March 26, 2003 - BC Wheelchair Sports Association will host its fourth annual Vancouver Invitational Quad Rugby Tournament Friday to Sunday, March 28 to March 30, 2003 at Bonsor Recreation Centre in Burnaby. Competition begins Friday with games at 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Games run all day Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the final will be played Sunday, March 30th at 12:30 p.m.
Several national team players will be in Vancouver for a training camp leading up to the tournament. British Columbia athletes on the national team include Ian Chan from Richmond and Garett Hickling from Langley who was recently named MVP at the 2002 World Championships where Canada won the gold medal.
The 2003 Vancouver Invitational Quad Rugby Tournament includes teams from San Diego, Portland, San Jose, Alberta, Seattle, Saskatchewan and B.C.
"You will see top level quad rugby at this tournament," says Duncan Campbell, one of the founders of quad rugby. "The best players in Canada will be competing. This is a physical and exciting game to watch."
Quad Rugby, or wheelchair rugby as it is also called, is a sport with roots going back to wheelchair basketball and ice hockey, which is not surprising, since it was developed by three Canadians from Winnipeg, Manitoba as a quadriplegic equivalent to wheelchair basketball.
The sport was originally called murderball due to the aggressive nature of the game. In 1979, a team from Winnipeg organized an exhibition at the regional track meet held at Southwest State University in Minnesota. Canada went on to play their first national championship that same year.
Since its introduction, Quad Rugby has grown to become a truly international sport, with teams now competing from around the globe. There is estimated to be at least twenty international teams from as far away as Australia in addition to those in Canada. Without question, quad rugby is the fastest growing wheelchair sport in the world today.
Players may have various disabilities that preclude their play in able-bodied sport competition. Players must have a combination of upper and lower extremity impairment to be considered eligible to participate. Most of the players have sustained cervical level spinal injuries and have some type of quadriplegia as a result. Players are given a classification number from one of seven classifications ranging from 0.5 - 3.5.
Both males and females are encouraged to play, and because of the classification process gender advantages do not exist.
Four players from each team are allowed on the court at a time. Classifications of the four players on the court must total no more than 8.0 points at one time. The action occurs on a regulation-sized basketball court with some minor changes.
During the games, team players pass a volleyball back and forth while advancing into the opponent's half court and then crossing over the goal line with the ball in one player's possession. While the offense is trying to advance the ball, the defense is trying to take it away and keep the opposing team from scoring.
vCertain restrictions apply in the key area. One restriction is that only three defensive players are allowed in the key, and if a fourth enters, a penalty can be assessed or a goal awarded. Another restriction is that an offensive player can only stay in the key area for ten seconds. Otherwise a turnover will be assessed.
BCWSA is a not-for-profit organization devoted to providing opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities. Since being founded in 1971, the association has worked to provide access to quality programs for athletes with disabilities. This has always been the focus and continues to be what drives the association. In partnership with other Provincial Wheelchair Sports Associations across Canada, BCWSA is dedicated to promoting wheelchair sport and community awareness.
For more information contact
BC Wheelchair Sports Association
BC Wheelchair Rugby