Deaf Culture Question: Basketball

After playing basketball for a long time, I have noticed something while playing. I wonder whether Deaf basketball players call for fouls more frequently than Hearing basketball players do? Secondly, is it the nature of Deaf people’s lives to relay on visual and feel that calls for more fouls? Watch and share your thoughts!


  • Deafeye 16 years ago

    That’s why I stick to football 🙂 No wimps or whiners allowed 🙂

    Back to basketball, happens to me before, its common among us Deafies. There are different group of players who wants to play the game the way they wanted it to be played. Some wanted to replay after little of pushing or fouls. Some don’t care, play hard.

    I remember my days back in college, most of pick up games I played in, go n play hard. Serious fouls, fine. Replay, little foul or pushing, shut up n play.

    It depends on who we play with. Again… stick to football, no pain, no gain. Whiners stay off the field! 🙂

  • rj 16 years ago

    haha! I also play basketball with both worlds, I noticed hearing people tends to depend on sounds of how hard ‘you slap with your hand’ and ALSO my CODA brother told me that he could tell the difference if you slap on a ball or on a hand!

    I feel the same between hearing and deaf with pick up scrimmage, maybe women and men are diffy. i wonder.. BUT you bring a good point about visual and feel cuz we lost our one sense.. mmm

  • sir william 16 years ago

    i wholly disagree with your perspective,
    wow. you are so innocent,
    how come NBA has three referees now.
    it could be that the hearing referees were so new to the all deaf players and they thought it was wise to stay ahead of you deaf players to blow their “whistles” much earlier?. ha.
    during my time at CSD in Berkeley i was often chosen over the all-star deaf players to play along with the hearing UC students on their basketball lots. Why? just because i was a smarter; more hustler and better team player than the other deaf all star players. plus i know how to avoid the un-necessary problems.

    Joey – have you been in a truly high level kind of basketball competition? class A recreational league??? I am wondering. i have seen you played three or four times. you was a pretty good player, a shooter – not a great defenser nor team player, not to your fullest abilities. guess it was because the games were just of a recreational type? now why you claim that we deafies are being for a foul too often? did we lose too often? if we win all of our games – would you complain? ha. another question – were you a player at Gally? a lower division of NCAA or is it NTDID or whatever it is.
    more often lower level competition there is a lot of various kind of refereeing style as there might be some training involved.
    There are some follies happening in the highest level professional sports lately. guess that we shall go along with the relay tapes to re-check the calls / my gosh . .longer period of time. midnight bedtimes . ha.

  • Sean Gerlis 16 years ago


  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    Sean – that’s great one!! Never thought of it and it is very possible. Let’s see what others have to say.

  • Margaret 16 years ago

    Top 10 Reasons for Calling It A Foul

    10. This is not a tag game!
    9. Static shock every time.
    8. Ohh, ohh I’m too sensitive.
    7. Stop bothering. I’m playing a game.
    6. Your touch makes me weak.
    5. This is not a touch basketball game.
    4. Wives and girlfriends complain. I have to report.
    3. You’re pushing wrong button.
    2. My 6th sense must be left alone.
    1. Legal definition of touch.

  • Douglas Nice 16 years ago

    There’s no whimp. Continue playing basketball unless it hard foul then stop. I used this all the time on hard foul. I never though of sensitive touch to stop the game. That’s WASTED of time… KEEP playing all the way! It’s way different on NBA game are very strict with the fouls.

  • CoachCreech 16 years ago

    LOL that’s so true. I’ve noticed that, too. Interesting vlog! Kudos!

  • David Peterson 16 years ago

    It has nothing to do with visuals, after all hearies can hear the “slap” of the foul but they go on and play rather than waste time whinning or nit picking. Another thing, is not this peculiar behavuor more common with “residental” deaf players rather than mainstreamed deaf players?

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    David (#9) – Good question and that’s something we should explore more whether that peculiar behavior more common among the residential than mainstreamed players? From my years of experience, I do not think so because I do see mainstreamed deaf players calling fouls as much as other deaf players do. But again, you can be correct.

