Wheelchair rugby coming to Mohawk College

News May 19, 2017 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

Some of the best wheelchair rugby players in Canada are coming to Mohawk College.

The David Braley Athletics and Recreation Centre is the venue for the 2017 Canadian wheelchair rugby championships, taking place May 26-28.

“It’s a very fast-paced, very physical sport,” said Cathy Cadieux, CEO of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association. “People are quite surprised about how fast and agile the players are and how hard the hits are.”

Wheelchair rugby was invented in Winnipeg in 1976 by a group of quadriplegic athletes who were looking for an alternative to wheelchair basketball that would allow players with reduced arm and hand function to participate equally.

It is designated as a heritage sport in Canada.

The game, which features four eight-minute stop-time quarters, is played on a hardwood basketball court with four players per side who are strapped in to their lightweight titanium wheelchairs.

A soft-touch volleyball is used for easy gripping and players score a point by carrying the ball across the goal line at the opposite ends of the court.

At least two wheels of the wheelchair must cross the line to score.

Players are permitted to go after the ball by crashing into each other’s wheelchair from the front and the side, but not from behind.

All of the contact is wheelchair-to-wheelchair.

Personal body contact, other than incidental contact, is not permitted, although players are often knocked over in their wheelchairs and usually require some assistance getting upright.

Players are required to pass or bounce the ball within 10 seconds of obtaining possession.

Each team gets four 30-second timeouts that can be used at any time in the game along with two 60-second bench timeouts.

Wheelchair rugby is a coed sport and women have equal status on the court with men.

Cadieux noted about 25 women and 250 men across the country play competitive wheelchair rugby and about seven women are expected to compete this weekend.

Most of the players have spinal cord injuries resulting in full or partial paralysis of the legs and partial paralysis of the arms.

Cadieux said they wanted to bring the championships to Hamilton to expose the game to a community where it is not well known.

She said wheelchair rugby is particularly popular in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and on the prairies.

The tournament features 11 teams with six to 10 players in two divisions.

Ontario has two teams in Division 1 and one team in Division 2.

Ontario Thunder is the defending Division 1 champion and has won the gold in five of the past six years.

Saskatchewan is the defending Division 2 champion.

Action begins at 9:30 a.m. on May 26 with Ontario 1 taking on Alberta 1 in court 1 and Ontario 2 facing British Columbia 1 in court 2.

Opening ceremonies will be held following the games at 11 a.m.

The gold medal game in Division 1 is slated for 1:30 p.m. Sunday and the Division 2 gold medal game goes at 11:45 a.m.

Both gold medal games will be played in court 2.

Wheelchair rugby coming to Mohawk College

Braley Centre to host 2017 Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championship

News May 19, 2017 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

Some of the best wheelchair rugby players in Canada are coming to Mohawk College.

The David Braley Athletics and Recreation Centre is the venue for the 2017 Canadian wheelchair rugby championships, taking place May 26-28.

“It’s a very fast-paced, very physical sport,” said Cathy Cadieux, CEO of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association. “People are quite surprised about how fast and agile the players are and how hard the hits are.”

Wheelchair rugby was invented in Winnipeg in 1976 by a group of quadriplegic athletes who were looking for an alternative to wheelchair basketball that would allow players with reduced arm and hand function to participate equally.

It is designated as a heritage sport in Canada.

The game, which features four eight-minute stop-time quarters, is played on a hardwood basketball court with four players per side who are strapped in to their lightweight titanium wheelchairs.

A soft-touch volleyball is used for easy gripping and players score a point by carrying the ball across the goal line at the opposite ends of the court.

At least two wheels of the wheelchair must cross the line to score.

Players are permitted to go after the ball by crashing into each other’s wheelchair from the front and the side, but not from behind.

All of the contact is wheelchair-to-wheelchair.

Personal body contact, other than incidental contact, is not permitted, although players are often knocked over in their wheelchairs and usually require some assistance getting upright.

