Games for Blind Children Requing Physical Activity
Kids who are blind need just as much daily physical activity as their sighted friends, which is why it’s important to be adaptive with the types of games they can play. Some of the most classic sports games and activities such as basketball or baseball, need a little tweaking to make them accessible for kids who are blind.
A modified version of baseball, beep ball is a popular sport that allows blind children to participate in competitive sports despite their disability. In beep ball, the pitcher and catcher are actually members of the batter’s team and are sighted. First and third bases are padded cones with speakers in them. There is no second base in beep ball. The pitcher throws the ball to the batter while giving a verbal signal. The batter must hit the ball at least 40 feet into the field, otherwise it is a foul ball. As in regular baseball, the batter has three swings in which to hit the ball. If the batter hits the ball fair, one of the two bases makes a buzzing noise. If the batter is able to reach the base before one of the fielders has the ball in hand, the batter scores a run. Teams play six innings, and the team with the most runs is the winner.
Basketball might seem impossible for blind children to play, but with modification, everyone can enjoy this popular sport, according to Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In this version of basketball, a metronome behind the basket gives players an audio clue as to where they should shoot the ball. Players must use bounce passes to pass the ball between teammates, who can shout or clap when open to receive a pass. A team receives one point for hitting the rim, two points for a normal field goal and three points for a made field goal behind the three-point line.
Goal ball is a specially designed physical game for blind kids. In this game, players sit or kneel in front of a goal line facing another player. There is one ball which contains a set of bells or a beeper inside to help children locate it. Competitors roll the ball to the other side of the court in an attempt to get it across the goal line past their opponent. Players may dive, lunge or do anything else in order to stop the ball. The player with the most number of goals after a set amount of rounds wins.
James Patterson specializes in health and wellness topics, having written and produced material for the National Institutes of Health, the President's Cancer Panel and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame company. He is also a former sportswriter with writing experience in basketball, baseball, softball, golf and other popular sports.