classifications, 1 as well as performance outcomes. 2 Despite an increase in popularity and research in wheelchair rugby (WCR), there is currently a limited understanding of how the level of activity limitation affects key kinematic variables and their impact on chair acceleration and sprint performance
Overground-Propulsion Kinematics and Acceleration in Elite Wheelchair Rugby
David S. Haydon, Ross A. Pinder, Paul N. Grimshaw, and William S.P. Robertson
Criterion Validity of a Field-Based Assessment of Aerobic Capacity in Wheelchair Rugby Athletes
Vicky L. Goosey-Tolfrey, Sonja de Groot, Keith Tolfrey, and Tom A.W. Paulson
Wheelchair rugby (WR) is a sport that requires great wheelchair mobility, 1 with varying periods of accelerations and decelerations. 2 – 4 About 75% of the active portion of the game is spent performing low-intensity activities, 2 – 4 with players covering distances ranging between 3500 and 4600
Understanding the Impact of Trunk and Arm Impairments on Wheelchair Rugby Performance During Competition
Barry S. Mason, Viola C. Altmann, and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey
Wheelchair rugby (WR) is a Paralympic team sport originally developed for individuals with tetraplegia resulting from a spinal cord injury, those with other health conditions such as multiple amputations, cerebral palsy, and neuromuscular diseases also eligible to participate. 1 As with most
Altering the Speed Profiles of Wheelchair Rugby Players With Game-Simulation Drill Design
James M. Rhodes, Barry S. Mason, Thomas A.W. Paulson, and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey
Wheelchair rugby (WCR) is a Paralympic team sport played by individuals with impairments that affect both upper and lower limbs, such as spinal-cord injuries, multiple amputations, cerebral palsy, and neuromuscular diseases. 1 Given the diversity of impairments, players are classified using a
Total Testosterone and Cortisol During Wheelchair Rugby Training in Athletes With Cervical Spinal Cord Injury
Eduardo Stieler, Varley Teoldo da Costa, Aline Ângela Silva Cruz, João Paulo Pereira Rosa, Ingrid LudImilla Bastos Lôbo, Julia Romão, Andrea Maculano Esteves, Marco Tulio de Mello, and Andressa Silva
the Paralympic sports, wheelchair rugby (WCR) is a modality with characteristics of high-intensity accelerations and decelerations, and the match is disputed by 4 athletes per team, all athletes have tetraplegia, or tetra equivalence resulting from a cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI
Improvement of the Classification System for Wheelchair Rugby: Athlete Priorities
Viola C. Altmann, Jacques Van Limbeek, Anne L. Hart, and Yves C. Vanlandewijck
A representative sample (N = 302) of the wheelchair rugby population responded to a survey about the classification system based on prioritized items by International Wheelchair Rugby Federation members. Respondents stated, "The classification system is accurate but needs adjustments" (56%), "Any athlete with tetraequivalent impairment should be allowed to compete" (72%), "Athletes with cerebral palsy and other coordination impairments should be classified with a system different than the current one" (75%), and "The maximal value for trunk should be increased from 1.0 to 1.5" (67%). A minority stated, "Wheelchair rugby should only be open to spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions" (36%) and "There should be a 4.0 class" (33%). Results strongly indicated that athletes and stakeholders want adjustments to the classification system in two areas: a focus on evaluation of athletes with impairments other than loss of muscle power caused by spinal cord injury and changes in classification of trunk impairment.
Elite Wheelchair Rugby Players’ Mental Skills and Sport Engagement
Jeffrey J. Martin and Laurie A. Malone
Although sport psychologists have started to examine elite disability sport, studies of comprehensive mental skill use are rare. In the current study, we examined multidimensional imagery and self-talk, as well as comprehensive mental skills (i.e., coping with adversity, goal setting, concentration, peaking under pressure, being coachable, confident, and feeling free from worry). In addition to descriptive data, we also were interested in the ability of athlete’s mental skills to predict engagement (e.g., being dedicated). Fourteen elite level wheelchair rugby players from the United States participated, and results indicated that athletes employed most mental skills. We accounted for 50% of the variance in engagement with comprehensive mental skills (β = .72, p = .03) contributing the most to the regression equation, while imagery (β = -.02, p = .94) and self-talk (β = -.00, p = .99) were not significant. Athletes who reported using a host of mental skills (e.g., coping with adversity) also reported being engaged (e.g., dedicated, enthused, committed) to wheelchair rugby. Athletes reporting minimal mental skill use were less engaged.
