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A Newer Sport- WLUSA

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Hello All,

Here is another older post from our previous website. We still find old articles that we have yet to transfer over, so we will continue trying to collect all of our content on this newer website. This post was from November 26, 2014. Thanks for reading!

In a continued look at adaptive sports equipment and the exciting opportunities that exist in adaptive sports, we would like to discuss one of the newest full contact adaptive sports.  Since the creation of wheelchair rugby in 1977, there have been few creations in adaptive sports that have taken off.  Yet, in 2009, Ryan Baker and Bill Lundstrom decided to adapt the sport of lacrosse.  It’s been taking off ever since.

A group of wheelchair lacrosse players.According to an article from New Mobility in September of this year, Baker and Lundstrom were not new to adaptive sports when they decided to adapt lacrosse, but neither of them had played lacrosse prior to their injuries.  However, with some research, and determination, they have been able to tap into the a growing base of individuals interested in the sport, holding clinics to teach the sport in various locations, including San Diego, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa, Richmond, Baltimore, and New York City.  According to New Mobility, Baker and Lundstrum hope to eventually see wheelchair lacrosse become a Paralympic event.  Until then, the sport keeps growing, and changing, along with the rules.

Let’s take a look at the sport through the lens of the official rule book, available at wheelchairlacrosse.com.  First of all, there are several pieces of equipment necessary to play wheelchair lacrosse.  The crosse, or lacrosse stick, is composed of wood, laminated wood, or synthetic material.  The rules provided specifications for the length of the stick, as well as the pocket size.  The ball used is an indoor no-bounce lacrosse ball made of solid rubber.  Because lacrosse is a full contact sport, padding is required for all players.  The rule book calls for a helmet, mouthpiece, gloves and shoulder pads.  All players may wear knee pads to protect from any checking by the opponent, but this is not required.  In addition, the goalie must wear a chest protector, shin guards, and a throat protector.  A protective athletic support cup is also encouraged.

Wheelchair lacrosse, usually played on a roller hockey rink, requires eight players per team to be on the field at all times.  There are two attackmen, whose job it is to score goals.  This generally restricts their play to the offensive end of the field, and also requires them to demonstrate good stick work with both hands, as well as quick mobility and skills to maneuver around the goals.  There are three midfielders, who cover the entire field, playing both offense and defense.  They also must demonstrate good stick work, including throwing, catching, and scooping.  They’re main job is to clear the ball from defense to offense.  Also, two defensemen, responsible for defending the goal, must be able to react quickly in game situations.  Finally the goalkeeper leads the defense by reading the situation and directing the defensemen to react.  Because of this, they need to have good hand eye coordination, and a strong voice.  Quickness, agility, confidence, and ability to concentrate are also essential.

Besides making goals by throwing the ball past the goalie into the net, the players are allowed to make often brotal contact with competitors by swing lacrosse sticks, poke checking, and slamming into one another in order to force possession of the ball.  While doing all of this, players must be coordinated enough to handle their crosse, while maneuvering their chairs at the same time.  If you are interested in seeing the athletes in action, please visit the Wheelchair Lacrosse website.  There are many videos from the clinics that have been held across the country.

Lacrosse is a very exciting sport to watch, but for those who are interested, it often more fun to participate in sports than to be on the sidelines.  For more information about participating in wheelchair lacrosse, in addition to more general information about the sport, please visit the wheelchair lacrosse website, or visit New Mobility.com.  Also, please see the links posted below.

Hope you enjoyed learning about this up and coming sport, and we look forward to more sports articles in the near future.

New Mobility Article: Wheelchair Lacrosse

WLUSA Website

 

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