Boccia has become one of the most popular games in the UK with its ability to enable people of all abilities to enjoy sporting competition, and a new game has been launched in Canada that adds another dimension to inclusive sport.
Cibleball provides a new platform that allows everybody regardless of their disabilities to compete with anybody else at any level. Blind and sighted, disabled and able, male and female, fit and unfit can all play together in a sport that places hard work, determination and skill above physical or learning disabilities.
So, how does it work? Seated participants take shots towards an elevated ring and the closer the hit to the centre of the ring the higher the score. An interactive scoring system has been designed in a way that any participant with any level of impairment in sensory input (vision, hearing, vision and hearing) receives a feedback of the last throw’s accuracy and can be oriented to re-target his or her throwing.
The feedback is designed to accommodate all sorts of participant with any impairment. For instance, a blind person hears an auditory feedback, a deaf person sees it on screen and a deaf-blind person receives tactile feedback under his/her fingers. This informs the player of the last shot’s hit position on the ring and enables a disabled person to adjust throws exactly the same way a basketball player does after visually observing a shot.
Like all sports, it takes time to master, but the response from participants so far has been hugely encouraging. Cibleball Chief Executive has been developing the concept for the past decade and is delighted with the growth in interest and is planning a global event on 20 December.
“It has been fantastic,” he said. “The response from participants who are blind or deaf, or both, is great. Over time with enough exercises, they correlate the feedback and muscle motors more efficiently and quickly, and they improve. The great thing is that a main requirement for taking in sport for many people, being able to see, is not the case anymore. It also gives an opportunity to people with lower limb injuries to take part and be included, but it’s not just for people with a disability. It’s important that able-bodied people are involved too. What we are seeing is that everyone can come together on the Cibleball court, have fun and come a champion.
“Cibleball shines a light on unrecognised heroes; new heroes. Our brains are wired that heroes are untouchable idols. But Cibleball changes those beliefs. A deaf-blind person who did not have any opportunity to enter any competition now competes with seasoned athletes in competitions on a global scale. Excitement surges during the competition as the result will be unpredictable until the last shot. We hope that the Cibleball court will make a lot of heroic fantasies come true.”
For more info on Cibleball, and the global event on 20 December, visit: https://www.cibleball.com.