Sports & Team Games
Softball is a team sport involving two teams competing to score points by successfully hitting a pitched ball and circling four bases. Softball competition is offered by the United States of America Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF), the Dwarf Athletic Association of America (DAAA), and Special Olympics International (SOI), the National Wheelchair Softball Association (NWSA), and successfully played by individuals with a variety of disabilities. In addition, Beep Baseball is a version of softball for the visually impaired.
BENEFITS OF PLAYING SOFTBALL
- Participation in a team sport involving skill and strategy.
- Increases hand-eye coordination.
- Increases strength and endurance.
- Increases mobility skills.
- Participation in a social activity.
- There are several versions of softball for a variety of disabilities.
Batting and fielding equipment is available for individuals with upper extremity amputations.
- Players must participate in a wheelchair and each wheelchair must have a foot platform.
- A smooth, hard playing surface must be used.
- The pitching stripe is 28 feet from home plate and each base is separated by 50 feet.
- Each base consists of a 4-foot-diameter circle surrounding a 1-foot-square base in fair territory.
- A player cannot leave his or her chair to gain a fielding advantage. If this occurs, each base runner advances two bases.
- If a throwing error occurs in which the ball leaves the playing area, each base runner advances one base.
- All teams must have a quadriplegic in play. When on offense, a quad must be in the batting line up and on defense, a quad must play the field. A team that chooses not to play a quadriplegic must incur an automatic out every tenth batter.
- Each team has to abide by the classification system which requires that no team can be greater than 22 points at any time during a game.
- For information about wheelchair softball, contact the National Wheelchair Softball Association (NWSA) at (651) 437-1792.
SOI – Offers a variety of events, including: slow-pitch team competition, tee-ball competition, individual skills contest, base race, bat for distance, team skills softball, and team skills assessment test.
- There are only two bases and they consist of 4-foot-high padded cylinders with speakers.
- Each team has a sighted pitcher and catcher.
- The pitcher attempts to place the ball, which emits a beeping tone, where the batter normally swings.
- Once the ball is hit, the base operator activates one of the bases to emit a buzzing sound and the batter must identify the base and run to it before the defense fields the ball.
- Spotters attempt to aid the defense with verbal cues. It is a race between the offense and defense.
- For more information on Beebaseball, contact the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) at (785) 234-2156.
- Teams (3 players each) compete to score by hitting the ball “over-the-line” on a modified field.
- A hit is defined as any ball hit within fair territory that is not caught by a fielder on the fly or after one bounce.
- Outs are equivalent to two foul balls; one strike; two strikes for quads; a ball caught on the fly; a foul ball; batting out of turn; and a ball landing in the foul area.
- Three hits an inning is one run. Each additional hit (after three) in the same inning equals a run.
- Teams bat from the home position and the pitcher pitches from anywhere inside the line, not on the playing field.
- For more information on Over-the-Line Softball, contact Marla Knox, San Diego Parks & Recreation, Disabled Services Division, (619) 525-8247.
(keyword: softball equipment).
Prosthesis for Ball Sports & Adaptive Batting Equipment TRS, Inc., (800)279-1865
Beep Baseball Equipment
Bases: Larry Tate, (816)703-1300
Balls: Roy Trujillo, (303)798-6597
16” Balls for Wheelchair Softball
Available at major sporting goods stores.
Sport Wheelchairs* Sunrise Medical (Quickie), (800) 333-4000
Titanium Sportschairs, (800)545-2266
* For a complete list of wheelchairs, refer to keyword: Wheelchairs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
National Softball Association, (606)887-4114
USADSF, (801)393-7916 (TTY)
Over the Line: Marla Knox, (619)525-8247
For more information on softball, refer to keyword: softball.
More information on this and related topics may be available in the NCPAD Citation Database. Try searching with keywords: softball, etc.
The information provided here is offered as a service only. The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, University of Illinois at Chicago, the National Center on Accessibility, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago do not formally recommend or endorse the equipment listed. As with any products or services, consumers should investigate and determine on their own which equipment best fits their needs and budget.