    As Douglas (#7), we should just play the game. That is the case when I play but I was often in middle of the situation myself.

    Sean (#4) mentioned an interesting point to consider in his video comment above that Deaf were accustomed to having rules around our lives and carried it over on the court.

  • J.J. 16 years ago

    Depends on who is playing. I have been in ROUGH games with both deaf and hearing people and SISSY games with both deaf and hearing people.

    I am a big guy so I like to play ROUGH better…more advantage to me…so I won’t call fouls on defense so that I can play ROUGH on offense.


    Also, one time I played in a 3 on 3 tournament..both hearing and deaf teams…with hearing and deaf refs….when we had hearing refs…we never got any calls…when we had deaf refs we got tons of calls….HMMMM….

    Man, I gotta get back to pick up ball….I am gonna play tomorrow!

  • Jimmy 16 years ago


    I agree with you. It is all depend on who are playing. I am still playing with hearies three times a week. There are some wimps that we knew they always called for each so called foul while others just want to play all the way!

    Recreation players vs competitive players surely would show big difference on how they call the fouls.

    Joey, dont consider of being retired from playing yet. I am 43 yrs old and still playing even though I got a bad arthritis knee. Once you are off from playing, your knee would be worst in near future!

    I am planning to play till I am confined to wheel, then I would play with other wheelchair players! grin…

    Now off to play bb… wanna join me?

  • NavyBeagle 16 years ago


  • DonG 16 years ago

    Hi Joey —

    You know I am not a basketball player at all. But from what I know about how Hearing play, especially “street ball” (I think Black culture had a big influence on this), they are very physical and emphasis is playing, not “rules”, except for like you describe, hard or intentional fouls.

    I like Sean’s comment — I do think this may be a part of what you observe. I also wonder if there is a difference in the mainstreamed vs. residential Deaf — it is quite possible those mainstreamed Deaf were influenced by the Hearing “cultural” way of playing.

  • SnoopyFreak 16 years ago

    Hi Joey,
    You may right.. because I used to be formerly baseketball player in hearing league in Holland for 10 years.. I recognized myself that I tend to foul often myself than my hearing teammates.. because I cant hear myself when my teammates tried to yell or call me. Probably they tried to tell me “watch out at opponent players.” I had been frustrated myself when I got foul out.. sigh. I never played in deaf basketball team before. I did tryout for Gallaudet team however the head coach did cut off me from the Gallaudet BB team. I was fully of suprised of head coach! Oh well, so i never tasted to play in deaf bb team.
    I had been semi-pro bb team in Holland for 4 years before I moved to the US. Sadly!! 🙁

  • Jade Sims 16 years ago

    Hi Joey-

    From my observation as a fan of my oldest brother, Robby’s bball games/tournaments- I must say that i do agree with you completey. WHY? My brother always tend to get frustrated whenever he dribbles the ball in order to go for the basket. Someone would jump up and block his vision- (an attempt to mess up his beautiful shot) then barely touches him from trying to land on the basketball court. He ll go, “OHHHH cmon it is a FOUL!!!!” when a referee doesnt blow the whistle to make a call on the “foul” play.
    HEHH I always find it so funny- otherwise its really fun watching him play as an avid basketball player. GOOD VLOG! 🙂

  • Matt R. 15 years ago

    That’s a rather interesting viewpoint, because I’m hard of hearing and I play with both worlds; mostly with hearing. It is true that hearing people tend to only call hard fouls. But I go to CSUN and me and my deaf friends go play some pick up games but they actually don’t complain too much, only with hard fouls.

    So it could be possible that they feel that way. But they just have to toughen up. I’m 19 and love playing basketball, I always play tough and accept some “soft” fouls. Perhaps they need to love the game even more to just have fun and not worry about fouls all the time. Just depends on who you play with.

    Now I’m ready for a pick up game 😀


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published.