8 teams battle in Southern Slam Quad Rugby tournament

Murderball tournament held at Sportsplex off Emerson Street

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Eight wheelchair rugby teams from around the country, including Jacksonville's Brooks Bandits, took to the court for the 11th annual Brooks Rehabilitation Southern Slam Quad Rugby.

The tournament, also known as the Murderball Tournament, kicked off Friday at the Sportsplex off Emerson Street and wrapped up Saturday.

Quad rugby is a full-contact wheelchair sport that’s played with a volleyball on a modified basketball court by players with a physical disability affecting all four limbs.

The sport was originally known as Murderball because of its aggressive nature.

Don Bergman was on the original Brooks Bandits team that started 11 years ago. Bergman said joining was a game-changer for him. He said he was hooked after the first time playing.

“I was so tired. I crawled into a shower. I crawled into bed, and the next day I hurt so bad I couldn't move, but all I could do was lay there and think, ‘I can't wait to go back,’” Bergman said. “It changed my life.”

"I'm primarily a defensive player and I love to grab a player's chair and stop them from moving,” Bergman said. “I like to think I'm pretty good at it.”

Bandit player Harris Blackwell said the contact is only part of what makes the game so fun. 

“The teamwork, intensity and competition,” Blackwell added, are all integral parts of the game. 

To learn more about Adaptive Sports with Brooke Rehabilitation, call 904-345-7314. 

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