What is Wheelchair Rugby?
Wheelchair rugby is a team sport for male and female athletes with a mobility-related disability in at least three limbs. It is a unique sport created by athletes with a disability that combines some elements of basketball, handball, and ice hockey. The object of the game is to carry the ball across the opposing team’s goal line. Two wheels must cross the goal line for a goal to count, and the player must have firm control of the ball when he or she crosses the line. All wheelchair rugby players compete in manual wheelchairs. Players must meet the minimum disability criteria of the sport and must be classifiable under the sport classification rules.
1. A player has 12 seconds to advance the ball into the opponent’s front court, and a total of 40 seconds to score.
2. Fouls are assessed and penalties can include the awarding of a goal, a timed penalty in the penalty box, or a turnover.
3. A player with the ball has unrestricted pushes, but must pass or dribble the ball every 10 seconds or a turnover is awarded.
4. Each player is classified based on their level of functional ability to ensure that people with different levels of disability can compete together. Point values are awarded between 0.5 and 3.5 and a team’s 4 players must add up to 8 points.
5. The game is played on a regulation-sized basketball court that has been marked out with a goal line at each end and key that extends from the goal line and measures 1.75 meters deep.
6. A goal is scored when the player in possession of the ball crosses the goal line with at least 2 wheels without touching either of the cones.
7. Only three defensive players are allowed in the key at any given time. If a fourth enters, a penalty can be assessed or a goal awarded.
8. The offense can only stay in the key for 10 seconds, otherwise a penalty will be awarded.
9. Players are allowed to make wheelchair contact with each other any time after the referee has signalled the play to begin. A player is penalized if the chair contact is considered to be unsafe, usually resulting from a charge (taking too many pushes before contact), or from a spin.
10. The game is separated into four quarters (8 minutes each).