Murderball growing in Boise
Murderball in BoisePhoto: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com
"I crashed my mountain bike in 2007. Broke my neck."
In an instant, Spencer Larimore went from an active, able bodied athlete to one limited by injury.
"There really isn't an outlet," explains Larimore. "I tried to play basketball, but I don't have enough tricep (strength) to shoot a basket."
But when rehabbing his injury, Spencer stumbled upon a movie that would change his life: "Murderball." The 2005 documentary centered on quadriplegic athletes who play wheelchair rugby.
"I was like 'Dang, that's really cool,' but there wasn't anybody in Boise involved in it. There weren't enough quadriplegics. A softball league around town- you might have 15 teams to play with. We don't have that option."
So Spencer did all he could to bring wheelchair rugby to the City of Trees. With help from Boise Parks and Recreation, Larimore helped found the Boise Bombers, a team that competes nationally in the U.S. Quad Rugby Association.
The goal of wheelchair rugby is to advance a volleyball from one side of a regulation-size basketball court to another. The game is played 4-on-4, and isn't restricted to quadriplegics. Spencer and his Bomber teammates split up for a summer recreational league, captaining teams of amputees and completely able-bodied players.
"I lost my leg in 2008. It was a shock," detailed rec player Kevin Falk. "It wasn't something I was planning, but I almost think it was a blessing."
Falk is not quadriplegic, so he can't play for the Bombers, but he has learned to love the sport, thanks to the Thursday night league at Fort Boise.
"I started off with basketball, and then went into rugby, and now I'm playing tennis. I play more sports now with one leg than I did with two legs!"
"You get a sense of camaraderie with other people with similar disabilities," explained Larimore. "You learn a lot from each other... Every day things... And when they get off the court, they kind of have this sense that they're not different. "