Story by USA WhRL Hawks Team Manager: Juan Jasso
USA Wheelchair Rugby League held its first combine for the upcoming domestic competition. The combine was held at the Conway Sports and Fitness Center on Sunday the 24th. The combine saw 12 new participants to the sport and showcased some new and upcoming talent in the sport.
This year’s domestic competition will be held in the Carolina region due to the current location of the teams competing. The Teams are the Ft. Bragg Raptors, the Raleigh Strom, the Columbia Kangaroos, and the Ft. Jackson Blackhawks.
The four teams will play in 3 round-robin style tournaments over the summer. The team with the best overall record will be named this year’s domestic champs. Next year will see the league double in size with the addition of 4 teams from the west coast all based in the southern California region.
The concept of the League will see two conferences like many major US sports leagues. We will have the East and West Coast Conferences with smaller divisions centered around the location of team clusters. The league should have once filled, 6 divisions between the two conferences with up to 5 teams per division. This should cut down on long-distance travel for teams and assist with keeping costs lower.
This year’s tournaments will be as follows:
Each team can have a squad of 10 to 20 players. The games will be shortened from 80 minutes to 60 minutes. The international rules for match length will be enforced in the 2023 season. The addition of this domestic competition will begin to create a player pathway for athletes showcasing their talents for National Team selection.
The first coaching and referee courses for the sport will also be delivered prior to the tournaments. This will assist grow the sport by having qualified coaches and match officials.
Come down and support a team at any of this year’s tournaments. Updates will be posted on social media and the website so keep tuned in.
Are you interested in becoming a Sponsor or Partner for the Domestic Competition or National Team? See below for more information.