Wheelchair rugby teams compete April 20-22 for national title

wheelchair rugby

The 2017 United States Quad Rugby Association National Tournament will be played April 20-22 at Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, 5031 E. Washington St. (Photo by Loren Worthington)

Defending national champion Texas Stampede from Cedar Park and hometown favorite, the unbeaten Phoenix 360 Heat, are among the nation’s top teams to qualify for the 2017 United States Quad Rugby Association National Tournament, April 20-22, at Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, 5031 E. Washington St., Phoenix.

The tournament is presented by Vantage Mobility International, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of wheelchair van conversions.

Qualifying teams to date from regional and sectional tournaments across the country include:

  • 360 Heat (Phoenix)
  • Texas Stampede (Cedar Park, Texas)
  • Tampa Generals (Tampa, Fla.)
  • Michigan Storm (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  • St. Louis Spartans (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • MedStar Punishers (Washington, D.C.)
  • Seattle Slam, (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Minnesota Steelheads (Golden Valley, Minn.)
  • Lakeshore Demolition (Birmingham, Ala.)
  • Portland Pounders (Portland, Ore.)
  • Shepherd Smash (Atlanta, Ga.)

Up to 16 teams are expected to compete. There is no admission charge for spectators.

Tournament teams will be seeded in two divisions and compete in a preliminary round robin format with national champions to be determined through single elimination matches in the final round.

Matches begin at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 20, Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22.  Last matches on Thursday and Friday begin at 6:30 p.m.  On Saturday, the Division 2 Championship single elimination rounds begin at 1 p.m. with Division 1 Championship round beginning at 3 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow the final match.

Complete information at www.ability360.org/sports.

Ability360, formerly Arizona Bridge to Independent Living, offers and promotes programs to empower people with disabilities to take personal responsibility so that they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community.  The independent living philosophy states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities.

Ability360 is located at 5025 E. Washington St., Ste. 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034, www.ability360.org, 602-256-2245.

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