Wheelchair Rugby is one of the most popular sports to arrive in recent years. It is a relatively new sport in relation to the more established disciplines but thanks to media focus it enjoys a large amount of attention. Formerly known as MurderBall! Wheelchair Rugby is mainly restricted to players with a high-level spinal injury or a disability of there or more limbs. This includes athletes with spinal injuries, amputees or people with congenital conditions Unique to wheelchair rugby, classification ranges from a points system of 0.5 to 3.5 based on functional characteristics for each class. 0.0 generally represents athletes with the most disability and 3.5 with the least. The total number of points allowed on court at any one time is 8.0 or below. Wheelchair Rugby is played on a basketball court measuring 28m by 15m and it is played with a regulation volleyball. The key areas are located on the two end lines. A game consists of four eight-minute quarters. The game clock is started when the ball goes into play and is stopped at each stoppage in play. Wheelchair rugby, for safety reasons is played with specialised rugby wheelchairs. These chairs are custom-built and completely reinforced in key areas on the chair due to the extreme high-impacts in the game.
Wheelchair Rugby was developed in Canada during the 1970s by athletes with quadriplegia. In Atlanta at the 1996 Paralympic Games, it was presented as a demonstration sport, and was officially included on the Paralympic Programme at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. As of 2009 the sport is practiced in 25 countries, and is under development in at least three others. Wheelchair Rugby is an intense team sport for male and female athletes with quadriplegia (tetraplegia). The sport can be very physical as athletes attempt to carry the ball over the opponent's goal line.
Wheelchair Rugby is governed internationally by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF).
Wheelchair Rugby is an intense team sport for male and female athletes with quadriplegia (tetraplegia). The sport can be very physical as athletes attempt to carry the ball over the opponent's goal line.
There are seven classes ranging from 0.5 to 3.5 with functional characteristics identified for each athlete class. In general, the 0.5 class includes those athletes with the most disability and the 3.5 class includes those athletes with the least disability or "minimal" disability eligible for the sport of wheelchair rugby.
In international wheelchair rugby the total number of points allowed on court at any time is 8.0. That is, the total points of all four athletes actually playing cannot exceed 8.0 points. A team may play with a lineup that totals less than 8.0 points, but not more.
All athletes compete in manual wheelchairs. There are detailed rules specifying the permitted design and construction of chairs. These rules are designed to ensure the safety of the players, and to prevent anyone from gaining an unfair mechanical advantage based on the design of their chair.
The centre line divides the court into a front court and back court area. A team's back court includes their goal line and key; teams score in their front court, which includes the opponent's goal line and key area. The centre line is considered to be part of the back court.
The key areas are located on the two end lines. They are 8m wide and 1.75 metres deep. The part of the end line that is in the key area is called the goal line. The ends of the goal line are marked by two cones.
Wheelchair Rugby is played on a regulation hardwood basketball court measuring 28m by 15m. The court is marked with boundary lines, a centre line, a centre circle, and two key areas.
Wheelchair rugby is played with a regulation volleyball.
Specific wheelchair rugby wheelchairs are used and chairs vary in size and purpose depending on the role of the player in question.
- Key Contact: Alan Lynch