DeafDigest Sports – June 26, 2018
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Hot DeafSports News at:
— random deafsports thoughts
— football schedule complete; an error and an apology
— 2018 U21 basketball tournament teams
— must hear in baseball?
— deaf tennis pro in Wimbledon
Deaf Sports Collections update
— deaf player in Davis Cup tennis
DeafSports picture of the day
2018 football schedule – completed
DeafDigest Sports editor now has schedules of all
deaf schools football teams.
For the past month DeafDigest Sports has posted
a link to the schedules. That link is wrong,
and for that, DeafDigest Sports editor
The correct link is:
and scroll down until you see the schedule
USA Deaf Basketball
2018 U21 WDBC tournament schedule released! The draws will be on the
evening of July 6th.
* MEN (10 teams) * – Australia, Canada, Greece, Israel, Japan, Lithuania,
Poland, Spain, Ukraine, and USA.
* WOMEN (5 teams) * – Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Turkey, and USA.
must hear in baseball?
newspaper story, as abbreviated because of very long story
MLB players and umps bank on sounds of the game
During the Blue Jays’ back-to-back playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016,
and the successful regular seasons that got them there, there were times
when Kevin Pillar could barely hear himself think in the outfield at a
sold-out Rogers Centre.
“You had to really learn how to deal without one of those senses and
trust your eyes and what you see,” Kvin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays, said.
The sound of a pitch in the catcher’s mitt can have an impact on the
outcome of an at-bat.
Sound isn’t something players, managers and umpires spend a lot of time
thinking about, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big part of baseball.
“There’s a distinct sound the glove makes when the ball hits it.
There’s a distinct sound when a foot or hand hits the base, so sound’s
definitely an important part in the game,” said Pillar.
Larry Young, one of Major League Baseball’s umpire supervisors who
called nearly 2,900 games in a 24-year career, says listening for the
game’s unique sounds is “second nature.”
“I think most of our people that have been doing it for a while would
say, ‘Yeah, I do use sound,’” Young said. “But you don’t think
about it every day and you don’t think about it on every call. A lot of
what we do is just instincts. It’s repetition, because we work so many
games and it’s instincts. But yeah, we take it for granted, for sure.”
“For one thing, sound travels a lot slower than a visual signal
would,” Falls said. “If you’ve sat in the stands, you probably have
noticed that you can sometimes see the ball in motion before you hear the
crack of the bat. There is a little bit of a delay. The distance from home
plate to a player on the field is going to be shorter, so they’re going
to hear the sound of the ball being hit sooner than somebody sitting in
the cheap seats.”
While athletes’ initial reactions will probably happen before they even
hear anything, noise — be it a good hit or more of a thud — can help
players fine-tune their movements, Falls said.
Behind the plate, catcher Russell Martin says he can use sound to his
“If you really catch a pitch properly, you’ll get the glove to pop,”
he said. “Some guys have harder gloves a little bit and those make more
sound. Typically if you’re just close to the zone that you were set up
at, and you make the mitt pop, it’s like almost automatic that you get
the umpire to call a strike.”
Foul tips and hit batters are also calls made by ear, both Martin and
“You can’t really see if the ball’s nicking off the bat or whatever,
you’ve got to use your ears,” Martin said. “Obviously wood and flesh
Sometimes a hit by pitch, one that just barely hits the batter or even
hits the uniform, isn’t that obvious, Young said, adding a foul tip
can’t really be seen with the naked eye.
“Just about every time, that’s called by sound as well.”
It’s a familiar noise, one Young has heard countless times. So, what
does it sound like?
“That’s a hard question,” he said. “I’ve never thought of that
before. What does it sound like? It’s just kind of an interruption.
You’re expecting to hear the ball hit the mitt and then you hear
actually two sounds. They sound very much alike, the ball hitting the mitt
and the ball hitting the batter. Except times when the ball hitting the
jersey — that’s a different sound.”
Another area where sound is particularly important for umpires is at first
base on force plays, Young aded.
“The umpire is looking at the bag and he’s listening for the sound of
the ball hitting the mitt. That’s how we call force plays, If he
didn’t have both of those capabilities, he’d really have a hard time.
In fact it would be impossible, to get plays right at first base.”
