport open to all. Players compete in singles and doubles events with all matches best-of-three format. With servers changing every 2 points, the first player or team to reach 11 points wins the set.

There are 7 classifications in total for players who compete standing and for those who compete in a wheelchair. The events include Singles, where men and women compete separately, and Doubles, where teams can be mixed gender and consist of different categories.

Wheelchair Basketball

Wheelchair Basketball follows the rules of running basketball and uses the same basket and court with 2 teams of 5. Games are played over 3 periods of 8 minutes (2 rounds of 15 minutes for finals). Competitors of all abilities can compete together in this sport.

The teams are mixed gender with a maximum number of 14 points on the court per team at any one time. Based on a functional classification system, all competitors are assigned a point value between one and three points, depending on their sport-specific abilities on the court (e.g. wheelchair handling, dribbling or passing skills). The lower the level of impairment, the more points are assigned.

Wheelchair Rugby

Also known as ‘murderball’, wheelchair rugby is played in mixed-gender teams of 4 with the aim to carry the ball – a volleyball – across the opposing team’s goal line. Games consist of 2 periods of 10 minutes (15 minutes for finals).

Teams play a Round Robin format at the pool stage with the top 8 progressing to finals. Physical body contact is not permitted, but it is legal for athletes to use their wheelchairs to block opponents. Collisions are therefore frequent.

Competitors are classified with a point system as ‘maximum’ 1 point, ‘moderate’ 2 points or ‘open’ 3 points. A max of 10 points is allowed on the court for each team.

Check out the sport schedule via the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 website.

Team australia

Meet the 31 former & current serving Defence Force members of Team Australia. Invictus Australia and The Australian Defence Force have partnered to support the Australian competitors from Team Australia, plus their family and friends at the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023. Click here to read the team bios.

31 competitors will represent Australia.

Ready to shine in the green and gold

The competition wear you will see being worn by Team Australia during the Games was designed and provided by Belgravia Apparel, the official uniform and merchandise supplier for Invictus Australia. The kit is designed to optimise performance, providing the competitors with comfort and functionality to excel in their respective events. The fabric used is lightweight and breathable, ensuring that competitors can perform at their best, while looking their best. 

Check out Team Australia in the green and gold uniform.

how to watch

A live, digital stream of the Invictus Games will be available via the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 website.

There will be a FREE livestream of all sports events on their website here and on their Youtube.


To get all your Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 content make sure you have signed up to our newsletter. There will be a daily wrap of events as well as behind the scenes and exclusive content!


You can also see what #TeamAustralia get up to and other Games events by following up on all social channels.

@InvictusAustralia on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube.

show your support

Share your messages of support for Team Australia competing at the sixth Invictus Games in Düsseldorf. 

Tag @invictusaustralia in your stories and posts send us your photos or use the hashtag #InvictusAustralia so we can share them! If you have a video message – send it to us via DM on Instagram, Facebook or email it to

We’d love to see where in the world you are supporting the members of Team Australia from 💛

If you would like to support Team Australia and purchase your own spectator merch, you can do so here.  

Let the games begin

The event isn’t just about winning medals; it’s a celebration of the resilience, determination, and unity that define these remarkable veterans. The team’s preparation has captured the essence of their journey, their stories of triumph over adversity, and their commitment to pushing beyond limits. The team are now excited and ready for the Games.

Go Team Australia! The nation stands behind you, inspired by your unwavering spirit, and eagerly anticipating the remarkable achievements you will undoubtedly accomplish at the Invictus Games Düsseldorf. 

Check out what happened at the Invictus Games when Sydney played host in 2018.

About Invictus Australia:

Invictus Australia is the NFP responsible for organising the Invictus Games Sydney 2018. We carry on the legacy of the Games every day in local communities, as all veterans and their families can benefit from involvement with sporting communities, particularly ‘at risk’ veterans. As well as promoting the physical, social and emotional benefits of sport, Invictus Australia shines a light on the unique needs of younger veterans and the challenges they face as they transition from military to civilian life. Find out more at  

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