What is Wheelchair Rugby? How does Wheelchair Rugby work? Get ready to learn about Wheelchair Rugby and discover how to be a fan, player, or coach. Start your journey to understanding Wheelchair Rugby here.
Wheelchair rugby is one of the most popular Paralympic sports and also one of the most exciting. Its objective is to carry a ball across the opposing team's end line to score points for your own team.
Teams carry a roster of up to 12 individuals and 4 play in game action at the same time. There is also a 40 second "shot clock" of sorts that the team with possession of the ball has to score or else the ball will be turnovered. The ball must also keep moving as a player cannot hold onto the ball for longer than 10 seconds without passing or dribbling the ball. The element that adds much of the excitement to the sport is that chair to chair contact is allowed so players crash into each other often to gain an advantage towards scoring.
The sport of wheelchair rugby was created in Canada in 1977 as an alternative to the more widely known wheelchair basketball. It grew throughout the 1980s from its humble beginning and was first a part of international competition in 1989. It was recognized as an official Paralympic sport in 1994 and was first played in the Paralympic Games in 2000. It has been in each Paralympic Games since 2000 as well as being a part of many different worldwide wheelchair competitions. Wheelchair Rugby has grown onto a global scale with over three dozen different countries having a national team in the sport and this continues to trend up over time too.