While Young said it would be difficult to work as an umpire with a hearing
impairment, MLB has had deaf players within its ranks. Martin remembers
watching outfielder Curtis Pride, a former big leaguer and baseball’s
current ambassador for inclusion, during stints with the Montreal Expos
and Los Angeles Angels. Pride played 421 games in the major leagues across
parts of 11 seasons, finishing with a .250 career batting average, 20 home
runs and 82 RBIs.
deaf pro in tennis
Wimbledon 2018: Deaf player Lee Duck-hee aiming to qualify
And now imagine being a professional tennis player and not hearing any of
That is the reality for South Korean player Lee Duck-hee, who is deaf and
is hoping to qualify for the main draw at next week’s Wimbledon.
“I’m very proud of myself as being the only deaf professional tennis
player in the world at the moment,” the 20-year-old told BBC Sport.
“I feel huge responsibility that my every step as a tennis player will
influence other deaf people. I hope my career could give them a hopeful
message that they could also overcome their disability and make their
dream come true.”
Lee, who observes the way opponents swing for the ball as a way of reading
the game and whose matches have been thrown off course because he has been
confused by officials’ hand signals, reached a career-high ranking of 130
in April 2017.
Now ranked 233, he has come agonisingly close to Grand Slam main draws,
reaching the final round of qualifying at the French Open last month where
he had two match points before losing in a third set tie-break.
This week he takes part in the Wimbledon qualifying event at Roehampton,
where he begins his campaign on Monday against Hungary’s Attila Balazs and
needs to win three matches to reach the tournament at the All England
He has said in the past that he was told he could never be a great player
because he was deaf and that he sometimes felt like quitting but also
wanted to prove the doubters wrong.
“I focus on watching and expecting the opponent’s swing and movement,
which needs very intensive concentration of my eyes and fast
decision-making for the next move,” he said.
“I try to watch other players’ matches on websites as much as possible
when I have spare time – I need image training because it gives better
understanding than giving me verbal coaching.”
Lee has not learnt sign language, so lip reads officials or looks at their
hand signals – with often confusing and frustrating results.
“Sometimes, I could not recognise whether it is ‘let’ or not because I
cannot hear the sound from the net or the chair umpire’s call, which leads
to me missing the first serve,” he said.
“I rely on umpires’ hand signals, but they also sometimes give me a hard
time when their hand signals differ from country to country, which often
has influence on the match results.
“I could communicate simple English through lip-reading with other
players. However, it is impossible for me to communicate with ATP
officials and referees when there is need for long conversation.”
In the case of this interview, he has provided written responses through a
Not hearing the crowd – a possible advantage?
Playing in front of a partisan crowd, there could be times when a player
would really rather not hear the boos.
“I think blocking out all potential distractions can be an advantage,”
said tennis coach Judy Murray, mum of two-time Wimbledon champion Andy.
And what about facing a deaf player on the other side of the net?
“It is possible playing an opponent who has a disability can be a
distraction,” said Murray.
She has coached deaf players in the past and says it required her to take
“One of the biggest things I learned was to not shout instructions whether
they were looking at me or if they had their back to me,” said Murray, who
was speaking as part of UK Coaching’s Coaching Week earlier this month.
“You get used to shouting the length of the tennis court, which is quite a
big space but it helped me understand the impact of a really good
Match officials also need to adapt when making the calls.
“Deaf players are constantly looking at the umpire for scores and
constantly checking the scoreboard,” line judge David Bayliss told BBC
“But there are problems, if you have a net on serve they don’t always hear
it and the umpire has to try and stop the rally.
“And of course the player is focused, they are still watching the ball and
still playing that point.”
Will Lee ever achieve his Grand Slam dream?
Lee says he has three “short-term” goals – breaking into the top 100,
winning a Challenger title, and gaining direct entry to the main draws of
ATP and Grand Slam tournaments.
“Whenever I step on the court, I feel great,” he said.
“Also, I am curious about the feeling of becoming a champion of Grand
Slam. I strongly believe that a day when I become a champion of a major
tournament is coming if I keep up training and my skills improve.”
He says his greatest achievement so far was reaching the final of the
Kaohsiung Challenger in 2016, where he lost to Chung Hyeon – who reached
the semi-finals of the Australian Open this year and is ranked 20th in the
random deafsports thoughts
re above baseball and tennis stories, must hear to play?
Or are eyes as good as ears?
We have had a number of deaf major league ball players
We have had a great deaf umpire in Minnesota baseball for
many years (Maurice Potter).
We have had a deaf player in Davis Cup tennis; see this story:
8th International Deaf Bowls Championships takes place in New Zealand
January 4-15, 2019.
it is not bowling but a different kind of sport
see the picture at: