Wheelchair Rugby is a truely international sport. There are more than forty countries that actively participate in the sport of wheelchair rugby, or who are developing programs within their nation, and it continues to be one of the fastest growing Paralympic sports in the world today. The rules of Wheelchair Rugby are governed by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation.
- The game is played on regulation-sized hardwood basketball court.The game is played with a standard volleyball.
- Teams are mixed; men and women can play on the same team. A team consists of up to 12 players.
- All players have a classification (a measure of their functional physical ability), which ranges from 0.5 (least function) to 3.5 (most function).
- Each team fields four players on court at a time.
- The classification points of the four players on the court must add up to 8.0 classification points.
- A game consists of 4 x 8 minute period with a 2 minute break between periods and a 5 minute break at halftime.
- A player has 12 seconds to advance the ball into the opponents half-court.
- Players have 40 seconds to advance into their opponents half and score.
- The player with the ball has unrestricted pushes, but must pass or dribble the ball every 10 seconds or a turnover is awarded.
- After a goal or stoppage of play, player has 10 seconds to inbound the ball.
- A goal is scored when a player carries the ball across the opposing team’s goal line. Two wheels of the player’s wheelchair must cross the line and the player must be in possession of the ball.
- Each team has four time-outs of 30 seconds each, which may be used during the four quarters of regulation play and may be called by players on the floor, and two one-minute bench time outs that can be called by the coach.If the score is tied, an overtime period of three minutes will be played.
- Additional overtime periods can be played until one team wins.
- Fouls are assessed and penalties can include awarding of a goal, a timed penalty or a turnover.
Common Foul and Violations
Physical Advantage Violation:
When a player who has possession of the ball touches the floor with any part of his body, or with any part of his wheelchair except the four wheels and anti-tip device.
Ten Seconds – No Dribble:
A player who has possession of the ball must dribble or pass every 10 seconds.
Ten Seconds in the Key:
A player whose team has control of the ball cannot remain in the opposing team’s key area for more than 10 seconds.
Twelve Second Violation:
After inbounding the ball, a team has 12 seconds to bring the ball over the half-court line.
Occurs if one player strikes another player with excessive speed or force, risking injury to the player.
Contact Before the Whistle:
Occurs in one player makes deliberate or advantageous contact with another player while the ball is dead. Each team will receive one contact warning in each half.
Occurs when a player who has possession of the ball leaves the court with one wheel on the goal line and then returns to the court without a second wheel crossing to score a goal.
Four in the Key:
Occurs when the defending team has four of their players in their own key area. The foul is charged to the last defending player who entered the key.
When a player grasps or holds the wheelchair of another player with a hand or other part of the body.
Illegal Use of Hands:
When a player strikes another player using his arms.
When a player strikes another player’s wheelchair anywhere behind the axle of the rear wheel, causing the wheelchair to rotate horizontally or vertically so that the player’s safety is at risk.
Occurs when a player or coach acts in a disrespectful or unsportsmanlike manner.