Wheelchair Rugby is a mixed team sport for male and female quadriplegic athletes –combines elements of rugby, basketball and handball. Athletes who play usually have spinal cord injuries. Other disabilities who play include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, amputations, polio, and other neurological conditions. Wheelchair Rugby was first introduced as a demonstration sport at the Summer Paralympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, and was officially included as the sport at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Players compete in teams of four to carry the ball across the opposing team’s goal line. Contact between wheelchairs is permitted and is, in fact, an integral part of the sport as players use their chairs to block and hold opponents. Wheelchair Rugby is played indoors on a regulation-sized basketball court, manual wheelchairs built specifically for the sport are used, and the game is played with a white ball, similar to a volleyball.
Wheelchair Rugby was invented in 1977 in Winnipeg, Canada by a group of quadriplegic athletes who were looking for an alternative to wheelchair basketball. They wanted a sport which would allow players with reduced arm and hand function to participate equally. The sport they created, originally called Murderball, is now known as Wheelchair Rugby.
Results from 2011 Parapan Am Games
Making it’s debut at the 2015 Games.
Venue for 2015
Mississauga Sports Centre, 5500 Rose Cherry Place, Mississauga, Ontario.
Read our other Parapan 101 articles:
Parapan 101: Goalball
Parapan 101: Boccia
Parapan 101: Wheelchair Tennis
Parapan 101: Archery
Parapan 101: Football
Parapan 101: Wheelchair Basketball
Parapan 101: Judo
Parapan 101: Athletics
Parapan 101: Powerlifting
Parapan 101: Track and Road Cycling