Wheelchair rugby is a very fast and full contact Para sport That was introduced into the Paralympic games in 1996 at Atlanta.
Recently, the game was contested at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as at August and it was held at Yoyogi National Stadium.
Wheelchair rugby has its inception just as a demonstration event in 1996 at the Atlanta Paralympic Games. It was four years later in 2000 that the sport was first awarded medals in Sydney and that has continued since then.
The Wheelchair rugby sports game is played in over 40 countries, and 30 of those countries are members of the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF).
Duncan Campbell, a Canadian, also called “The Quad Father ” established and designed the rules of the sport in order to make it a sport which quadriplegic and people with disabilities could see as their own.
Afterwards, in 1977, the sport was introduced at an event for multi disabilities sports in Edmonton, Canada. Courtesy of Duncan Campbell.
In 1979, Canada held its first national championship and two years later US began to form their first teams.
Fifteen years later, In Switzerland, The first World Championship began.
In wheelchair rugby, it is like playing rugby, basketball and handball all in one sport. The aim of the sport is to carry the ball across the opponent’s goal line. Players use their wheelchairs to block and withhold opponents from passing.
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6. Wheelchair rugby is played in four quarters and a quarter is an eight minutes match. For a team to win, they have to score the highest number of tries. This usually happens when a particular player crosses the opponent’s eight-metre try -line with the players wheels on the ground. There’s a three minutes overtime if there’s a draw in the two teams tries. This happens until a team emerges as a winner.
There’s something known as the 40-second shot clock which was introduced in 2008. If a team doesn’t score within that time, possession goes to the opponent. This strategy encourages positive play between teams. When a player receives a ball, He or she has just 10 seconds to bounce or pass the ball and 12 seconds to move the ball from their half of the court.
The level of disability of players range from 0.5 – 3.5. If a player’s classification is low, let’s say 0.5, the level of disability is higher, and vice versa. Players with higher degree of disabilities are defenders on the team, otherwise known as blockers. Those with lesser impairments play more active positions. Men and women players play together and when a female plays, an extra half point is permitted.
Australia comes first in the IWRF world rankings, USA comes second and Japan comes third.
New Zealand topped at Athens 2004.
The USA have also won two gold at Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008. Australia won the Paralympic Games at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Australia won USA in the Rio 2016 gold metal after two overtimes with a score 59-58. Ref.