/ Paralympic Sports
Updated: 2008-08-29 16:03
Wheelchair Rugby is a unique sport combining some elements of Basketball, Handball, and Ice Hockey. The object of the game is to carry the ball across the opposing team's goal line. Two wheels must cross the goal line for a goal to count, and the player must have firm control of the ball when he or she crosses the line.
The ball may be carried on the lap, but must be passed between players or bounced at least once every ten seconds. Teams have ten seconds to inbound the ball after a stoppage in play, and have fifteen seconds to carry the ball across the mid-court line towards their opponent's goal. Once a team has taken the ball forward across mid-court, they cannot take it back. As in Basketball, there is a key area at either end of the court. Only three defending players are allowed in the key, and offensive players are only allowed in the key for ten seconds.
Contact between wheelchairs is permitted and forms an integral part of the game. Collisions are frequent as players try to stop their opponents and take control of the ball. Some forms of contact that are considered dangerous, such as hitting an opponent's chair behind the rear wheel, are not permitted and can result in penalties. Physical contact between players is not permitted.
Games consist of four eight-minute quarters; additional three-minute overtime periods may be played in the event of a tie. Teams are made up of four players and up to eight substitutes.
(Credit: IPC. Click here for further information.)