• Wheelchair Rugby

  • A full-contact team sport with big hits, thrilling tries, and plenty of action.

  • Overview

    Wheelchair Rugby is a team sport for male and female athletes with mobility impairment in their upper and lower limbs. It is a unique sport created by athletes with a disability that combines elements of basketball, handball, and ice hockey.


    Wheelchair rugby was invented in 1977 in Winnipeg and was originally known as “Murderball” because of its aggressive nature.


    There’s more to the game than just hits and contact as it’s an incredibly strategic sport which sees athletes play a variety of roles and positions on court.

    With programs in communities across BC, we’re always looking for more players to join in on the fun!


  • Who Can Play?

    Wheelchair Rugby was invented as a sport for quadriplegics and competitive Wheelchair Rugby remains only open to athletes with an impairment in both their upper and lower limbs.


    Eligible impairments include but are not limited to: Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries, Cerebral Palsy, Amputations, Limb Differences, Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Arthrogryposis, and others.


    Wheelchair Rugby uses a classification system to ensure that athletes with different types of disabilities can compete together. When an athlete begins playing wheelchair rugby, they are evaluated by a team of qualified professionals and assigned a number based on their functional ability.


    The number ranges from 0.5 (for athletes with the least function) to 3.5 (for athletes with the most function) and increases in 0.5 increments. The four athletes on the court must total no more than 8.0 points (for each female athlete on court, teams are allowed an additional 0.5).

  • Basic Rules

    • The object of the game is to carry the ball between the two posts and across the opposing team’s try line.
    • Two wheels must cross the try line to count and the player must have control of the ball when they cross the try line.
    • Wheelchair rugby is played on a hardwood basketball court that is marked by boundary lines, a centre line, a centre circle and two key areas (one at each end). A standard volleyball is used.
    • Games consist of four eight-minute quarters with two-minute breaks between quarter and a five-minute break at halftime.
    • Teams have 40 seconds to score on each possession.
    • After a try or stoppage of play, the player has 10 seconds to inbound the ball.
    • After inbounding the ball, a team has 12 seconds to bring the ball across half-court and can’t go over and back.
    • A player whose team has control of the ball can’t remain in the opposing team’s key for more than 10 seconds.
    • A player in possession of the ball must dribble the ball at least once every 10 seconds.
    • The defending team must have no more than 3 players in the key.
    • Each team has four 30-second time-outs which may be used during regulation play and called by players on the floor, in addition to two one-minute bench time-outs which can be called by the coach at a stoppage in play.
    • If the score is tied, an overtime period of three minutes will be played. Additional overtime periods will be played until one team wins.
    • Contact between wheelchairs in an integral part of the game, however physical contact between players is not and will result in a penalty.
  • An athlete in a defensive chair protects the ball while being hit by an athlete in an offensive chair.
    • Heavy-Duty Chairs

    • Wheelchair Rugby

    • Wheelchair Rugby is played in specialized wheelchairs designed for optimal performance and endurance.


      There are two types of Wheelchair Rugby chairs.


      • Offensive Chair: Offensive chairs are set up for speed and mobility. These chairs have a low profile front bumper and wings to prevent other wheelchairs from hooking them. These chairs are typically used by players with higher classification (2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5).
      • Defensive Chair: Defensive wheelchairs have an extended front bumper (often called a picker) set up to hook and hold other players. These wheelchairs are most often used by players with a lower classification (0.5, 1.0, 1.5).
    • Events

    • Competitions

    • BCWSA hosts a number of Wheelchair Rugby events throughout the year! In addition to weekly programs in communities across the province, we host the annual Vancouver Invitational Wheelchair Rugby Tournament for club and provincial teams and the biennial Canada Cup which brings the world’s top national team to the Richmond Olympic Oval!