Sports and leisure through the eyes of individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
7 PM Saturday, October 20, 2007
Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church
3319 W. Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh
SportsVision is looking for talented individuals to participate in our
upcoming Talent Showcase. Can you juggle, sing, dance, or play a musical
instrument? Do you have a knack for reading poetry, performing martial
arts, telling great jokes, or doing magic? The possibilities are endless.
We want to showcase the talents of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s blind and
visually impaired community. Both individual and group acts are welcome so
long as the prominent performer is blind or visually impaired. Each act
will be given 3-5 minutes for the performance based on the number of acts.
To register for the SportsVision Talent Showcase, contact our office by
Friday, October 12, 2007. For questions or to register, give Sue
Lichtenfels a call at 412-429-1996 or send off an email to
info@MySportsVision.org. Let the rehearsals begin!
SportsVision Seeks Your Feedback
SportsVision is committed to serving the social and recreational needs of
Southwestern Pennsylvania’s youth with visual impairments. To that end, we
are collecting as much feedback from these families as a way to gage what
types of programs would be of interest to and beneficial for the most
participants. Over the last few weeks we have been distributing a survey
designed to gather a wide range of input. Our goal is to hear back from as
many families as possible.
If you have a child with a visual impairment and you have not already
completed a survey, we encourage you to please do so. If you are a teacher
or agency professional and can assist us with distributing this survey to
more families, we ask for your help in getting the survey into their
hands. You can request a copy of the survey by calling 412-429-1996 or
All surveys should be returned to SportsVision by Saturday, November 3,
2007. Please mail completed surveys to SportsVision, P.O. Box 23053,
Pittsburgh, PA 15222. If you have any questions or need further
clarification about the survey, please don’t hesitate to contact Sue
Lichtenfels at 412-429-1996. Thank you for assisting in this important
** ALL-SAR ACCOLADES **
Blind golfer Sheila Drummond hears the shot of her career
Reprinted from The Morning Call of August 21, 2007
LEHIGHTON, Pa. (AP) - Sheila Drummond didn't need to see her
hole-in-one. She heard it.
Drummond, blinded by diabetes 26 years ago, experienced the highlight
of her golfing career Sunday, recording an ace on the 144-yard, par-3
fourth hole at Mahoning Valley Country Club.
Playing with her husband and coach, Keith, and two friends in a
steady rain, the 53-year-old Drummond hit a driver on the hole. The
shot cleared a water hazard, flew between traps and landed on the
green, where it hit the flagstick before dropping into the hole.
"They were saying, 'It's a great shot,' and then I heard it hit the
pin," Drummond said. "For a hole-in-one, you have to hit it onto the green, so it's a
little bit of skill and a lot of luck."
In 1999, Golf Digest said the odds of an amateur getting a
hole-in-one are 1 in 12,750. That number, no doubt rises, for a blind
Drummond is a member of the board of directors of the United States
Blind Golfers Association, and the organization believes she is the
first totally blind female to record a hole-in-one.
"We've looked everywhere, and haven't been able to find anyone else,"
Drummond took up golf about 15 years ago, and three years later
qualified as the first female member of the USGBA.
"I just try to do the best I can," said Drummond, who carries a 48
handicap with the USGBA. "I get nervous.”
"But I wasn't nervous (Sunday); I just don't like playing in the rain."
** S & L SPOTLIGHT ORGANIZATION **
Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts
For nearly a century young boys and girls have participated in Boy scouts
and Girl Scouts. The scouting programs focus on character building and
leadership development through a variety of service projects and fun
activities. Scouts work to achieve badges in order to move on to the next
leadership level. They learn and experience educational and recreational
activities. Scouts enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, boating, archery,
obstacle courses, gardening, crafts, and much more.
Scouting groups meet once or twice each month in nearly every community
across the country. Young school-age people of all abilities are welcomed.
Often when a child who is blind joins, he or she is partnered with a buddy
scout for many activities. Other times the fellow scouts are blindfolded
to equal the playing field and raise their awareness.
Both the Boy Scout and Girl Scout Handbooks and guide books for each
leadership level are available in audio versions through the National
Library Service. Select Braille and large type versions are also
available. Our local Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically
Handicapped will loan these books when requested at 800-242-0586 or
To learn more about the scouting group in your area, contact one of the
Girl Scouts - Trillium Council Greater Pittsburgh Council B.S.A.
