#ParaEducation: Get to know wheelchair rugby

In this new section of #ParaEducation, we’ll tell you all about wheelchair rugby. This sport, which will be part of the #Santiago2023 Pan American Games, will be one of the big spectacles due to the first-level teams competing in it.


Wheelchair rugby has seven different classifications, from 0.5 to 3.5. The lesser the sport classification, the bigger the grade of functional disability. Those who practice this sport are people with quadriplegia affecting all their limbs. 

The sum of the sports classification of the 4 athletes on the field must be 8 points.

Players with a classification of 0.5 tend to be defenders or blockers, while those with a higher classification are more inclined to be playmakers that are better suited for dynamic roles. Usually, these are the ones with a better control of the torso and a bigger range of articulation in their upper limbs.

Teams are mixed, formed by male and female players. For each player on the pitch, half a point is added to the corresponding team. 


This sport is played with two teams of four players. These players move inside a 28-meter pitch. The goal is to cross the Try line on the opponent’s side of the pitch with the wheelchair and the ball in hand. A point, called try, is scored when the player crosses the line. 

#DidYouKnow that this discipline is played with a ball like the one used in volleyball so players have a better control and handling of the ball no matter the functional class of the player. 

Each team has 40 seconds to attack. If during this time they can’t score, the ball must be given to the other team. Additionally, players have 12 seconds to cross the line in the middle of the court. 

It’s a chair-collision sport. It’s a foul if a player hits an opponent from behind, risking the health of the hit athlete. It’s also a foul when there’s any physical contact between players. 



The United States are the current Parapanamerican champions and Brazil is in 10th place worldwide. 

Chile is one of the few teams that has a woman on its team. 

Jenny Barraza, with a classification of 2.0, is one of the most important players of the national team due to her high speed. In 2022, she was chosen as best athlete by the Círculo de Periodistas (group of journalists) of the local newspaper El Mercurio. 

We’d also like to highlight the career of Juan Rodríguez, who has had one of the most important national careers, aside from being the ex president of the federation and has been here since rugby arrived in Chile. 

From November 11th to 23rd in the Centro de deportes colectivos de Ñuñoa, you can’t miss wheelchair rugby in our Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games. 

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