NAPVI Conference Adaptive Sports Activities

Saturday, July 11:

Four adaptive sports activities will take place. Youth will rotate through all four activities during the course of the day (approximately 9am-5pm).

  1. Goalball is a game for blind or visually impaired participants. Players compete in teams of three and alternate throwing or rolling a basketball-sized ball with bells inside from one end of the playing area to the other in an attempt to score a goal.  Players use the sound of the bell to judge the position and movement of the ball.  Due to varying levels of sight among players, all players wear vision blocking goggles to ensure equality.

This activity will be run by the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA), based in Lake Forest, IL. Their mission is to promote and support the optimal development and well-being of youth and adults who have a primary physical or visual impairment through the provision of inclusive recreational, fitness and competitive sports activities and to offer opportunities for empowerment through education, leadership and training in collaboration with community-based organizations.

  1. Paralympic Judo will be run by the Menomonee Judo Club/Brett Wolf Judo, based in Chicago, IL. Brett Wolf, head instructor, was named the 2013 Paralympic Judo Coach of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee and USA Judo. Sensei Brett Wolf has been involved in Judo for over 30 years. A former National Jr. Champion, Brett has been with the program since 1993.

In March 1998 Brett took over as head sensei, the position he currently holds. During his thirteen years guiding the program it has grown into one of the largest and most respected junior programs in the country. He is certified to work with Paralympic athletes through USA Judo.

  1. Beep Baseball will be run by the Chicago Comets, a local competitive beep baseball team. The Chicago Comets are a part of the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) and are comprised of visually impaired men and women who enjoy and love the game of baseball.

A beep baseball game lasts for six innings unless more are needed to break a tie. A team has three outs per inning; however, there are some differences from regular baseball. There is no second base. First and third bases, four foot padded cylinders with speakers, are placed one-hundred feet down their respective lines and ten feet off the foul line. This is to prevent a runner from colliding with a defensive fielder. The bases contain sounding units that give off a buzzing sound when activated. The batter does not know which one will be turned on. When the ball is hit, the base operator activates one of the bases. The runner must identify the correct buzzing base and run to it before the ball is fielded by a defensive player. If the runner is safe, a run is scored. In other words, there is no running from one base to another. A player does one of three things when batting — hit the ball and make an out by being retired by the defense; hit the ball and earn a safe call scoring on a run; or striking out. A batter is allowed four rather than the traditional three strikes and only one pass ball.

Keep in mind that each team has its own sighted pitcher and catcher. Due to varying levels of sight among players, all players wear vision blocking goggles to ensure equality.;

  1. Beep Kickball will be run by Beep Kickball Association’s Founder, Judy Byrd. Beep Kickball is an adapted sport for people who are visually impaired or blind. It is played on a flat grassy field with a ball that beeps and two bases that buzz. There is no second base, no throwing the ball and no running around all the bases. There are 5 players on each team and everyone wears a blindfold to equalize the differences in vision. 

Simply explained, the kicker kicks the ball and runs to tag the buzzing base, either first or third. If he tags the base before a fielder picks up the ball, he is safe and scores a run. If a fielder picks up the ball first, the runner is out. Three outs, six innings, game over. Due to varying levels of sight among players, all players wear blindfolds to ensure equality. Beep Kickball is currently being played in over 80 summer camps and schools for the blind across the nation.

Sunday, July 12:

Two adaptive sports activities take place. Youth will rotate through both activities during the course of the day (approximately 9am-12pm).

  1. Adaptive Yoga will be run by Katie Svoboda.
  1. Track & Field will be run by Dan Tun, Special Recreation Coordinator for the Chicago Park District. Dan is also a Co-Founder and Coach at Dare2Tri, a non-profit Paratriathlon Club that serves all ability levels of youth, adults, and injured service members who have a physical disability such as amputation, spinal cord injury, stroke, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and those with visual impairments and blindness.

Dan is a USA Triathlon Level I, USA Triathlon Youth & Junior, and USA Hockey Level III certified coach. He also specializes in adaptive and Paralympic sports. Dan has completed an Ironman and has also guided multiple runners and triathletes with disabilities as they completed various races across the Chicago area.