October 21st, 2022

Movesense at the Wheelchair Rugby World Championship

Wheelchair rugby

Wheelchair rugby, also known as “murderball” is a thrilling sport for people with physical disabilities. The sport originated in 1977 and first featured at the 2000 Paralympic Games. Athletes compete in teams of four to carry the ball over the opponent’s try line. Contact between wheelchairs is allowed, and is an integral part of the sport, as athletes use their chairs to block and hold opponents (https://worldwheelchair.rugby/). Within a team, athletes are included with different levels of disability to allow as many people as possible to participate. For fair competition, a classification system is used that factors in the degree of impairment.


The classification system is a defining factor in wheelchair rugby, so understanding the effect of impairment on performance is vital. With an increasingly professional sport, it is therefore also necessary to have a better science-based understanding of the relationship between disability and performance. And in addition, it is important for coaches and athletes to know how to perform best, within the given impairment.


Such research should actually take place where it counts, which is at the highest level of sport. But doing research during a world championships is of course only possible if it is not disruptive to athletes, because they are not concerned with research, but with winning the tournament. By using the small and lightweight Movesense sensors, that can easily withstand the huge impacts during collisions, athletes could be measured without disturbing them. Athletes from five different countries were measured in a field test, to determine their maximum performance, and then during several matches in the pool phase. Together with other tests around ball skills, that data could provide more insight for the organization (WWR), coaches and athletes.

More info

This research was a collaboration between The Hague University of Applied Sciences and rehabilitation centre Klimmendaal, within the WheelPower research project (http://www.wheelpower.online/), which also involves other universities and colleges. For questions or further information, please feel free to contact Rienk van der Slikke (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rienkvdslikke/) who leads the research project. If you want to discuss about using Movesense sensors for your own projects or turn your sensor idea into a commercial product with Movesense, don’t hesitate to book a meeting with us right away.

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