Wheelchair lacrosse was developed in 2009. Four years later, Wheelchair Lacrosse USA fields seven teams around the country, hosts workshops and has participated in tournaments nationwide.
Military participants just may be a key to reaching the goal of establishing a team in “every major city,” the organizers say.
For two hours each Tuesday afternoon, a small group of wounded troops meets in a gym at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, strapping on helmets, pads and gloves to get physical, battling one another to move a small orange ball down a court and hurl it into a goal.
The game is wheelchair lacrosse, and for these military laxbros — some novice, some experienced — the fast pace and demanding workout is just what the doctor ordered.
Similar to its field counterpart, wheelchair lacrosse calls for players to swing sticks, poke check each other and slam into each other to force possession of the ball.
The often brutal contact is what many of the players crave.
“Most of us grew up playing team-oriented, competitive, physical games. You enter the disabled sports world, it lacks those competitive team sports. Sure, you’ve got quad rugby and sled hockey, but this gives guys another option to go out there and play hard,” said Army Spec. Calvin Todd, 25, a former college lacrosse player who is at Walter Reed recovering from injuries sustained in an IED blast in 2012.