Rugby: A pure team experience

In customized wheelchairs, two teams of four players compete to score tries or form a wheelchair blockade to prevent their opponents from getting a look-in. The main focus is the team experience. However, there are also championships and international competitions.

In this fast-moving sport, contact between wheelchairs is not only allowed, it's part of the game plan. A defending team tries to stop their opponents and take control of the ball. Every ten seconds, a player must pass the ball. Additional time limits apply to the duration of an attack and the time taken to reach a certain position on the field. To score a try, both wheels of the wheelchair must cross the goal line while the ball is in the possession of the player.

Canadian roots

Wheelchair rugby was first played in 1977 in Canada and the first championships took place there in 1979. The sport is spreading rapidly throughout the USA and Great Britain. In 1995, fifteen countries took part in international competitions. In 1996, the sport was invited to perform a demonstration match at the Paralympics and team competitions have been included in the Paralympics since the 2000 event in Sydney.

Author: Dominik Feusi