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Summer Sports

Bosma Enterprises - 6/25/2019 8:00:43 AM

Learn how people who are blind or visually impaired enjoy summer activities.

Summer is here, and with its arrival comes more outdoor activities. In honor of this, we are
highlighting a few recreational sports enjoyed by people who are blind or visually impaired.
Getting out to enjoy the weather during the summer months is something we all crave after being
stuck in the house all winter, but what activities are there for people who are blind? Many sports
are easily adaptable for people who are blind or have low-vision.
One of the most popular sports played by people who are blind is beep baseball, a modified
version of baseball with 10-12 players per team. All players are blindfolded, to level the playing
field in the event a person might have some usable vision. However, beep ball does allow two
sighted persons to participate either as a pitcher or a spotter. In this version of the game, the
pitcher is on the offensive team and wants the batter to hit the ball, which beeps to allow the
batter to hear it coming. The players don’t run to a base rather a cylinder pylon that makes a
noise after the ball is hit. A player is out if the outfielder finds the ball before the runner makes it
to the base. Another unique aspect of beep ball is the teams encourages fans to stay quiet because
noise can distract players, making it very difficult to hear where the ball has landed or what base
a player should run to. After a play, fans can cheer as loud as they'd like.
Goalball is a game played on an indoor volleyball court without a net. The object of the game is
to roll the ball, which makes noise, in a bowling motion, so it crosses over the opposing team's
goal line. Defenders then attempt to block the shot with their bodies.
Each team consists of three players: one center and two wingers. To ensure that there is a level
playing field, all athletes must wear black-out masks so that no player can see.
Another activity that can be easily adapted for people who are blind is swimming, which can be
done as a hobby or on a professional level. Simple procedures like using a rope to divide lanes
can help a person who is blind stay oriented while in the pool.
Running can also be a great stress-relieving and physically-beneficial activity for anyone.
Depending on a person's sight, they may need varying amounts of assistance. If a person is
totally blind, they may use a sighted guide. A sighted guide is someone with vision who assists a
person who is blind while traveling. These individuals inform the person who is blind if there are
any obstacles nearby. Many people who are blind have run in marathons and triathlons. The
United States Paralympics team also includes a track and field division for runners who are blind
or visually impaired.
These are just a handful of sports enjoyed by individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
However, most activities can be easily adapted with special equipment and some creativity. Like
our sighted counterparts, people who are blind or visually impaired enjoy participating in
competitive and recreational sports and other activities during the summer months. Not only are
sports good exercise, but it is also a great way to get out and enjoy the weather and meet some
new friends.
Bosma Enterprises is a proud sponsor of the 2019 Goalball and Judo IBSA International
Qualifier to be held in Fort Wayne from June 28th-July 10th. If you are interested in
volunteering for this event, please contact Mary Stephens at marys@bosma.org.

For more information about the capabilities of people who are blind or for more resources about
sports activities, visit www.bosma.org.