About Wheelchair Lacrosse
What is Wheelchair Lacrosse?
Lacrosse is based on a sacred Native American game that has been played for centuries. Wheelchair lacrosse has been adapted from the original game and offers the complete package—the speed of basketball, the skill of hockey, and the toughness of rugby. We strive to honor the rich history and tradition of the sport while showing that lacrosse is truly a game for all.
History of Wheelchair Lacrosse
Ryan Baker and Bill Lundstrom met in San Diego in 2008. They were both athletes—they skied, played golf, competed in tennis, and participated in wheelchair races. Both men also had a desire to play a team sport, but were not satisfied with the typical options for athletes with disabilities. So they got some used lacrosse sticks and gear and gave it a try. They soon had several players coming out to throw the ball around and Wheelchair Lacrosse USA (WLUSA) was born. Ryan and Bill hosted the first wheelchair lacrosse camp in 2010 and spent much of the next decade traveling the country to grow the game.
Wheelchair Lacrosse USA (WLUSA)
WLUSA is the governing body of wheelchair lacrosse in the United States, Wheelchair Lacrosse USA (WLUSA) organizes, develops, and promotes the sport of wheelchair lacrosse while providing opportunities for people with disabilities to live active lifestyles.
Founded in 2010, WLUSA has helped grow over a dozen Wheelchair Lacrosse programs in the United States. Wheelchair lacrosse is an extremely diverse and inclusive game played by men and women of all ages and abilities. WLUSA is proud to partner with motivated individuals and organizations to host camps, help start new teams, and expand opportunities for athletes across the country.
Vision of Wheelchair Lacrosse in Utah
Wheelchair lacrosse is a high speed game full of contact and intense game play. However, we recognize that may not resonate with everyone. Here in Utah, we want to grow the game and make it as inclusive as possible.
Currently, we play a no (intentional) contact game with lacrosse sticks and soft balls, in a pickup style of play. There is no commitment nor any need to purchase expensive sports equipment or sports wheelchair. Simply show up in your everyday chair (you can use a sports chair if you prefer) and you will be handed a stick, a pinnie, and placed on a team. We have open doors during our clinics where you can come anytime, play for as long as you'd like, and leave whenever you feel satisfied, all for no cost. Of course we'd love to have you stay the whole time, but we understand that you have busy lives so we try to be as flexible as possible. We plan to have this style of play as an indefinite program, catering to people of all ages and abilities.
We also hope to get enough interest from people to enjoy the full scope of the game, including full speed, full contact, pads, and the official no bounce lacrosse ball. Eventually it would be amazing to field a team big enough and willing to travel to the national tournament each year, where we would compete against teams from all across the country. This style of play is much more competitive and is intended for more serious athletes, however anyone is welcome to join!
The rules of the game are simple. There are two teams, two goals, and one ball. Currently we play on a basketball court inside of a gym. The goal? Put the ball in the opponents goal more times than they do in yours. The rules will differ depending on the style of game we are playing. The game is played ideally with 8 players per team: 2 attack, 3 midfielders, 2 defense, and 1 goalie. However we realize this is not always possible so we adapt the game to however many players there are. Each player is given a stick and cannot use their hands to touch the ball, they are only allowed to use their stick.
A soft lacrosse ball is used.
This is a no contact style of play, meaning there is to be no intentional contact to another players body or wheelchair, except for setting screens (like in basketball) and they cannot be moving screens. Any forcible contact will be considered a penalty and will result in a turnover. All penalties will be assessed by a referee.
Players may use their sticks to knock the ball out of the opponents stick or otherwise interfere with another players ability to move, pass or shoot the ball. Any intentional contact by a player with their stick to the body or wheelchair of an opposing player will be considered a penalty and will result in a turnover. All penalties will be assessed by a referee.
This style of play is still somewhat new and ad hoc and rules can be adjusted to best fit the needs of the players. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us here.
As this is full contact, most any type of contact goes. All contact must be made in front of the axle. Players wear helmets, shoulder pads, arm pads, and gloves. A no-bounce indoor lacrosse ball is used for wheelchair lacrosse.
For a more comprehensive list of rules, please visit the official site of WLUSA: http://www.wheelchairlacrosse.com/rules
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us here.