Quad Rugby

quadrugby-1Quad 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. It was introduced in the United States in 1981 by Brad Mikkelsen, who with the aid of the University of North Dakota’s Disabled Student Service’s, formed the first team, the Wallbangers, and changed the game’s name from murderball to quad rugby.

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. The first quad rugby match in the US was between North Dakota and Minnesota, as an exhibition game at the 1982 National Wheelchair games, also held at Southwest State University. This same year, the University of South Dakota hosted the first international tournament, with participating teams from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

In 1988, the United States Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) was formed to help regulate and promote the sport on both a national and international level. Since its introduction, Quad Rugby has grown to become a truly international sport, with teams now competing from around the globe. There are now more than forty-five organized teams in the United States with many others in the developmental stage. In addition to the teams in the US, 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.

Wheelchair rugby combines elements of basketball, football and ice hockey and it is played on a basketball court. The teams are formed by four players and up to eight substitutes. The four players on the court cannot exceed 8.0 points. A volleyball is used and it can be carried, dribbled, or passed in any way except by kicking. The ball must be bounced at least once every 10 seconds. Athletes try to score goals by carrying the ball over the opponent’s goal line. Wheelchair Rugby is played in four eight minute (stop-time) quarters.

Players must have a combination of upper and lower extremity impairment to be considered as 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. The 0.5 player has the greatest impairment and is comparable to a C5 quadriplegic. Of those eligible to participate, the 3.5 player has the least impairment and is similar to a C7-8 incomplete quadriplegic.

In 2000, Team USA won the Paralympic Goal medal beating Australia in the Finals.

Denver Harlequins Wheelchair Rugby
The Harlequins practice every Wednesday night from 6:30PM until 9:00PM at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver. Practice begins in early September and concludes at the end of April. See the team schedule.

For more information on practices and game scheduling please contact Curt Garrett at 720-275-4346 or at cercules@comcast.net.


US Quad Rugby Association
Tom Hamill, Coordinator
1667 Auburn Road
Swedesboro, NJ 08085
856-241-3668 (H)
856-241-2440 (W)
FAX: 888-453-0773
Email: dragonsedge@juno.com

Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Association, Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association
1600 James Naismith Drive
Gloucester, Canada K1B 5N4
FAX: 613-748+5722
Website: http://www.cwsa.ca/home.html


International Wheelchair Rugby Federation
Rugby Chairperson
Eron Main
1292 Chattaway Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 7S4
Tel: +1 (613) 526 07 30
E-mail: ermain@sympatico.ca

US Quad Rugby Association
Kevin Orr
101 Park Place Circle
Alabaster, AL 35007
FAX: 205-868-2283
Website: www.quadrugby.com

Email: usqra@quadrugby.com


Boccia Tournament
Contact Sarah to register or for more info
sbraun@springsgov.com • 719-385-6855

Join us for the first ever Colorado Front Range
Boccia Tournament in Colorado Springs! The
tournament will provide an opportunity for
participants to compete against individuals
from other Paralympic Sport Clubs along
the Front Range. The tournament is open
to youth and adults ages 6 and older.
Saturday, December 13
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Olympic Training Center
Sports Center 1
1 Olympic Plaza
Fee: $10

MSCPVA Sports Contact
MSCPVA Chapter Offices
12200 East Iliff Avenue
Suite 107
Aurora, Colorado 80014