NZ Wheelchair Rugby organise and support quality social and competitive wheelchair rugby competitions, tournaments, events (domestic & international), and profile enhancing activities throughout NZ for players and member associations. A development pathway is available to members as volunteers, players, referees, coaches and officials.
What is Quad Rugby?
Wheelchair rugby is also know as quad rugby. It's a ‘fast paced, full contact wheelchair sport played indoors on a basketball court. The sport was originally known as 'Murderball'.
Who can Play?
To be eligible to play, athletes have to have some loss of function in at least 3 limbs. Historically the sport was mainly played by tetraplegics (quadriplegics), but there are many players affected by other disabilities such as Spina Bifida, Post-Polio Syndrome, Amputations, and Guillain Barre syndrome to name a few. Players go through a classification process to determine if they can officially play the sport.
What is the difference between a Tetraplegic, a Quadriplegic and a Paraplegic?
The words tetraplegic and quadriplegic are interchangeable, and are simply used in different parts of the word to describe the same thing. Both 'quad' and 'tetra' refer to the number four, because usually someone who has injured their cervical spine (neck), results in some loss of function in all four limbs.
A paraplegic is usually someone who has inured either their thoracic or lumbar portion of the spine (back). A paraplegic will usually have the full use of their arms, hands and sometimes trunk muscles.
Are there teams in other countries?
Yes, Wheelchair Rugby is currently played in over 19 countries and is a Paralympic sport. The Paralympics are the second largest sporting event in the world following the Olympics, and take place after the Olympics in the same host city and playing venues. Visit the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation's site to find out more.
How long is the rugby season?
The season usually begins in late February, and ends with National Champs in late October of each year.
Where can I see some games?
Check out our Events Page.
How can I find a team in my area?
Get in touch with a Regional Rep from our Contacts Page.
How old do you have to be to play?
There is no real age limit. Some players have started in their early teens, while others continue to play into their 40's and 50's.
Can women play?
Yes, this is one of the few sports that allow both men and women to compete together on an equal basis.
How much does a chair cost?
New Rugby chairs run anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 each. They are designed to either be an ‘offensive or defensive' chair, depending on your role on the team. If you want to try the sport there may be some used chairs available through NZWR or your local club team.
Have there been many injuries in the sport?
The equipment used is designed to reduce the risk of injury, and rules are in place to make the conduct of play as safe as possible. Although infrequent, players have fractured bones, and there are occasionally torn muscles, cuts and bruises.
What is the best way to help?
Donations and sponsorship are always needed. Equally important are volunteers, players, coaches, referees, classifiers, trainers and equipment managers as well. If you can't donate money, then donating time to a local team is a great way to help. Check out our Support Page to find out how you can get involved.
Do you have a mailing list I can get on?
Yes, we do. Just sign up at the base of this page and you will receive regular updates.
Can I donate to the NZWR?
Yes - like most non-profit organisations, money is a scarce resource and donations are very much appreciated. NZWR funds player, referee, coaching and classifier clinics each year, and also governs the sport and runs all of our post-season tournaments. We are also behind the Wheel Blacks, New Zealand's high performance team.
Is there a question you would like to see answered here?
If so, send an email to the NZWR Administrator, or NZWR President with your questions.
Please email us directly if you have any enquiries or questions.
To find a specific contact, please visit our contacts page.
Photography by Cherie Harris: kotarecreek.com
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