USA Wheelchair Rugby

Team photo of 12 USA Wheelchair Rugby players and 9 staff wearing red and blue polo shirts

Old rivalries were renewed during the 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Championships when Team USA met Australia in the Gold Medal match. Strong showings from both teams led to a tie match heading into the half, but by the end of the third Australia was able to force the USA into a 44-46 deficit. After the final buzzer, Australia would come away with the gold after a final score of 55-58, while the USA took silver. Head Coach Joe Delagrave and the team now turn their sights to Paris and the 2024 Paralympic Games, acknowledging there is room for improvement while celebrating another podium appearance.

“We pride ourselves on being a podium team, which is so so hard to do given the level of rugby that was played this week here in Vejle.  We came into this World Championship wanting to establish a new culture, a new way to play the game, tonight, we did not play well. We didn’t play well offensively, defensively, and we didn’t have good clock management and we aren’t going to win games that way. We will get better; we have 22 months till Paris and that’s time to build our identity and trust the process.  It is amazing what we have achieved in 11 months, I can’t imagine what we will be able to do in double that time,” said Delagrave.

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2022 USA Wheelchair Rugby World Championship Team

Sarah Adam (3.0), Naperville, IL
Chuck Aoki, Co-Captain (3.0),  Minneapolis, MN
Jake Daily (2.5) Belleville, IL
Liz Dunn (0.5) Pittsburgh, PA
Lee Fredette (1.0) East Moriches, NY
Joe Jackson (1.0) Maricopa, AZ
Chuck Melton, Co-Captain (2.0) Richview, IL
Eric Newby (2.0) Nashville, IL
Josh O’Neill (1.5) Denver, CO
Kory Puderbaugh (3.0) Boise, ID
Adam Scaturro (1.5) Lakewood, CO
Josh Wheeler (2.5) Tucson, AZ


Joe Delagrave,  Interim Head Coach
Mike Klonowski, Interim Assistant Coach
Meme Earnest-Stanley, ATC
Chuck French, Equipment and Bench Staff
Amy Claire McMurtrie, Dietician
Jim Murdock, ATC/Medical Coordinator
Heather Rennerfeldt, Support Staff
Meagan Rowe, Interim High Performance Manager
Meg Smith, Sports Psychology Provider


Wheelchair rugby player reaches for ball

As the home of USA Wheelchair Rugby, membership is open to all applicable groups including: amateur athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators or officials.

What is Wheelchair Rugby?

Wheelchair Rugby is a sport with roots grounded in wheelchair basketball and ice hockey and was developed by three Canadians from Winnipeg, Manitoba as an opportunity for athletes with quadriplegia to compete. The sport was originally called Murderball due to the aggressive nature of the game. It was introduced to the United States in 1979 at a demonstration at Southwest Minnesota State University. In 1981, Brad Mikkelsen, with the aid of the University of North Dakota’s Disabled Student Services, formed the first team, the Wallbangers, and changed the game’s name from Murderball to quad rugby. Today it is called wheelchair rugby.

In 1988, the United States Quad Rugby Association, now the United States Wheelchair Rugby Association (USWRA), was formed to help regulate and promote the sport on both a national and international level. There are now more than 40 organized teams in the United States with many others in the developmental stage. In addition to the teams in the U.S., there are at least 29 international teams with 20 more in the development stage. Wheelchair rugby is one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world.

Forms and Documents

USA Wheelchair Rugby is committed to providing an equal opportunity to amateur athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate in amateur athletic competition, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation or national origin and with fair notice and opportunity for a hearing before declaring any such individual ineligible to participate.

Lee Fredette has submitted a declaration of candidacy to serve on the Athlete Advisory Council (AAC) during the 2021-2024 term.