“What is it about? And How Did It Become A Paralympic Sport?
The History and Rules of the Game
Five athletes who originated from Canada created murder Ball in 1976. In 1981, it came to the United States, and the first competition in North America was held one year later, in 1982. Seven years after the first competition in North America was held, The Very First international Tournament was held, in 1989. Then in 1993, Murder Ball became an official sport recognized by the International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation. In 2000, Murder ball was changed to a full-metal contact sport.
A murderball team consists of 12 players on 2 teams. Only four players from each team are allowed on the court at any given time, and both males and females play murderball. Murderball is played on a court that is the size of a basketball court, measured 28 meters long by 15 meters wide, and there is a key area of the court at each end of the court that is measured 8 meters wide by 1.75 meters deep. The object of the murderball game is to carry a ball that is like a volleyball across to the other team’s line. In order for a goal to be valid, two wheels of the person’s wheelchair must cross the centerline when they have possession of the ball. No team is allowed to have any more than 3 players while on defense. Any player with possession of the ball must pass the ball or bounce it within 10 seconds.
Any type of dangerous physical contact is prohibited, however, physical contact between wheelchairs is allowed. A typical murder ball game is made up of four 8-minute quarters. If overtime is needed, they will play a 3-minute overtime period until a winner is declared. The game clock is stopped whenever a goal is scored or a violation, such as a foul or the ball is out of bounds, is committed. The rules for fouls are as follows: defensive fouls and technical fouls, or a loss of possession, is penalized by a 1-minute penalty. Sometimes, a penalty goal will be awarded instead of a penalty.
Many murderball players use custom wheelchairs designed especially for the sport. Required elements for the wheelchairs include front bumpers, which are made to help with striking and hold opposing chairs, and wings, which are located always in the front of the main wheels. The ball used for murderball is similar to the shape & size of a regular volleyball, however, the ball used is typically softer than a volleyball.
To be considered eligible to play murderball in the Paralympic Games, all athletes must have some form of physical disability that results in a loss of functional ability in both the upper and lower limbs, or quadriplegic. Other eligible players include players who have multiple amputations, polio, or neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy. Classifications of players is according to functional ability levels with the point system ranging from 0.5 which is the lowest score up to 3.5 with is the highest. The process begins with an assessment of skill/disability levels to determine if the minimum requirements are met to play, and one requirement is that they must have some kind of neurological disability that involves all four limbs. Once these tests are completed, they then complete a series of muscle tests, which are designed to evaluate their strength and range as well.
Active Countries/Areas playing Murder ball:
There are more than 24 countries playing murder ball, and they are divided into three zones: the Americas, Europe, and Asia Oceania.
Murder ball can be a very fun sport to play. It is very entertaining, but sometimes, they are rough on the wheelchairs. So if you enjoy playing basketball and rugby, and want some action, go play murder ball! You will be glad that you did!