“B” is for “Ball”

A is for “ALWAYS”,
B is for “Ball.”
Before we get into the post, DH is now worried about identity. I was responding to someone’s post about “cultural identity,” while he was waxing eloquently on internet identity and security. So, I can’t refer to him by name anymore.
I can’t rightly call him the optimist”
Because lately, he is at best “security obsessed,” and at worst: “showing early signs of schizophrenia or paranoid personality disorder” without the visual or auditory hallucinations, of course.
He doesn’t realize that only about 4 people read my blog and he is not working for the CIA; so no boss is going to look up my blog to see what they can find out about him….. … But, in any case:

I am excited about the Athletic twist that our lives are taken. I use to be a runner and avid sports enthusiast. I went to a residential school – kind of like a boarding school for blind people. We were encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities. I joined almost everything. I learned to play the piano and was in music contests. I joined the track team and … … ok, I’ll admit it, I was a cheerleader. That does not mean that I was good, though. I think I got put on the cheerleading team because 1. I was good in track and had pretty good stamina and 2. I had decent rhythm (yet, not a pre-requisite for our cheerleading team). [Smile, but true] Yet, truth be told, I was pretty good at running. One Highlight of my teenage years is when I got to go to Sweden to participate in the Blind Olympics (with USABA [United States Association for Blind Athletes]) and ran the 400 and 800 (2nd and 4th respectively. Actually, I preferred long distance, but they needed me on the sprints. To put it into prospective, I joined our school’s swim team and did so miserably that I made 0 points for the team the entire season and was forgotten several times by the coaches. My best friend and I made a pact that both of us would try it. She quit after three days. But, I made a goal to make at least one point for the team. A goal that was never accomplished(Blush blush), yet I stuck it out the whole season. Did you know that many blind people don’t swim straight? It is just hard to follow the rope or wall and swim at the same time. , that was a long time ago. Yet, my family has always been a bit competitive and athletic. Over the years, my children have participated in tennis, soccer (because we all know that Soccer is its true name), American football, wrestling, track, basketball and volleyball. I enjoy tandem cycling, but it is pretty expensive to do.
Actually, in 2009 i wrote a piece for Associated content about adapting sports for the blind and visually impaired. If you are just a real sports enthusiast or really want to read more of my stuff (hahaha) you can check it out at.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1857737/adapting_sports_and_recreational_activities.html?cat=14
Keeping with our family tradition, DH is running the mini marathon—something that he needs to start workout for. I’ll try to work the water station when the marathon approaches, so I can cheer them on. It is not just for DH, but i am excited to help out. Besides, i want to see all of the fun that goes on there. Supposedly, there is a man who dribbles three basketballs, simultaneously, the entire 13.2 miles. (I wish i had a pic of that to show — but even if i did, I could not upload it here! – smile)
However, one sport is just not enough.
There is another sport in full swing. It is “Beepball! Now, Beepball is kind of like a blind man’s version of Baseball. Because there are different degrees of blindness (from those who might need glasses/other corrections to drive to the totally blind athlete), everyone wears sleepshades to be equally competitive. the object of the game is to bat a beeping ball, then run to either one of two buzzing bases. If the player in the field catches or finds the ball before the batter reaches the base, it’s an out. If not, the batter scores a run. the field is broken up into five sections and sighted people called “spotters,” broadcast the section of the field where the ball is coming. Actually, I could have done a better job at making the game blind friendly without needing the assistance of sighted volunteers…… But, no one asked me for my suggestions. Some colleagues in his department are also playing. This makes it more fun for him.
So, we had a bowl-athon to raise money for his Beepball team, “X-TREME.” Yes, he bowled so he could bat(haha). Funds are needed for uniforms, balls, sleepshades and expenses when they go to out-of-state tournaments. the blind players have to pay a fee for playing. But, the volunteers (who are spotters or helpers) pay nothing and get to go to the tournaments for free. Anyway, bowling was interesting and he met tons of people. I think that he liked bowling, but he (WE) won’t join the “blind bowling league,” because it is $15 a week plus other fees. …. …. Where do all of these unemployed blind people get the money????
Anyway, He will play against blind individuals from other states.
You can go to
wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Beep_Baseball_Association
or
http://www.nbba.org
To learn more about beep baseball.
He is a very good fielder. he says that the “spotters” just complicate things and he could do better if they would just be quiet. He tunes his ear to the ball. Soon, they will be playing in different tournaments at different states. I am excited for him. I would post his picture and tell you that he is always looking for sponsors; but I might expose his true identity. (Shame shame). Hmm, wonder how we can fund raise. I am just not good at asking people for money for anything! Maybe dh knows some of those Pakistani doctors or engineers. (MAYBE). (smile)
DH has been to a few practices and (although he thought that he would find it boring) he does enjoy the game. He was a bit disappointed that it was not more energy/strength intensive – like blind cricket. [did you notice that I left out a link to “the Blind Cricket league,” as if anyone really wants to check it out anyway — smile]
I can tell you that beep baseball is not as long as blind cricket. It takes only a few hours to finish a beep baseball game. The start of the game and the results of the game happen all on the same day. And, speaking of cricket, it is playing (on the laptop, of course) lots this week. I think that he misses playing blind cricket and even watching it with his father. I am no replacement for his father… … Just in case you were wondering. I think that India lost to South Africa, which made my DH quite content. (Smile) Although, in India’s defense, it took South Africa several hours just to win the game!!! (I think that Cricket is the longest game ever invented).
DH is also talking about getting a “goal ball,” team started. This is kind of like an indoor soccer court with people diving on the floor to stop the harder than basketball, with bells in it, ball from getting into their goal. The ball has three pea-sized holes and some large bells in it and it is kind of a rough sport because the ball can travel 50-60 MPH coming down the court toward your goal. For a link about goal ball, check out
http://www.usaba.org/Pages/sportsinformation/adaptations/goalballadapt.html

I am feeling nostalgic for basketball. I stopped when so many guys on the Pacer team were traded and it just got way too confusing. I followed IU and Purdue college ball for a while, but could not keep up with the player changes, either. I have been out of touch for a while, but I think that I will have to add my own “ball to the court,” so to speak.
In any case: whether the ball has bells, beeps, bounces, is bowled or is batted, it is getting X-Treme attention from the members of this house.

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2 Responses to ““B” is for “Ball””

  1. Sara Says:

    I love hearing about “the other world” of adaptive sports, tech, etc. — it helps me shake off my functional fixedness (which is a nicer way of saying narrow-mindedness). I was never much of a sports person, after being the chubby so-so player at softball for a few years. (smile) I think soccer could have been my sport, but alas, I was not exposed to it at all until I was in 6th grade, and I never attended a school with a soccer team.

    • jamily5 Says:

      hi Sara, that is the one thing that i am thankful to our school for. It did expose us to many different things i got much mroe exposure than my sisters ever did. i got to downhill snowski [which i LOVE doing] — [it’s a yuppy sport, though] and instrument lessons, track&field, different types of dancing and i can’t remember what else. And, the lessons and sporting events were free. they were built in to our curriculum. Now, We did have to raise money or pay when we went on out of state trips. or when we went to choir/band/piano contests. But, the lessons or training was free. and, i know that had i went to a public school, i would not have received the same opportunities and skills. My sisters didn’t even get to do those things and they were sighted. now, they also have soccer balls with bells in them, but i have not seen one, yet. hey, it is never too late to enjoy. you don’t have to be a big sportswoman to enjoy it. Look at me now, you could never tell that i ran anything but the kitchen. (smile)

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