2004 - Hello Time Bomb
The rules of wheelchair rugby have evolved a great deal over the past 10 years. In 2004, wheelchair rugby didn’t have a 40-second clock, which meant that teams could hold onto the ball for as long as they wanted once they crossed center court. Needless to say, watching a team play pass to one another for minutes at a time was not exactly riveting.
On the final day of the 2004 Canada Cup Wheelchair Rugby Tournament, this rule was tested to the max when the USA won 13-7 over Germany. The Canada Cup had just set the world record for the lowest score ever recorded in an officially sanctioned wheelchair rugby game. (By comparison, today’s wheelchair rugby games routinely reach the 60 and even 70-point mark).
While the drive to introduce a 40-second clock had been in the works for years, the 13-7 game at Canada Cup was a wake-up call to those looking to increase the pace of the sport and make it more fan-friendly. In 2006, the 40-second clock was finally introduced.