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Blitz players close in on second-year physical therapy student Jeff Lehner.

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Quadriplegic rugby tournament and fund-raiser is set for Feb. 26

Event matches local teams against Columbus Buckeye Blitz wheelchair rugby players

Ohio University physical therapy students will host the Four-Play! Quad Rugby Tournament on Feb. 26, an annual pay-to-play benefit that gives participants a new view on diversity while raising money to buy equipment for athletes with quadriplegia.

The Four-Play! tournament pits teams of community members and Ohio University students, staff and faculty against the quick-wheeling skills of the Columbus Buckeye Blitz, Ohio’s only semi-professional quadriplegic wheelchair rugby team. For $100 per team, groups of four to six can sign up for 30 minutes of court time against the Blitz. The fee includes a T-shirt for each team member.

Quadriplegic rugby is a fast-paced sport that gained notoriety as a result of the 2005 Academy Award-nominated documentary “Murderball.” Last year’s tournament raised $3,200 raised toward the purchase of a reinforced wheelchair for Blitz team members. The sturdy chairs must be custom built for the rigors of the sport.

As a sign of its increasing popularity, the event this year has been moved to a larger venue in Ping Center. The tournament will take place Saturday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Ping’s Court D, located in the first-floor lobby behind the climbing wall.

Those interested in registering for the tournament or finding out more can go online to www.ohio.edu/orgs/quadrugby