Fluid and Sodium Balance of Elite Wheelchair Rugby Players
Katherine Elizabeth Black, Jody Huxford, Tracy Perry, and Rachel Clare Brown
Blood sodium concentration of tetraplegics during exercise has not been investigated. This study aimed to measure blood sodium changes in relation to fluid intakes and thermal comfort in tetraplegics during wheelchair rugby training. Twelve international male wheelchair rugby players volunteered, and measures were taken during 2 training sessions. Body mass, blood sodium concentration, and subjective thermal comfort using a 10-point scale were recorded before and after both training sessions. Fluid intake and the distance covered were measured during both sessions. The mean (SD) percentage changes in body mass during the morning and afternoon training sessions were +0.4%1 (0.65%) and +0.69% (1.24%), respectively. There was a tendency for fluid intake rate to be correlated with the percentage change in blood sodium concentration (p = .072, r 2 = .642) during the morning training session; this correlation reached significance during the afternoon session (p = .004, r 2 = .717). Fluid intake was significantly correlated to change in thermal comfort in the morning session (p = .018, r 2 = .533), with this correlation showing a tendency in the afternoon session (p = .066, r 2 = .151). This is the first study to investigate blood sodium concentrations in a group of tetraplegics. Over the day, blood sodium concentrations significantly declined; 2 players recorded blood sodium concentrations of 135 mmol/L, and 5 recorded blood sodium concentrations of 136 mmol/L. Excessive fluid intake as a means of attenuating thermal discomfort seems to be the primary cause of low blood sodium concentrations in tetraplegic athletes. Findings from this study could aid in the design of fluid-intake strategies for tetraplegics.
Activity Profiles of Elite Wheelchair Rugby Players During Competition
James M. Rhodes, Barry S. Mason, Bertrand Perrat, Martin J. Smith, Laurie A. Malone, and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey
To quantify the activity profiles of elite wheelchair rugby (WCR) players and establish classification-specific arbitrary speed zones. In addition, indicators of fatigue during full matches were explored.
Seventy-five elite WCR players from 11 national teams were monitored using a radio-frequency-based, indoor tracking system across 2 international tournaments. Players who participated in complete quarters (n = 75) and full matches (n = 25) were included and grouped by their International Wheelchair Rugby Federation functional classification: groups I (0.5), II (1.0–1.5), III (2.0–2.5), and IV (3.0–3.5).
During a typical quarter, significant increases in total distance (m), relative distance (m/min), and mean speed (m/s) were associated with an increase in classification group (P < .001), with the exception of groups III and IV. However, group IV players achieved significantly higher peak speeds (3.82 ± 0.31 m/s) than groups I (2.99 ± 0.28 m/s), II (3.44 ± 0.26 m/s), and III (3.67 ± 0.32 m/s). Groups I and II differed significantly in match intensity during very-low/low-speed zones and the number of high-intensity activities in comparison with groups III and IV (P < .001). Full-match analysis revealed that activity profiles did not differ significantly between quarters.
Notable differences in the volume of activity were displayed across the functional classification groups. However, the specific on-court requirements of defensive (I and II) and offensive (III and IV) match roles appeared to influence the intensity of match activities, and consequently training prescription should be structured accordingly.
An Examination of the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation Classification System Utilizing Parameters of Offensive Game Efficiency
Bartosz Molik, Elżbieta Lubelska, Andrzej Kosmol, Magdalena Bogdan, Abu B. Yilla, and Ewelina Hyla
The purpose of the study was to examine the offensive game efficiency of elite wheelchair rugby players with regard to their International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) classification. Male athletes (105) representing 12 European nations competing at the 2005 European Wheelchair Rugby Championships took part in this study. The primary recording instrument was the Game Efficiency Sheet (GES), an instrument designed to objectively record parameters of wheelchair rugby efficiency such as points scored, steals, turnovers, balls caught (%), and balls passed (%). Kruskal-Wallis between groups analyses identified significant differences among the lower classification groups (0.5–2.0) and between the lower and higher classification (2.5–3.5) groups. Further research is needed in identifying game efficiency differences in higher class groups.