Crazy 8 tournament gets crazy

FHC hosts crazy-8 wheelchair rugby tournament


Melissa Wyas

David Miles carries the ball towards the opposite teams goal line during the Crazy 8 wheelchair Rugby tournament. The tournament was held in the gymnasium here at FHC with the help of volunteers, family, and friends.

In 1988, the USGRA, or United States Quad Rugby Association, was formed to help regulate and promote wheelchair rugby on both a national and international level. On both Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 FHC contributed to this promotion, and held the Crazy 8 Wheelchair Rugby tournament for students and parents to attend.  Wheelchair Rugby, also called Quad Rugby, is a quadriplegic equivalent to wheelchair basketball. There are more than 45 organized teams in the United States, four of which competed in the tournament at FHC: KC, At-Large, Minnesota,  and St. Louis.

David Miles has been playing wheelchair rugby for seven years and believes rugby has done a lot for him over the years both physically and socially, both on and off the court.

“Some of my best friends have been some of my rugby teammates… it has helped me get in better physical shape just for my everyday life helping me do all the things I need to do every day,” Miles said. “It has [also] given me peers who have gone through similar injuries as me so I have someone to relate to with my life issues.”

On Nov 21 Minnesota and St.Louis went head-to-head, or chair-to-chair in some cases. St. Louis team member explained David Miles, playing for St. Louis talked with me to explain just what is meant by chair-to-chair contact, and the intensity of this sport.

“Yeah [it does get pretty violent], I mean from what you’ve seen we knock each other over and I lost a fingernail last year,” said Miles.

“Yeah [it does get pretty violent], I mean from what you’ve seen we knock each other over and I lost a fingernail last year.””

— David Miles

Miles feels that wheelchair rugby is able to break the stereotype that is pinned on wheelchair rugby player, and feels that other players feel the same way, and most people should really understand the true aggressiveness and ability these players have.

“Most people think that the people playing wheelchair sports are going to be really delicate and really fragile and I think this sport proves that this is not the case,” Miles said.

In regards to the aggressiveness of the sport, Miles feels wheelchair rugby is one of the only wheelchair sports that allows full on aggression, and he really likes that.

“It kind of allows us to break the stereotype of somebody in a wheelchair being a fragile person, so I like it. I think that’s why most people that play the sport play rugby or other sports,” said Miles.

Reflecting on just this game, Miles feels that him and his teammates played pretty well, and is pleased with the overall performance.

“I think it went really good at the beginning of it … we got off to a really strong lead,” Miles said. “Our one regret is we had a hard time closing it out and messed up at the end, but we were able to hold it out and win the game, so that was good.”