Before playing Wheelchair Rugby, there is a series of checks to be undertaken to ensure that all equipment is Wheelchair Rugby Ready. Players can help themselves by ensuring they use appropriate equipment.
Athletes compete in manual wheelchairs that are specially designed for Wheelchair Rugby. The rules of the sport include detailed specifications for the wheelchairs to ensure safety and fairness; in international competition, all wheelchairs must meet these requirements to be considered legal for play.
When first starting out, any manual wheelchair may be used while learning the sport, although the game is much easier when played in a Rugby chair. Many players begin using wheelchairs adapted from wheelchair basketball, and switch to Rugby chairs when their skills have improved and they have committed to the sport.
There are two types of Wheelchair Rugby chairs: offensive and defensive chairs.
Offensive chairs are set up for speed and mobility and contain a front bumper and wings to prevent other wheelchairs from hooking it. These chairs are used by players with more function (2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5).
Defensive wheelchairs, like the one pictured on the left contain bumpers set up to hook and hold other players. These wheelchairs are most often used by players with less function (0.5, 1.0, 1.5).