Murderball was a 2005 Oscar Nominated documentary, about the USA and Canadan Wheel Chair Rugby teams making their way to Athens, and definitely showed the macho side fo the sport. If you haven’t yet seen Murderball, I highly suggest you check it out. But if you want to skip the documentary, then you should definitely be tuning into the London Paralympic Games as the USA team is ready to kick off their games next week. It’s been called the most thrilling sport, you’ve never heard of. The big surprise for people that have seen the game in action is not so much that its 12,000-capacity arena has sold out for every match at the Paralympics, but that it fails to sell out year round. It’s an awesomely brutal game, it’s loud, reinforced chairs bang into each other, and sometime athletes get knocked over.
The basics of the game are somewhat like rugby, wheelchair rugby is played on a basketball court-sized indoor space, with four players a side on court at any time, and they rotate regularly with substitutions from a 12-strong squad. The game is mixed gender, all participants must have a disability which involves function loss of both upper and lower limbs. Their level of disability is classified from 0.5, meaning the greatest level of physical restriction, to 3.5. The four players on court must have an overall total of eight points or fewer.
Aaron Phipps, part of Great Britain’s Squad told the Guardian UK,
"I think people genuinely want to come and watch us smash each other out of our wheelchairs. It's like PC gone completely right,"
The USA is currently ranked first. The games are expect to attract a record number of TV Viewers . The U.S. is a heavy favorite for gold, led by Will Groulx who was also part of the U.S. team when it won gold in Beijing in 2008. Groulx is a Navy veteran who suffered a spinal-cord injury and was nominated for an ESPY back in 2009 for Best Male Athlete with a Disability for his performance as a member of the undefeated USA Quad Rugby team in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
This weekend however, there are a few rugby games to check out. The Chicago Lions will host the Griffins to a game @ 1pm at Hope Academy Fields. The Chicago Blaze will have Plamer in town for their first official game of the season. Lincoln Park will be hosting Fox Valley. South Side Irish will be away in Iowa for the Labor Day weekend, but had two good well played pre-season games. The North Shore ladies have the weekend off. The Woodsmen will be training this Saturday. If you're looking to checkout a game definately make it out and enjoy the weekend, rainy and muddy fields makefor excellent games!