Who is the New Zealand Blind Cricket Association inc?
Blind Cricket has been played in New Zealand for well over 30 years and has been (and still is) enjoyed by players of all ages – how can it not be when cricket itself is one of NZ’s favorite past times for the warm summer months.
The New Zealand Blind Cricket Association incorporated is the governing body of blind cricket in New Zealand. Not only do we oversee the day to day running of Blind Cricket in New Zealand, we are also a part of the World Blind Cricket Council which is the international body of Blind Cricket. The WBCC has affiliates from 10 countries including Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies,
What makes Blind Cricket Unique?
Blind Cricket is played very similar to the conventional game of able body (sighted) cricket. The most significant differences are that we bowl underarm, the stumps are metal to give an audible sound, the ball is plastic with small plastic balls in it to make an audible plastic rattle sound when it is moving and we have three sight categories dependant on your degree of vision.
The simplistic explanation of the sight categories is; B1 – is someone who is totally blind and is therefore unable to see anything. B2 – is someone who is able to see a little bit but not much, they may have a restricted field of vision of 5 degrees or less. B3 – is someone who is able to see reasonably well but is still classed as blind, they can also have a restricted field of vision of 20 degrees or less. Because we like to encourage inclusion, we will often allow for sighted people to join in our games and offer them simulation specs so they can experience what it might be like for a vision impaired person to play cricket.
What Does the NZBCA do?
As well as our international responsibilities, the NZBCA has a vested interest in ensuring our organization and the sport of Blind Cricket grows in New Zealand. We currently have a few projects on the go to see this happen:
- Junior Development: to focus on the development and inclusion of youth involvement in the sport. We regularly work with Halberg Disability Sport Foundation through their Junior Disability Sports day’s held around the North Island.
- Regional Development: focus on the growth of the sport of Blind Cricket in the regions around the country. The current focus is on the South Island with the hope of introducing 2 new clubs within the South Island.
- Officials Development: We have appointed a Head of Umpires – Diana Venter – to assist in the development and training of officials, both umpires and scorers, to officiate over our NZBCA sanctioned matches.