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Ice hockey and wheelchair basketball. Originally called Murderball because of the aggressive nature of the game. Developed by three Canadians from Winnipeg, Manitoba: Ben Harnish, a professor of Architecture at Manitoba University and two wheelchair athletes, Duncan Campbell (left, in white) and Gerry Terwin.




1979 - First exhibition game in US - Murderball team from Winnipeg organized an exhibition game at a regional track and field meet at Southwest State University in Marshall, MN.

1979 - Canada held their first National Championship.

1981 - North Dakota Wallbangers, first US Quad Rugby team, formed by Brad Mikkelsen (right, center) with the aid of the University of North Dakota's Disabled Student Services.

1981 - Name was changed to Quad Rugby in the US. Known internationally as Wheelchair Rugby.

1982 - First Quad Rugby match in the US, North Dakota Wallbangers v. Minnesota Rolling Gophers at the 1982 National Wheelchair Games, held in Marshall, ND.

1982 - The University of North Dakota hosted the first International Quad Rugby Tournament with teams from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, North Dakota, and Minnesota competing.

1988 - First US National Championship tournament with six teams (Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles and North Dakota) competing at the University of North Dakota. At this tournament, the United States Quad Rugby Association was formed to promote and regulate the sport in the USA.

1993 - Seven countries met at Stoke-Mandeville, England for the World Wheelchair Games and formed the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF). IWRF Goals: to establish an international infrastructure for the sport, provide championship competition and to seek recognition from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

1995 - Tampa wins 3rd National Championship

1996 - After lengthy negotiations, Wheelchair Rugby was added as an exhibition sport in the 1996 Summer Paralympic Games. The United States captured the gold medal over Canada, and New Zealand won the bronze. Following the 1996 Paralympic Games' success, Wheelchair Rugby was officially added to the Paralympic Program as a full medal event.

1999 - Sharp Shadow wins 3rd straight National Championship

2000 - Quad Rugby took Sydney by storm. It was one of the most watched and exciting competitions of the 2000 Summer Paralympic Games. More than 10,000 fans watching the Gold Medal game between USA and Australia were treated to one of the closest international finishes to date with the USA defeating Australia by just a point. New Zealand again received the Bronze medal, this time over Canada.

2002 - Team Canada beat the USA to win the World Championships in Sweden.

2004 - Lakeshore Demolition wins 5th straight National Championship

2004 - Paralympic Games in Athens saw New Zealand take the gold, Canada the silver and USA the bronze.

2005 - Release of the movie Murderball greatly increased sports' recognition and popularity. It continues to assist in the recruitment of athletes.

2006 - The United States of America proved again to be the best in the world. They were undefeated in all three international tournaments in 2006, including the World Championships in New Zealand, where they defeated New Zealand to take home the gold.

2008 - Paralympic Games in Beijing, China - the next chapter. Stay tuned! NBC's critically acclaimed dramatic series, "Friday Night Lights," has also popularized the sport. Currently in its second season. Today Quad Rugby is played in over 25 countries. Considered the fastest growing wheelchair team sport in the world.

Adapted from the 2007 USQRA Coaches Manual, © 2004 by the US Disabled Athletes Fund, Inc.