UM Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute Hosts Inaugural Quad Rugby Tournament

For immediate release: December 22, 2014

Three Maryland Mayhem players recognized with top awards at Crab Pot Tournament

Baltimore, MD - The Maryland Mayhem, the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute's quad rugby team, showed impressive play this weekend during its first home tournament. The team won one of four games, and three players were recognized with top awards in their classification. The Mayhem took on Philadelphia's Magee Eagles and the Capitol Punishers, from Washington, D.C., in the inaugural Crab Pot Tournament, which the team plans to host annually for rivals up and down the East Coast. A fourth team, the West New York Wreckers, were scheduled to participate, but withdrew just before the tournament. A team was formed to play in their place.

During the two-day tournament, held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the four teams played a total of nine games, with the results of the first six games determining the playoff round schedule. The Mayhem won the first game of the tournament (37-27) and played several close games throughout the weekend. The team finished third overall, behind the first-place Capitol Punishers and the Magee Eagles.

"Our team performed exceptionally well against the Capitol Punishers and Magee Eagles. At different points of the games, we were even in the lead," says Lori Patria, director of therapy services at UM Rehab & Ortho.

Of the many athletes competing this weekend, three Mayhem players were presented with awards. Jeff Silverman took home the All-Tournament Low Pointer Award, Louis Fortune was awarded All-Tournament Mid Pointer, and Mike Henley received All-Tournament High Pointer - a distinction he's earned at all three tournaments in which the Mayhem has competed.

This is an impressive showing for the team that formed just three years ago. They competed in the Eagles' Beast of the East tournament in November and the 9th Annual Raleigh Rumble earlier this month. In contrast, some of the players on rival teams have been playing 15+ years, and the Eagles just held their 25th tournament.

Quad rugby (also known as wheelchair rugby) is one of the sports offered at UM Rehab & Ortho through its Adapted Sports Program, and many would agree that it's the most physically demanding. Players have a disability that affects three limbs, such as a spinal cord injury, amputation or muscular dystrophy. They use special wheelchairs and work as a team to carry a ball across the opponent's goal line. Games consist of four 8-minute quarters, and four players from each team are allowed on the court during play. Players score points when they cross the opponent's goal line with two of their four wheels while maintaining possession of the ball.

The sport is more a cross between basketball and ice hockey than traditional rugby, and "quad rugby" would be a misnomer if it weren't for the aggressive nature of the game. Like in rugby, players use full contact to block and hold their opponent.

The athletes on the Mayhem are passionate about the sport, as are their fans, who cheered on the team from the stands this weekend. "We had a phenomenal turnout from friends and family, as well as staff, executive team leadership and board members at our event," says Patria. "Their support and cheers were appreciated by our team, but also the other teams as well."

While still a young team, the Maryland Mayhem is quickly making a name for itself within the sport.

"We are gaining a lot of recognition from the other teams and referees as a team that will be a threat in the very near future," says Patria.

Read the Baltimore Sun's December 20 report from the Crab Pot Tournament.

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The 144-bed University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute is the largest inpatient rehabilitation hospital and provider of rehabilitation services in Maryland. Patients make the transition to rehabilitation after recovering from stroke, traumatic injury, orthopaedic surgery and other illnesses.

The University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute is part of the University of Maryland Medical System, a 12-hospital system of academic, community and specialty hospitals.