Adaptive Sports

Quad Rugby Fact Sheet

 What is it?

  • Originally called Murder Ball
  • Cross between Basketball, Ice Hockey, and Soccer
  • Played on regulation sized basketball court
  • Four players compete on each side
  • Mobility classifications
  • Class sum <or= 8 points

Who Can Play?

  • Must have a combination of upper and lower body extremity impairment
  • Classification ranges from 0.5 to 3.5 with (0.5 being the highest impairment)
  • Coed play

History (Article: Sport Week: History of wheelchair rugby)

  • Developed in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Brad Mikkelson through the University of North Dakotas Disabled Student Services, bought the sport to the USA in 1981
  • The Mikkelson Cup – North America Quad Rugby Championship
  • USQRA – formed to regulate and promote the sport both nationally and internationally
  • Formed in 1998
  • Debut 1996, Atlanta Paralympics


  • Regulation size basketball court
  • Volleyball


  • Quad rugby point system
  •  Most players have sustained cervical level spinal injuries (Quad)
  • Class system 0.5-3.5 where 0.5 is the most serious disability
  • 3.5 is a typical classification for a C-7/8


  • A player has 15 seconds to advance the ball into the opponents half court
  • Fouls are assessed, and penalties can include the warding of a goal, a timed penalty, or a turnover
  • A player the ball has unrestricted pushes or dribble the ball every 10 seconds or a turnover is awarded
  • National Governing Body – United States Quad Rugby Association
  • International Governing Body – International Paralympic Committee
  • Goal zone – 8 X 1.75 meters
  • 1 goal = 1 point
  • Full contact but no physical contact
  • Time in penalty box is given for penalties
  • Games are four 8-minute quarters
  • 4 timeouts for each team, plus 1 extra for each overtime played
  • One point is scored when the goal line is crossed with any two wheels of the ball carrier’s wheelchair with possession of the ball
  • 10 Seconds:  Players must dribble or pass or it’s a turnover
  • 12 Seconds:  Ball must be advanced over half-court or it’s a turnover
  • 10 Seconds:  Ball must be inbounded or it’s a turnover
  • 40 Seconds:  Teams must score after the ball is inbounded or it’s a turnover
  • 10 Seconds: Offensive player cannot be in the key longer or it’s a turnover
  • Only three defenders are allowed in the key at one time or it’s a penalty. (There is a penalty box.  Generally, players are released when the opposition scores a goal or when one minute served.)
  • Hitting an opposing player’s chair behind the axles (a spin) is a turnover or a penalty.