606 Liberty Avenue 1275 Bedford Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Pittsburgh, PA 15219
** RECREATION ROSTER **
Audio Dart Tournament
SportsVision’s Audio Dart Group will hold a one-day tournament on
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at 9 AM. The tournament will be held at the
Three Rivers Center for Independent Living, located at 900 Rebecca
Avenue in Wilkinsburg. The event is a substitute for the fall
tournament that was to take place in Wilmington, Delaware.
The mini tournament will include three events: a singles, doubles,
and triples event. The entry fee is $25 with potential prize money of
$300. To participate in this event or for questions, contact
SportsVision at 412-429-1996.
Blind Golf Championships
The United States Blind Golf Association (USBGA) will hold its 62nd annual
National Championship near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The two-round event
will take place September 25-26, 2007 at the Edgemont Country Club. On
Monday the 24th, the USBGA will host a clinic for youth who are blind or
visually impaired from 9AM – 1PM. For additional information, contact
Tournament Coordinator, Sheila Drummond at 570-386-5414 or e-mail
** ADAPTABILITY **
Power Showdown: Table Tennis for the Blind
Showdown, or Power Showdown, as it is called in the United States is one
of the few sports originally designed for the blind; and not revised from
a mainstream sport. It was designed in the 1960’s by Joe Lewis, a Canadian
who is blind who wanted to find a recreational activity that people who
were blind could do without sighted assistance. With slight modifications
to the rules and equipment, Patrick York, another Canadian who is blind,
has helped Showdown evolve into a world-wide sport. It is a table top game
that is a cross between air hockey and ping pong. Players use wooden
paddles to bat a ball toward their opponent’s goal pocket. The showdown
ball is slightly larger than a ping pong ball with bee bees inside so that
it is a constant sound source as it rolls across the table’s surface.
Since players are blindfolded, it is a definite challenge to ear-hand
The showdown table is uniquely designed. It measures 12 feet by 4 feet and
is surrounded by a 6 inch wall. While the wall helps to keep the ball on
the table, its curved corners also play prominently into the strategy of
the game. Across the width of the table is a center screen that sits about
4 inches off the table. The screen often serves as protection from shots
that have gone airborne. The object is to keep the ball on the table so
that it passes below the screen to the opponent’s side of the table.
During a game, each player serves five times in a row. Players score
points in several ways. Two points are awarded when the ball goes into the
opponent's goal pocket. When the ball bounces off the table or hits the
center screen the other person wins one point. A point is also given away
when the ball touches a players hand or arm. The first player who reaches
11 points and is leading by at least two points wins. The complete rules
are available through the International Blind Sports Association at
According to the IBSA web site, Showdown is being played in countries
throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America. After the
success of Showdown at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, representatives from
more than thirty countries contacted the International Blind sports
Association Showdown Subcommittee. They wanted information about
equipment, blueprints, and rules so they can play this game in their
country. Currently, the IBSA Showdown Sub-committee is encouraging
regional and national Showdown Tournaments in an effort to have
international championships which, hopefully, will lead to sanctioning by
Within the U.S., the Power Showdown cause has been taken up by Dr. Jim
Mastro. He is a former Paralympian and current physical educator at
Bemidji State University in Minnesota. He has found a U.S. manufacturer
for the tables and equipment. Since the tables are fairly costly at
$2,800, Mastro is promoting the tables to agencies and schools that serve
the blind. He is planning to organize the first U.S. Power Showdown
Championships in 2008. For more information on acquiring a table, contact
Dr. Jim Mastro via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
** About US **
SportsVision develops opportunities for individuals who are visually impaired to participate in competitive sports and life-long leisure activities. Our vision is a community where people who are visually impaired have the freedom to pursue and enjoy the many benefits of sports and leisure opportunities. SportsVision is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible.
“VISIONS” is available in various accessible formats including e-mail, large type, and audio cassette. If you wish to change the format you receive or make address changes, contact our office at 412-429-1996. Article submissions and content suggestions are always welcome at P.O. Box 23053, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 or email@example.com.