Wheelchair Rugby


If you are sitting in a wheelchair and in addition to your legs also your arms or hands are handicapped it doesn’t make much sense to play wheelchair basketball.

There is a sport where it is possible to let off steam nevertheless:

Wheelchair Rugby,

previously also called Killerball”.

As a player you probably feel a bit like in a bumper car on a fun fair in your childhood.

The objective of the game is, similar to American Football, to bring a ball with the wheelchair from one side of the field to the end zone (“key”) on the other side. An offence has to be finished within 40 seconds.

Every team has 4 players, and it is really getting rough.

I was lucky to watch wheelchair rugby on highest level in the new sports hall of the hotel Mar y Sol in Tenerife (see blogpost below).

The Swedish national team who is the current European champion was in the same hotel for a training camp for the Paralympics 2012 in London. 3 Canadians were with them as “sparring partners”. (The Swedish coach is Canadian.)

On the hand rims of the sport wheelchair tyres there is black resin for a better grip, similar to pole vault. After the first training the sports hall was inaugurated, the new parquet floor had some black stripes. With a photo of this “sports art” you would probably be overwhelmed with awards at the next “Documenta” (translator’s note: yearly exhibition for contemporary art in Germany). Allegedly the stripes could be wiped away later. What a pity.

There was training in the morning and matches in the afternoon.

The match lasts for 4 x 8 minutes.

You could still hear the colliding of wheelchairs in the 3rd floor of the hotel resort. The special sport wheelchairs virtually consist of dents and were already often welded.

Sometimes a good defence, i.e. frontal with the wheelchair against the opponent, reminds of mountain goats in the alps at rutting season.

Click on the picture to see a Video!

Unbelievable how fast you can get with a wheelchair…!!!

Every now and then a rollover of a player in the wheelchair and some burst tyres of course belong to Killerball… erm… wheelchair ruby.

The game is characterized very much by tactics.

If 2 players out of 4 players e.g. block an opponent there is space to throw the ball to a team mate (there are only four players), who possibly makes it then to the end zone. Perhaps the blocked one is “standing” 2 meters tall, catches the ball and passes it on, everything is possible. More handicapped players are defenders and place themselves in the way of the supposed centre forward. They have a kind of basket in front of the wheelchair which is suited for blocking and as “battering ram”.

The complete course of the match changes in seconds and is endlessly exciting.

Boom-Bang and a little bit like chess, what do you want more as a man ;-)

The matches were led by a quite decisive female referee bravely without steel-capped shoes.

I can recommend to everyone to watch wheelchair rugby at the Paralympics. I hope that the matches will be broadcasted although Germany according to my information is not qualified as 6th of the European Championships.

Translator BL

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2 Responses to “Wheelchair Rugby”

  1. A. Wunter says:

    Rullstuhlrugby werde ich mir auf jeden Fall ansehen Рder Artikel hat mich neugierig gemacht. Leider hat das Video bei mir nicht funktioniert (nur weißer Bildschirm).
    Ich hoffe insgesamt, dass die Spiele der Behinderten Sportler auch medial weiter in den Vordergrund r√ľcken. Hier gibt es noch eine Menge Aufholbedarf. Hier messen sich die Besten in Ihrer Klasse – “man kann erahnen, zu welchen sportlichen H√∂chstleistungen Menschen trotz ihrer Beeintr√§chtigungen imstande sind. Trotz dieser H√∂chstleistungen, die h√§ufig die F√§higkeiten von Menschen ohne Beeintr√§chtigungen √ľbertreffen, wird diesen Sportlern und den Paralympischen Spielen leider bei weitem nicht der Respekt gezollt, den sie eigentlich verdient h√§tten.”
    Obiges Zitat habe ich in einem gerade erschienen Bericht gefunden und kann dem nur zustimmen -> Quelle: http://www.hausarbeiten.de/faecher/vorschau/188624.html

  2. [...] Im Februar 2012, als ich in Teneriffa im Rollifahrerhotel “Mar y Sol” war, hatte dort die schwedische Nationalmannschaft Rollstuhl Rugby trainiert, (siehe √§lteren Beitrag mit Video). [...]

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