Sports Summary

Wheelchair rugby was first contested at the Paralympic Games as a demonstration sport in Atlanta in 1996. It became an official medal-awarding sport at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games and has since become one of the world’s most exciting and popular Para-sports.

Wheelchair rugby is an intense, contact team sport played by males and females in eight-minute quarters. To be eligible to compete, athletes must have a significant impairment that affects their arms and legs.

If you’re interested in trying a new sport, meeting new friends or improving your wellbeing by being more active, we’d love to hear from you! To get involved in wheelchair rugby complete our expression of interest and a member of the team will be in touch.

Australian Steelers wheelchair rugby team

The Australian Steelers wheelchair rugby team is one of the most successful teams in the world, winning two gold medals at the Paralympic Games (2012 and 2016) and a world championship (2014).

The National Squad features 12 Para-athletes and is managed by a High Performance team:

Head Coach: Brad Dubberley
Performance Director: Paul Kiteley
High Performance Manager: Sam Allan
Assistant Coach and Strength/Conditioning: Greg Smith
Development Coach: TBC
Welfare: Eloise Boyle
Performance Analyst: Lewis Quinn
Pathways Manager: Sam Fox

Events & Disciplines

International Events

Paralympic Games
World Wheelchair Rugby Championships
Asia-Oceania Championships

Domestic Events

WRA National Championships

Pathways

In Australia there is a complete pathway catering for a wide range of abilities from social participation, state and national competition, development, and high-performance level athletes. Wheelchair Rugby Australia (governed by Disability Sports Australia) manages domestic events and works closely with Paralympics Australia and other organisations within each state to grow the sport.

Do you want to get involved in wheelchair rugby? Complete our expression of interest to get started!

 

Classification

Wheelchair rugby is open to athletes with significant physical impairment impacting three to four limbs.

Like all Para-sports, wheelchair rugby players are classified based on their disability and undergo a bench test and functional skills test. Each player is given a points value after these tests which will range from 0.5 (lowest) to 3.5 (highest). The four players on court for a wheelchair rugby team must not exceed a total of 8 points.

Who can play?

Wheelchair rugby is caters for all ages and is a mixed gender sport meaning male & females play together.

While anyone can play socially, to be eligible to participate at a competition level players must have an impairment in 3-4 limbs.

The sport was initially designed for people with spinal cord injuries, predominantly quadriplegia. However, there are many other eligible impairment types; Cerebral Palsy, CMT, Amputees, Limb Deficiency, Motor Neuron and many more.

For more information on Eligible Impairments and Classification please check out the Wheelchair rugby Information Sheet (PDF – 89KB) – updated August 2021.

Do you want to get involved in wheelchair rugby? Complete our expression of interest to get started!

Rules & Equipment

Wheelchair rugby is an intense, contact team sport played by males and females in eight-minute quarters.

It is an invasion and evasion sport: once possession has been gained, the objective is to move the ball forward by passing or carrying the ball into opposition territory and ultimately to score points.

Court

Wheelchair rugby is played indoors on a regulation-sized basketball court. The basketball key area is replaced by a wheelchair rugby key 8m wide and 1.75m deep. The part of the end line within the key is called the goal line and it is marked with one pylon at each end.

Ball

An official size and weight (280g) volleyball is used for play. It must be white in colour.

Wheelchairs

As a contact sport, wheelchair rugby places high demands on players’ wheelchairs. They must be lightweight and easy to manoeuvre while still being strong enough to protect the players and withstand frequent collisions.

Wheelchair rugby chairs have several unique features including bumpers at the front and wings to protect the sides. Spoke protectors and anti-tip devices are mandatory. All wheelchairs must meet International Wheelchair Rugby Federation regulations.

Gloves

Athletes may wear gloves to improve their grip on the ball.

Do you want to get involved in wheelchair rugby? Complete our expression of interest to get started!

Medal History

YearGoldSilverBronzetotal
20161001
20121001
20080101
20000101

Contacts

To explore how to play Wheelchair Rugby today contact your local state federation contact below: The national federation link below provides information on the national high-performance program which leads to Australian representation at international competitions, including the Paralympic Games.

You can also complete our expression of interest and a member of the Paralympics Australia team will be in touch.

National Federation 
OrganisationWebsiteEmail
Paralympics Australiasam.fox@paralympic.org.au
Disability Sports Australiasports.org.au
Wheelchair Rugby Australiawheelchairrugby.com.auchris@wheelchairrugby.com.au
State Federations 
StateOrganisationWebsite 
NSWWheelchair Sports NSWwsnsw.org.aularissap@wsnsw.org.au
QLDSporting Wheelies and Disabled Associationsportingwheelies.org.aumailbox@sportingwheelies.org.au
SADisability Recreation & Sports SAwheelchairrugby.com.ausam.fox@paralympic.org.au
VICDisability Sport & Recreationdsr.org.aujason@dsr.org.au
WARebound WAreboundwa.comhayden@reboundwa.com
TASParaQuadpdstasmania.orgpdst@paraquadtas.org.au
Ryley Batt

Ryley Batt

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Chris Bond

Chris Bond

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Andrew Edmondson

Andrew Edmondson

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Ben Fawcett

Ben Fawcett

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Shae Graham

Shae Graham

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Andrew Harrison

Andrew Harrison

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Josh Hose

Josh Hose

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Jake Howe

Jake Howe

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Jason Lees

Jason Lees

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Mick Ozanne

Mick Ozanne

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Richard Voris

Richard Voris

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Jayden Warn

Jayden Warn

Wheelchair rugby

Click to see profile
Meet the Tokyo 2020 Wheelchair rugby Team