Wheelchair rugby originated as “Murderball” in 1977 in Canada and is rapidly developing around the world. It is an intense, physical team sport for male and female quadriplegic (tetraplegic) athletes. Wheelchair rugby combines elements of basketball, grid-iron and ice hockey and is played on a basketball-sized court. The teams are formed by four players and up to eight substitutes. Players are classified according to their ability and are assigned a point value from 0.5 to 3.5 points (3.5 having the most function). The four players on the court cannot exceed 8.0 points unless there is a female player, resulting in a 0.5 allowance.
A volleyball is used and it can be carried, dribbled, or passed in any way except by kicking. The ball must be bounced at least once every 10 seconds. Athletes score goals by carrying the ball over the opponent’s goal line. Wheelchair Rugby is played in four eight-minute (stop-time) quarters.
As part of Wheelchair Sports NSW, we run weekly trainings and monthly local scrimmages called the “Sydney Slam Series”. Our local players also compete nationwide in scrimmages held across Australia. To those interested we can help with finding a chair so you can get in and have a go!
Our NSW Representative side is called the GIO NSW Gladiators. This is the team that represent NSW at the Fierce4 Rugby rounds as well as selected events abroad.