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'No hugs' in rough-and-tumble wheelchair rugby

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  • 'No hugs' in rough-and-tumble wheelchair rugby

    'No hugs' in rough-and-tumble wheelchair rugby

    By Charlie Huisking

    SARASOTA -- Seating space for the disabled will be scarce inside the Regal Hollywood 20 today. But the guys who will be rolling into the theater know how to jostle for position -- in a fast-paced, wheelchair-rattling sport they call Murderball.

    Their game -- the formal name is quadriplegic rugby -- is played on a basketball court by fiercely competitive four-man teams.

    Most players have spinal cord injuries that have left them with limited function in all four limbs. Others are missing parts of their arms and legs. But they have plenty of heart.

    That point is made clearly in "Murderball," a new documentary that follows the USA Quad Rugby team in its pursuit of a gold medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.

    Called "rousing" by The New York Times and "astonishing" by Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, "Murderball" won the audience award for best American documentary at the recent Sundance Film Festival in Utah.