Introduction – Quad Rugby (aka Murderball or Wheelchair Rugby) is a coed sport that has been designed for individuals with impairments in four limbs (spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, muscular dystrophy, polio or any neurologic diagnosis that effects functioning all four limbs).
Game Play – The game is played on a basketball sized court, with two cones at each end, marking the goal lines. Teams of four players each, attempt to cross the other team’s goal line, while possessing the game ball (similar to a volleyball) scoring a point, each time. Playing time is divided into four 8-minute quarters, with 2-5-minute breaks between quarters. Overtime is used to settle ties at the end of regulation time. During play, the ball must be dribbled or passed within 10 seconds, teams have a 40 second shot clock, to score, and 12 seconds to get the ball to mid-court, after inbounding the ball.
Classification of Players – A classification system was created to ensure equal functional ability for each team competing. Each player is given a classification, based on function (0 to 3.5). The lowest level of function is 0 and the highest is a 3.5. Female athletes and athletes over the age of 45 are also given a .5 point deduction. Each team of 4 players is only allowed a maximum of 8 points, total, on the floor, at a time (ex. 1.0, 1.0, 3.0, 3.0). Players are classified by an impartial board of classifiers, and classification scores are re-checked, frequently.
Penalties – While Quad Rugby is a physical sport, many rules are enforced by officials, to ensure safety of the players and to ensure fast and fair gameplay. These rules limit player physical contact, dangerous play and poor sportsmanship. They also promote a quick-paced game, smart strategy/planning and improved competition.
Ruling Bodies – Within the United States, all Quad Rugby teams fall under the jurisdiction of the United States Quad Rugby Association (USQRA). Internationally, including World Championships and the Paralympics, the sport is regulated by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF).