Changing Lives One Hit at a Time

Mission: To establish a standard of excellence and continue a tradition of success by developing athletes, staff and teams through education and training, to prepare current and future athletes and staff to serve as exemplary representatives of the United States.

Wheelchair Rugby was invented in 1977 by a Canadian group of quadriplegic athletes who were looking for a sport that would allow players with reduced arm and hand function to participate equally.  Originally known as “murderball” because of its intense physical nature, the sport’s name was changed to “quad rugby,” but it is also commonly known as wheelchair rugby. By 1993 wheelchair rugby was officially recognized as a sport for athletes with disabilities and the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation was founded. In 1994 Wheelchair Rugby was recognized by the International Paralympic Committee as a Paralympic sport allowing the first Wheelchair Rugby Wheelchair Rugby World Championships to be held in Switzerland the following year.  Wheelchair Rugby then made its Paralympic debut as a demonstration event in Atlanta in 1996.  It became a medal sport in Sydney in 2000, where the United States won the gold medal.

USA Wheelchair Rugby currently operates with the Lakeshore Foundation as their National Governing body and are overseen by the US Olympic Committee. In 2013 USA Wheelchair Rugby partnered with USA Rugby in order to collaborate in the growth of Rugby in America.


Official Procedures and other documents


History: 

July 1990

World Stoke Mandeville Games – Ailesbury, England

Results:  This is the first international competition ever held for the sport of Wheelchair Rugby. Team USA goes 4-0 to win the Gold Medal over Canada in the Championship.

July 1993

World Stoke Mandeville Games – Ailesbury, England

Results: Team USA goes 7-0 to win the Gold Medal over Great Britain.

July 1994

World Stoke Mandeville Games – Ailesbury, England

Results: Team USA goes 7-0 to win the Gold Medal over Great Britain.

Oct. 1995

1st IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships – Notwil, Switzerland

Results: Team USA goes 9-0 to win the Gold Medal over Canada. USA earns the number one seed for the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

June 1996

International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament – Toronto Canada

Results: Team USA team splits to two squads, the Americans and Nationals. The Americans defeated the Nationals in the Championship game to capture the Gold Medal.

Aug. 1996

Paralympic Games – Atlanta, Georgia

Results: Wheelchair Rugby makes its Paralympic debut. Team USA goes undefeated, 7-0 to win the Gold Medal over Canada. USA Rugby was the only US “Team Sport” to capture Gold during the 1996 Paralympics.

June 1998

2nd IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships – Toronto Canada

Results: Team USA goes undefeated, 7-0 to win the Gold Medal over New Zealand. USA earns the number one seed for the 2000 Paralympics held in Sydney, Australia.

Oct. 1999

World Wheelchair Games – Christchurch, New Zealand

Results: Team USA takes a group of athletes with no previous World Championship or Paralympic experience to New Zealand to help develop future National teams. Despite facing the world’s best teams, USA’s team of rookies went 6-1 and captured the Gold Medal.

Oct. 2000

Paralympic Games – Sydney, Australia

Results: Team USA goes undefeated, 5-0 to win the Gold Medal over Australia. More than 10,000 fans watched the Gold Medal game live, in addition to an estimated 8 million Australian TV viewers. Wheelchair Rugby was the most anticipated and exciting sport at the 2000 games.

Jan. 2002

World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge – Warm Springs, Georgia

Results: Team USA splits to two squads, the Stars and the Stripes. Both teams go 5-0 and face each other to battle for Gold in the Championship game. In the end the Stripes captured the win by a single point in what became a triple overtime victory.

May 2002

3rd IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships – Gothenburg, Sweden

Results: Team USA suffers its first loss in a championship game by one point to Canada and finish in second place with the Silver medal. The United States earns a spot for the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece where they hope to regain the world title.

June 2003

US Paralympics North America Cup – Birmingham, Alabama

Results: As part of US Paralympics America Series, Team USA played Canada and won the rugby competition 29-25. While this game did not affect world rankings, it did help demonstrate the United States commitment to being the best in the world.

Oct. 2003

World Wheelchair Games – Christchurch, New Zealand

Results: Team USA brings a mixed group of veteran and rookie athletes to New Zealand to sharpen playing skills in international competition. While Team USA played well and won the Bronze Medal, more importantly, they were able to gain valuable playing experience as they look towards Athens in 2004.

June 2004

US Paralympics North America Cup – Birmingham, Alabama

Results: The 2004 North America Cup was expanded this year to provide a world class competition opportunity as teams prepare for Athens. Paralympic teams from Canada, Germany, Great Britain and the United States each competed in Wheelchair Rugby, as did their respective teams in men and women’s Wheelchair Basketball. Every win earned team points and in the end it was the United States who won the overall competition. USA Paralympic Rugby swept it’s opponents, 5-0.

Canada Cup – Vancouver, British Columbia

Results: The inaugural Canada Cup featured 5 of the 8 countries who will compete in Wheelchair Rugby during the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, Greece. The Canada Cup results were used to determine the final seedings for Athens, and the United States earned top honors. USA Paralympic Rugby was undefeated (7-0) after three days of play and enters the 2004 Paralympics as the #1 seed.

Sept. 2004

Paralympic Games – Athens, Greece

Results: Team USA goes 5 and 1 to win the Bronze Medal. The Gold Medal was won by New Zealand, who defeated Canada in a come from behind victory in the final minutes of play.

Sept. 2005

World Wheelchair Games – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Results: Team USA brings two developmental teams (Stars and Stripes) to Brazil to provide international experience for their athletes. Following 3 days of competition, USA Stripes won the Gold medal with the USA Stars team bringing home the Silver.

June 2006

North America Cup – Birmingham, Alabama

Results: Team USA faced the four top ranked countries in the world and went 5 and 0 to win the North America Cup for the third consecutive time.

June 2006

Canada Cup – Vancouver, British Columbia

Results: The Canada Cup featured 8 of the top ranked countries in the world. Team USA went 5 and 0 for the weekend, and defeated top ranked New Zealand in triple overtime to win the Gold Medal.

Sept. 2006

4th IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships

Results: Team USA goes 7 and 0, defeating host country New Zealand in the final match for Gold. This win qualifies Team USA for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China and returns their world ranking to the top team in the world.

2008

Paralympic Games- Bejing, China

Results: Team USA takes home Gold!

2009

1st Americas Championship- Buenos Aires, Argentina

Results: United States wins 1st Place

2010

5th World Championship- Vancouver, Canada

Results: United States finishes first

2011

2nd Americas Championship- Bogota, Colombia

Results: United States wins 1st Place

2012

Paralympic Games- London, UK

Results: Team USA finishes third, securing the bronze medal

2013

3rd Americas Championship- Birmingham, AL, USA

Results: United States wins 1st Place

2104

6th World Championship- Odense, Denmark

Results: United States finishes 3rd place

2015

Parapan American Games- Toronto, Canada

Results: Team USA finishes 2nd, securing the silver medal

2016

Paralympic Games- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Results: Team USA finishes 2nd, securing the silver medal

2017

4th Americas Championship- Asuncion, Paraguay