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Sport Overview

Any sport originally coined “murderball” has exciting written all over it.

The objective of this mixed gender sport — men and women compete on the same team — is to score the most goals by carrying, dribbling or passing the ball toward the opponent’s end. In this fast-paced game, contact between wheelchairs is allowed, and players frequently collide as they attempt to stop their opponents and take control of the ball.

Canada won the silver medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and will be making its debut in Toronto in 2015.


Wheelchair rugby’s roots are Canadian. In 1977, a group of quadriplegic athletes from Winnipeg, Manitoba, were looking for an alternative to wheelchair basketball, wanting a sport that allowed players with reduced hand and arm function to participate. The sport was originally coined “murderball.”

Wheelchair rugby has been on the Paralympic program since the Sydney 2000 Games.

How it works

The objective of the sport is to score more goals than the opponent. To do so, players move toward the opponent’s end by carrying, dribbling or passing the ball, and must touch the goal line with two wheels while in possession of the ball to be considered a goal.

Wheelchair rugby is open to players who have limited or no function in three of four limbs.


Illegal interference with another player.



Physical Impairment

Sport Classes

Wheelchair rugby players are allocated to one of seven physical impairment sport classes: 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5. The lower the number, the more significant the activity limitation.

0.5: Players show significant shoulder instability and limitations in their upper arm and hand functions. Most have no trunk or leg control. The player would typically catch the ball by tapping it into the lap and throw the ball with a scoop pass.

1.5: Players have better shoulder stability and arm and wrist function than players in class 0.5. They can do chest passes, but the instability of their wrist makes ball handling difficult.

2.5: Players have good shoulder stability and arm function, and may have some trunk control. They can perform overhead passes, catch the ball with two hands and manoeuvre the wheelchair better than their teammates in the lower sport classes.

3.5: This class describes the least severe eligible impairment in wheelchair rugby. They are good ball handlers and can move quickly on the court.

Fairness Between Two Teams:
The total number of points on court during a game for four players may not exceed eight.

Additional Information

Additional Information