Can you imagine how difficult playing lacrosse would be if you were blind? Well, it just got a lot easier thanks to Marty Delaney’s vision to provide those with special needs an opportunity to play lacrosse.
Parkville Adaptive Lacrosse, founded in 2001, has worked tirelessly to serve developmentally challenged players through one-on-one interactions to teach skills associated with the game. We talked about Marty’s initiative before in our Swax Lax blog, but Marty and his team have something brand new and exciting! Marty’s goal has been to create a ball with a sounding device, and with the help of the developer, Rod Boudreaux, they have done just that.
Creating the Sonic Ball
One year ago, Rod Boudreaux began working with students from The Maryland School for the Blind in the hopes to develop this new and innovative lacrosse ball. His work began by choosing which ball would be best for the job. They eventually chose our very own Swax Lax ball, and from there decided which sounds would work best within the moving object. Within the Swax Lax ball, they inserted a small rechargeable amplified computer, with two mp3 sounds, that uses a switch to control the power and a button for the sound to be played repeatedly.
This new sonic ball allows blind players, through sound, to learn skills and fundamentals of the game they weren’t able to before. This ball is truly a benefit to Parkville Adaptive’s initiative and a major step forward for those in the blind community interested in playing lacrosse.
The Trial Run
On October 17, the ball was trialed at The Maryland School for the Blind, and according to Mr. Boudreaux, the trial went smoothly and better than expected. Fortunately, the three sonic balls were able to last the entire session without needing to be recharged, and the students were able to learn and perform several aspects of the game, including ground balls and shooting.
Following a great first trial, Parkville Adaptive Lacrosse and Mr. Boudreaux’ mission does not stop here; a trial game at The Maryland School for the Blind is scheduled to be played in a few weeks, and we cannot wait until then.
About the Author:
Jennah Santiago is a sophomore at Boston University, a former varsity lacrosse player at Mount Saint Mary Academy, and coach at Swax Lax Lacrosse camps in New Jersey.