Quantification of Activity during Wheelchair Rugby at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games

Garrett G. Grindle, MS1,2 ; Michelle L. Sporner, MS, CRC1,2 ; Rory A. Cooper, PhD1,2 ; Annmarie Kelleher, MS, OTR/L, ATP1,2 ; Emily E. Teodorski, BS1,2 ; Rosemarie Cooper MPT,ATP1,2

1 Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA
2 Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh


Participating in organized sports, such as wheelchair rugby, have numerous benefits for people with disabilities. Despite its importance, little research exists on wheelchair rugby performance. The aim of this study was to quantify various rugby game play variables at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Eighteen participants, who played in the rugby tournament, had their rugby wheelchair instrumented with a miniature data logger, which collected total distance, average speed, starts and stops, and activity time variables during the event. As a group, the participants on average traveled 2364.78±956.35m at 1.33±0.25m/s with 242.61±80.31 stops and starts in 29.98±11.79min of activity per game. The data set presented in this manuscript is unique and could influence how players and coaches create their training routines.


wheelchair rugby, veterans, disability, data logging, mobility


This study was supported by the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and the University of Pittsburgh Human Engineering Research Laboratories, under VA RR&D center grant number B3142C and NSF Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center, EEC-0540865.

Author Contact Information:

Garrett G. Grindle, Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VAPHS, 7180 Highland Drive 151R1-1, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, Office Phone (412) 954-5306 EMAIL: ggg3@pitt.edu