Help support our wheelchair Paralympians

Wayne Rudland with Antonio Vecchio, captain of the Harlequins team
31st Aug 2016

Martin Fuggle

What is wheelchair rugby?

Wheelchair rugby is a mixed team sport for people with quadriplegia or loss of function in three limbs. Teams of four take the court and incorporate skills from basketball, handball and rugby to move the ball and score. It is a full-contact sport; players use their chairs to block and hold off opponents in play.

Scoring for wheelchair rugby is similar to outdoor rugby, as players have to cross the scoring line in possession of the ball, but wheelchair rugby players must have at least two of the four wheels from their chair over the scoring line. Teams are awarded one point for crossing the scoring line in wheelchair rugby with this being the only way to score.

The game is played in four eight-minute quarters; with a two-minute break at the end of the first and third quarters, and a five-minute break at the half. Each side has four thirty second time-outs they can use to stop play, whilst the coach has two sixty second time-outs.

Players are given a classification depending on their disability ranging from 0.5 up to 3.5: the higher the level of disability a player has, the lower the classification. Teams are allowed to have a maximum of eight points distributed across the four players on the court.

Click here to see some action photos.

Partnership with Disability Sport & Recreation

The Harlequins have partnered with DSR in support of the Protect Victoria Wheelchair Rugby Cup, the premier competition in Victoria and will see our club colours and club name connected with the Protect Victoria Wheelchair Rugby Cup as we strive to make our club truly inclusive.

Disability Sport & Recreation (DSR) is an independent charity helping Victorians with disability get active. DSR plays a vital role in connecting people with disability with sport and recreation, whether it be competition or social sport.

DSR is the state sporting association for Victorian wheelchair rugby.

Meet the Captain of the Harlequin Team

  • Captain: Antonio Vecchio
  • Team: Harlequins
  • Date of Birth: 26 August, 1985
  • Classification: 2.0

Antonio will lead the Harlequins squad into the Protect Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Cup. Taking up the sport in 2006, it didn’t take long for Antonio to grab the Victorian selector’s eyes, earning a spot in the squad in 2007. The next step for Antonio was the green and gold which he donned for the first time in 2010. Antonio will be looking bring home the Protect Victoria Wheelchair Rugby Cup for the Harlequins.

Get involved!

We are on the lookout for anyone interested in getting involved with wheelchair rugby. Whether it’s as a referee, support staff, mechanics or a scorer contact the Disability Sport & Recreation Wheelchair Rugby Coordinator on 9473 0133 or

To keep up with fixtures and results from the Protect Victoria Wheelchair Rugby Cup click on this link Protect Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Cup.

Australian Wheelchair Rugby “Steelers” Rio 2016 Paralympics Schedule

Pool Games
  • Australia v Great Britain – Wednesday 14 September, 11:30pm
  • Australia v Brazil – Friday 16 September, 8:15am
  • Australia v Canada – Saturday 17 September, 8:15am
Semi Finals and Medal Games
  • Semi-final 1 – Sunday 18 September, 1:45am
  • Semi-final 2 – Sunday 18 September, 5:00am
  • Bronze medal match – Sunday 18 September, 10:00pm
  • Gold medal match – Monday 19 September, 1:30am