Rounders is a sport that can easily be adapted to make it accessible and inclusive to all, Rounders England are proud to have developed a wheelchair version of the game.
The project, managed by Lincolnshire Sport and funded by Short Breaks at Lincolnshire County Council, was the first of its kind in the country. No other project solely dedicated to Wheelchair Rounders has ever been developed before, and St. Francis Special School was the pilot school for Rounders England. The project will eventually be rolled out to specific areas where partners have received training. If you would like to be involved please contact us.
Rounders is an extremely popular sport within Lincolnshire and we really wanted to ensure the sport could be accessible to all. With the support of Rounders England we knew we had both the financial resources and the experience necessary to succeed with this pilot.
Why we felt it was valuable?
Lincolnshire is very fortunate to have many wheelchairs to use within schools and clubs across the county. Wheelchair Rounders seemed to be a great way to use the resources already available within schools to offer something new and different. The Wheelchair Rounders project is now a highly valued and thought after scheme. Support has come from local media sources, school staff and parents and other partner organisations. The sport is so valuable because it offers further opportunity to those young people who may have to overcome huge barriers to access quality sports activity.
What were the key outcomes?
There have been many positive outcomes that have developed from the pilot Wheelchair Rounders project:
- Offering a new opportunity to those young people with a disability
- To broaden the scope that Rounders offers in the county
- Excellent partnership working with local schools through the project
- Creating a sense of achievement and enjoyment for the schools and young people taking part
- Wheelchair Rounders Organiser
- Made initial contact with schools
- Applied for funding
- Funding secured
- Pilot school selected
- School contacts supported with: a. Appropriate timescale b. School teacher promoted and got individuals to sessions c. Specific equipment needed for the participants
The equipment that was found to work really well was the Junior Rounders kit:
- 4 Posts
- Batting Tee
- 2 Flatty Bats
- 2 Blaze Bats
- 2 Sponge Bats
- 2 Soft Balls
- 2 Play Balls
Other equipment that was bought in to help the participants were:
- 1 Velcro pad
- The ball that was used was a yellow and orange soft medium size ball. This helped the partially sighted. (The school already had this ball as it has been very difficult to find a ball of this type and colour).
Other equipment that might be needed:
- A medium size soft ball with a bell
- Big throw down sports to go under the bases. This will allow the participants in their wheelchairs to put a wheel on the base instead of holding the base as some athletes struggled.
The Rules of Inclusive Rounders
Each school was given the Lincolnshire Sport Wheelchair Rounders Induction Pack plus the Rounders England Rules pack (available on request).
There were however some adaptions that were needed for the game to run smoothly:
- First base was moved closer to the batting – this was due to the time it took for the participant to let go of the bat.
- Added instead of a backstop or as well as a back stop, a person to take the bat off the hitter. This person was a teacher.
- Ball hits the chair without bouncing was classed as a catch.
- If the participants put their wheel onto the ball this froze the game and the player who had hit could only carry on to the next post (same as when the bowler has the ball).
- If a wheelchair pusher is needed then the pusher has to walk round.
- Powerchair users when on post – if they catch the ball from a pass from another fielder before the runner gets to the post this is out. Some users find it hard to move their arms any distance from their body so stumping the post is difficult.
All these rules were adapted to the individuals playing.
Project Launch – Press Release
Wheelchair Rounders Induction Pack
Lincolnshire Sports Partnership Evaluation Report
Rachel Belcher, NGB Development Officer, Lincolnshire Sport
T: 01522 585 580
Lynsey Norris, Sports Manager, Lincolnshire Sport
T: 01522 585 580
Amey Tostevin, Relationship Manager-South, Rounders England
T: 07833 051786