Wheelchair rugby was originally called Murderball when it was invented in Winnipeg in 1977. Today, this homegrown Canadian sport is one of the most famous wheelchair sports around, thanks to the 2005 Academy Award-nominated documentary, “Murderball,” which followed the rivalry between the Canadian and American teams at the 2004 Athens Paralympics.
Wheelchair rugby is only for athletes whose physical disability affects at least 3 limbs (if they have a spinal cord injury) or 4 limbs (if they have a non-SCI disability like cerebral palsy or amputation). In this full-contact sport, athletes play in tank-like wheelchairs and hit each others' chairs in an attempt to carry a ball across the line. Athletes are assigned a point value from 0.5 to 3.5 depending on their level of physical disability (with 3.5 assigned to people with the most physical function). A team is not permitted any more than 8 points on the floor at any one time. This allows people of different levels of disability to play fairly together.
The inventor of wheelchair rugby, Duncan Campbell, still plays the sport in BC!