Athletes must meet minimal eligibility criteria to play the sport of Wheelchair Rugby. The criteria are based on the functional profile of an athlete with tetraplegia/quadriplegia, and assess the presence and level of trunk function, leg function, and impairment of the upper limbs. Assessing minimum eligibility is done prior to any other testing. An athlete who does not pass the minimum eligibility test will not be classified further. Athletes who pass minimum eligibility may still be determined to be ineligible following the full classification assessment.

While most Wheelchair Rugby athletes have tetraplegia/quadriplegia due to spinal cord injury or neuromuscular conditions such as poliomyelitis, many athletes have other conditions, such as muscular dystrophy, various types of central and peripheral nervous system conditions, multiple amputations, congenital limb defects and other similar musculoskeletal conditions. All athletes with physical disabilities may be eligible for Wheelchair Rugby if their impairment type and severity results in activity limitations that impact sport performance in a similar way to that of athletes with tetraplegia.