Able-Bodied, Disabled Baseball Players to Face Off at CSUN Tournament
(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Aug. 1, 2006) -- Teams of disabled and able-bodied baseball players will take on one of America's favorite pastimes later this month at the 14th annual "Over the Line Tournament" at Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Aug. 26.
"Over the Line" is an adapted version of baseball developed for both able-bodied and disabled individuals in which the game is played with everyone in wheelchairs.
"This tournament began as a community need. It was developed as a way for people with physical disabilities to participate in a sport that didn't require a lot of skill," said Paulette Schuster, a faculty member in CSUN's Department of Leisure Studies and Recreation and coordinator of the event. "Anyone who is a wheelchair user, no matter what the disability, can participate."
Schuster explained that in this version of baseball, three players make up each team and they face off on a field that is shaped more like a large sharp pencil than a diamond. The tip of the pencil is where the "batter" hits a ball tossed to him by a teammate. Three lines make up the pencil. The first line closest to the batter is 11 feet away. The second line is 15 feet away and the third is 40 feet away.
In the Aug. 26 tournament, a quadriplegic player must hit the ball over the second line, or more than 15 feet, to be in play and all others must hit the ball over the 40-foot line, hence the name "Over the Line."
The teams are made up of a quadriplegic, paraplegic and an able-bodied player. No gloves are used in the outfield. The ball can hit the ground once before one of the three players in the field catches it.
CSUN students, alumni and members of the community volunteer to serve as umpires or to shag the balls.
The tournament will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in CSUN's faculty/student parking lot G4 on the east side of the campus off Zelzah Street in Northridge.
For registration or additional information, call the City of Los Angeles' Department of Recreation and Parks' Valley Therapeutic Center at (818) 756-9757.
The event is co-sponsored by Cal State Northridge's Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Northridge Hospital Medical Center's Rehabilitation Unit and the City of Los Angeles' Department of Recreation and Park's Valley Therapeutic Center.