The effects of modifying the rules and game play of a girls' softball league on the feasibility of integrating a child with moderate/severe disabilities into a competitive environment
Bernabe, Elaine A.
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The purpose of this study was to determine if the modifications developed to indude a child with moderate/severe disabilities onto a softball team were safe and successful for that child and to determine the effect of the modifications on experience for the non-disabled players. Subjects consisted of one child with moderate/severe disabilities (pseudonym Katie) and all partidpants in a girls' softball league. The team chosen for integration (team A) consisted of 13 players inducting Katie. To determine if the modifications were successful, batting average and on- base average were analyzed. Results were mixed. Katie's batting average was not significantly different and was within one standard deviation of her peers' performance. Her on-base average was significantly different and was outside one standard deviation. To determine if the modifications were safe, number of plays made by each outfield position was analyzed. Katie was placed in center field, which was assumed to be the safest position. An analysis of variance between the mean number of plays made by each outfield position was performed. The results revealed that the center field position received significantly fewer balls than the rest of the outfield, with the exception of short center. Therefore, it appears that the safest position for Katie was center field. To determine the effect of modifications on the non-disabled players, time per inning and total bases were analyzed. A t-test for independent samples was used to see if a significant difference existed between the time per innings in which Katie played versus the time per innings in which Katie was absent. The results indicated that no significant difference existed. A t-test for independent samples was used to see if a significant difference existed between the total bases allowed by team A and the total bases allowed by opponent teams. Results revealed that no significant difference existed. Based on the results, it was determined that the modifications were relatively successful and safe. Further, these modifications did not negatively effect the game for the non-disabled players. Therefore, modifying the game to include Katie was a feasible task.