Wheelchair Rugby, originally called Murderball, is a team sport designed for quadriplegics. It is a contact sport with rules containing elements of ice hockey, gridiron and basketball. The sport was developed in Winnipeg, Canada in the late 1970’s and was designed as a quadriplegic equivalent to wheelchair basketball. Since its introduction, wheelchair rugby has grown to become a truly international sport, with teams now competing from around the globe. Despite its recent formation, Irish Wheelchair Rugby can boast significant achievements, both in mobilising athletes with a physical disability and winning honours for Ireland.
WHATS IT ALL ABOUT?
The first World Championships were held in Switzerland in 1995 and the sport was a demonstration sport at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games. Wheelchair rugby was a full medal sport at the Paralympic Games for the first time in Sydney 2000 and was one of the most high profile sports in the media coverage of the Games around the world. Without question, wheelchair rugby is the fastest growing wheelchair sport in the world today with over twenty countries now playing the game at an international level. Wheelchair Rugby was first introduced to Ireland in 1997 and is now one of the key team sports for people with a disability in Ireland.