Wheelchair Rugby was developed in Canada during the 1970s by athletes with quadriplegia. In Atlanta at the 1996 Paralympic Games, it was presented as a demonstration sport, and was officially included on the Paralympic Programme at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. As of 2009 the sport is practiced in 25 countries, and is under development in at least three others.
Wheelchair Rugby is an intense coed team sport for male and female athletes with quadriplegia (tetraplegia). The sport can be very physical as athletes attempt to carry the ball over the opponent's goal line. Depending on functional abilities, athletes are placed into one of seven sport classes from 0.5 (most severely disabled) to 3.5 (most function). Two teams of at least four players each compete for four periods of eight minutes each. During play the total value of the four players allowed on the court from each team cannot exceed a total of eight points.
Wheelchair Rugby is governed internationally by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF).
For more detailed information on Wheelchair Rugby, please visit the IWRF website at www.iwrf.com.