About Wheelchair Rugby

(Via the United States Quad Rugby Association)


Wheelchair Rugby is a simple game with complex strategies for playing both offense and defense.  It is played with a volleyball on a basketball-size court with goal lines marked by cones and a lined-off "key" area (see diagram).

The object of the game is to score a goal (1 point) by crossing the goal line with possession of the ball while the opposing team is defending that goal. The team with the most points when time runs out wins.

Wheelchair Rugby is a full contact sport, but no personal contact is allowed: Slapping, hitting, punching, gouging out eyes, biting off ears, etc. is not allowed and penalties are enforced, usually requiring time in the penalty box.


Basic Rules of the Game
Games are four 8-minute quarters.

There are 4 from-the-court 30 second timeouts and 2 one minute bench timeouts that can only be called by the coach, plus 1 extra for each overtime played.

One point is scored when the goal line is crossed with any two wheels of  the ball carrier's wheelchair with possession of the ball.

10 Seconds:  Players must dribble or pass or it's a turnover.

12 Seconds:  Ball must be advanced over half-court or it's a turnover.

10 Seconds:  Ball must be inbounded or it's a turnover.

40 Seconds:  Teams must score after the ball is inbounded or it's a turnover.

10 Seconds: Offensive player cannot be in the key longer or it's a turnover.

Only three defenders are allowed in the key at one time or it's a penalty. (There is a penalty box.  Generally, players are released when the opposition scores a goal or when one minute served.)

Hitting an opposing player's chair behind the axles (a spin) is a turnover or a penalty.
The Classification System

To play one must have some dysfunction in all four limbs, so amputees, post-polios, and those with other disabilities might also be eligible to play, but most players have sustained cervical spinal cord injuries.

There is a classification system that identifies levels of function, giving a broad range of persons an opportunity to play quad rugby.  Classification is based on function, not athletic ability.

There are seven player classifications ranging from 0.5 (the lowest class who have limited function of arms and hands) to 3.5 (the highest class who have much greater function), and all those in between: 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5. 

The maximum point value allowed on the court per team is 8.0.  Example: 3.0 + 2.0 + 2.0 + 1.0 = 8.0.  Less than 8.0 is allowed.

There are two new additions to the above:

All female athletes are reduced an additional 0.5.  So a woman classed as a 2.0 would play as a 1.5, for example.  Maximum points allowed is still 8.0.
A player/players over 45 will be allowed to play on an 8.5 maximum line-up.  If a +45 player is not actually playing, the points allowed revert to 8.0.

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