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Deaf Basketball

Sunday, April 5, 2009
Deaf Basketball
By Charday Hunt

I am very passionate about sports, basketball in particular, so I decided to do a research blog on deaf people in the basketball world. I found it interesting that there is actually a league in the United Stated for deaf people to play basketball. The league is called United States of America's Deaf Basketball. It was established in 1945 in Ohio by a small group of people who wanted to make a place for deaf adults to be able to play basketball. It grew over the next 50 years and become very popular. It creates a national men's and women's basketball tournament that pulls in 28 (from eight different regions) teams and includes thousands of fans every year. (USADB)

If someone is deaf or hard of hearing and they want to be able to play basketball, it is common for them to join and all deaf or hard of hearing team. At times it's more beneficial for a deaf person to be on a deaf or hard of hearing team because coaches then can communicate through sign language. That's both beneficial to the player and the coach because being able to communicate and be on the same page while practicing or playing can create a strong communication impact. Being on a deaf team can be very beneficial for the athletes because it gives them the opportunity to meet and engage with other deaf or hard of hearing people. It keeps them in good shape and it helps create positive reinforcement. (Wireback, 2008)

Sports in the deaf community are specifically for two main purposes. The first is to create a competitive atmosphere and the second to create an opportunity for deaf people to meet, the social aspect of it. There are deaf teams and organizations at all different levels including international, national, regional and state teams. There are deaf athletic competitions, deaf sport media sources, deaf celebrity athletes, deaf athletes in history and books on the deaf of a sport. (Berke, 2007)

It can be extremely difficult for a coach to coach a deaf athlete. It can be hard because trying to train them is rough when the communication isn't one hundred percent there. If the coach himself doesn't know sign language then he must have an interpreter. When using an interpreter it may be difficult for the coach to be using pictures or diagrams because while the interpreter is signing the deaf athletes will be looking at him/her not the pictures or visual representation. The coach shouldn't treat the deaf athlete as if he/she is less intellectually smart than others because that's not true. The only thing that separates deaf athletes to hearing ones if=s the fact that the deaf ones just don't have the capability of hearing. It is important to have patience because the training/coaching sessions may run slower than a normal practice. (

Work Cited

Wireback, Taft. "For region's deaf athletes, March Madness is on." March 2008 6 Apr 2009.

Berke, Jamie. "Deaf Sports." 01 DEC 2007 6 Apr 2009.

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