Players are required to pass or bounce the ball within 10 seconds of obtaining possession.

Each team gets four 30-second timeouts that can be used at any time in the game along with two 60-second bench timeouts.

Wheelchair rugby is a coed sport and women have equal status on the court with men.

Cadieux noted about 25 women and 250 men across the country play competitive wheelchair rugby and about seven women are expected to compete this weekend.

Most of the players have spinal cord injuries resulting in full or partial paralysis of the legs and partial paralysis of the arms.

Cadieux said they wanted to bring the championships to Hamilton to expose the game to a community where it is not well known.

She said wheelchair rugby is particularly popular in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and on the prairies.

The tournament features 11 teams with six to 10 players in two divisions.

Ontario has two teams in Division 1 and one team in Division 2.

Ontario Thunder is the defending Division 1 champion and has won the gold in five of the past six years.

Saskatchewan is the defending Division 2 champion.

Action begins at 9:30 a.m. on May 26 with Ontario 1 taking on Alberta 1 in court 1 and Ontario 2 facing British Columbia 1 in court 2.

Opening ceremonies will be held following the games at 11 a.m.

The gold medal game in Division 1 is slated for 1:30 p.m. Sunday and the Division 2 gold medal game goes at 11:45 a.m.

Both gold medal games will be played in court 2.

Wheelchair rugby coming to Mohawk College

Braley Centre to host 2017 Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championship

News May 19, 2017 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

Some of the best wheelchair rugby players in Canada are coming to Mohawk College.

The David Braley Athletics and Recreation Centre is the venue for the 2017 Canadian wheelchair rugby championships, taking place May 26-28.

“It’s a very fast-paced, very physical sport,” said Cathy Cadieux, CEO of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association. “People are quite surprised about how fast and agile the players are and how hard the hits are.”

Wheelchair rugby was invented in Winnipeg in 1976 by a group of quadriplegic athletes who were looking for an alternative to wheelchair basketball that would allow players with reduced arm and hand function to participate equally.

It is designated as a heritage sport in Canada.

The game, which features four eight-minute stop-time quarters, is played on a hardwood basketball court with four players per side who are strapped in to their lightweight titanium wheelchairs.

A soft-touch volleyball is used for easy gripping and players score a point by carrying the ball across the goal line at the opposite ends of the court.

At least two wheels of the wheelchair must cross the line to score.

Players are permitted to go after the ball by crashing into each other’s wheelchair from the front and the side, but not from behind.

All of the contact is wheelchair-to-wheelchair.

Personal body contact, other than incidental contact, is not permitted, although players are often knocked over in their wheelchairs and usually require some assistance getting upright.

Players are required to pass or bounce the ball within 10 seconds of obtaining possession.

Each team gets four 30-second timeouts that can be used at any time in the game along with two 60-second bench timeouts.

Wheelchair rugby is a coed sport and women have equal status on the court with men.

Cadieux noted about 25 women and 250 men across the country play competitive wheelchair rugby and about seven women are expected to compete this weekend.

Most of the players have spinal cord injuries resulting in full or partial paralysis of the legs and partial paralysis of the arms.

Cadieux said they wanted to bring the championships to Hamilton to expose the game to a community where it is not well known.

She said wheelchair rugby is particularly popular in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and on the prairies.

The tournament features 11 teams with six to 10 players in two divisions.

Ontario has two teams in Division 1 and one team in Division 2.

Ontario Thunder is the defending Division 1 champion and has won the gold in five of the past six years.

Saskatchewan is the defending Division 2 champion.

Action begins at 9:30 a.m. on May 26 with Ontario 1 taking on Alberta 1 in court 1 and Ontario 2 facing British Columbia 1 in court 2.

Opening ceremonies will be held following the games at 11 a.m.

The gold medal game in Division 1 is slated for 1:30 p.m. Sunday and the Division 2 gold medal game goes at 11:45 a.m.

Both gold medal games will be played in court 2.