Wrestling season runs from November to March. The W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind (WRMS) has an active program where they practice up to 4 days a week. The students in this program are also integrated with students from other local high schools and compete against their sighted peers. Students also get the opportunity to participate in invitational wrestling tournaments.
Wrestling is fast-growing equal-opportunity sport. We all have experience in the sport – as children, we have all “wrestled” at one time or another. Children wrestle to have fun, never thinking of it as a skilled sport activity. This sport is naturally enjoyable and stimulating for visually-impaired children as any other.
To Get Involved in wrestling, or for more information on the sport, contact the office and we will be happy to do whatever it takes to get you in the ring. If you are a wrestling club or school that has questions about working with a blind athlete, or would like more information on how to make your programs more accessible to blind or visually impaired athletes, please do not hesitate to contact us! We will provide helpful resources and provide you the opportunity to connect with coaches who have experience working with athletes who are blind or visually impaired.
More on Blind Wrestling
The sport of Wrestling offers equal opportunity for participation, allowing visually-impaired athletes to measure their skills against both their sighted and non-sighted peers. The modification that allows for neutral-play is very simple: CONTACT; that is to say, constant contact between the blind wrestler and their sighted opponent. If contact is broken, the official halts action and places the wrestlers back in contact. It is also understood that visually-impaired wrestlers have the right to waive the contact rule and wrestle without adaptations. In the event both wrestlers are visually-impaired, they must each agree in order for the contact rule to be set aside.
A blind or visually impaired wrestler can in fact be very successful in competition against sighted competitors. This is attributed to blind athletes training very hard and working to become technically-competent in the sport like any other athlete. The exhilaration experienced by a blind wrestler in defeating fully-sighted opponents seems to be greater than of beating visually-impaired competitors. When visually-impaired wrestlers step onto the mat to grapple with fully-sighted wrestler on an equal basis, we witness the purest form of integration and acceptance.
The visually-impaired wrestler whose skills are good enough to be consistently successful against sighted opponents usually does not engage in competitions that are conducted exclusively for visually-impaired wrestlers. It is our hope that visually-impaired people in Canada and countries abroad begin to practice this natural sport, with minimal modifications for the blind. Personal equipment and apparel are not expensive…and the sport itself is really fun!