May 2, 2012
The Saitama High School Rubber-Ball Baseball Spring Game, sponsored by the Prefecture Education Board and the Prefecture High School Baseball Federation, was held in Saitama Prefecture on May 1.
Rubber-ball baseball is one of the popular games because of less injuries and easy playing. The players of the hearing high schools that respect both literary and sports and a school for the deaf were playing with their best at the formal event.
The Omiya School for the Deaf in Saitama City has only two regular-season games per year to play against a hearing school.
A Deaf pitcher Yasuno Kiyonari threw nearly 130 fastballs with good tempo. He says, "A good chance to try my ability. How much I have practiced will show results."
He began baseball when he was a third grader and played for the baseball club during his junior high school days.
Since the baseball team at the Omiya School for the Deaf has only seven teammates, members of other clubs such as the tennis club or track and filed club, are often asked to play baseball as a teammate.
The Deaf students faced troubles at the signals during the game. Since they are easy to be detected if sign language is used, they used finger spelling for the signals.
On that day Omiya lost to the opponent by 0-18, finishing the game at the fifth time. The Deaf teammates felt regretful, saying "We will improve our skills more by summer."
Head coach Ishikawa Hiroyuki said, "My boys are learning not only cooperativeness or social life but also communication needy in their daily living, through playing rubber-ball baseball."
Japanese original article: