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Women’s World Cup 2023 matches include audio commentary

Oscar Stubbs has been in the sport ever since he remembered his favorite teams and followed them avidly.
The 22-year-old athlete from Blacktown, Sydney, was born with an eye defect that causes severe myopia and pinhole vision.
He has represented Australia in blind cricket, swimming and futsal for the blind (the indoor version of soccer). But when it comes to spectators, he often enlists the help of his spouse and family members to keep track of his actions and try to sit near the stadium screens.
“I love my sport, nothing beats live sport, so I go whenever and whatever I can. It’s a little difficult to understand.

“When something happens in the game, everyone reacts around us, but we don’t really know what happened until we replay.”

Courtney Webeck and Oscar Stubbs use audio commentary at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. sauce: attached

When Australia and New Zealand host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in July and August of this year, Stubbs will have reason to cheer.

For the first time in Australia, Audio Descriptive Commentary (ADC) for blind and visually impaired football fans will be available for all live matches.

With just an app and headphones, supporters can follow the action from the stands through real-time commentary specifically designed for the blind.

A man in a white coat at a football stadium wearing earphones connected to a mobile phone on his lap

Audio commentary was used at last year’s men’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar. credit: FIFA/qatar2022.qa

Stubbs says the difference is “huge.”

“If I could find out what was happening at the exact time instead of nagging people around me…that would be great.”

It would be great if I could know what was happening at the exact time instead of nagging people around me.

– Oscar Stubbs, football fan

His friend and fellow athlete Courtney Webeck agrees. She was born legally blind and is Australia’s current blind and partially sighted tennis her champion.
A 19-year-old man from Gloucester, New South Wales, says audio narrative commentary can be ‘life-changing’.
“I always use my smartphone to zoom in and take a picture. It is no different from humans.

“I think it’s really good that it’s a women’s sport that started in Australia…that’s a big thing. As a blind girl, it’s great to see Matilda rise to the top of the world.

How does the audio commentary work?

Unlike television and radio commentaries, Audio Descriptive Commentary focuses on explaining each movement of the ball in relation to the rest of the field and the major movements of the players. Commentary can include the player’s body, his language, clothing, facial expressions, and even the behavior of fans and coaches.
“You are their eyes,” says David Feeney, a Sydney-based football fan and IT consultant who was trained to provide audio commentary for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“So when the ball moves around the field, the head really moves. You have to tell them where the ball is. You have to tell them what’s going on,” he said. said.

David Feeney in a green and yellow patterned soccer jersey while sitting behind a laptop at a glass table. He has a small microphone in his mouth.

David Feeney is trained to provide audio-visual commentary for visually impaired sports fans. sauce: attached

“For example, the left side, the right side, nearly half of the field. It’s just on the edge of the box. It’s the corner. Corner kicks are right foot kickers. They wear yellow boots.

“We try to make them feel fully involved in the game and have conversations with friends and relatives to actually reassure them that what they’re saying actually happened.”

He recalls a training exercise in which he had to draw the ball’s movements on a whiteboard based solely on another trainee’s descriptive commentary, without seeing the game itself.

“Certainly for me it’s really crystallized. There are really a few people here and unless you tell them exactly where the ball is, they don’t know where the ball is.”

Audio descriptions are new to Australia, but have been available at some live football games for almost 20 years.
Alan March Sport is the company behind audio description commentary. The app name for the Women’s World Cup has not yet been released.

British businessman Alan March provides audio commentary for UEFA Champions League and English Premier League clubs. He also helped serve in Arabic and English at last year’s Qatar Worlds his Cup.

Alan March wears a black soccer jersey and stands next to a television screen showing a soccer match. She is a woman sitting at a round table looking at a screen.

Alan March during an audio commentary training session for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sydney. sauce: attached / Steve Christ

“It’s really not that new,” March said. “But people are often surprised when they first hear about it.”

“This is probably an access tool that enables people who are thinking, ‘This event is out of scope for me.’ It’s not the limit anymore.”

This is a sentiment shared by Webeck.
“I hope we can reach the level of Europe and I think this World Cup is a step forward for the sport.”
Stubbs wants live sports to be accessible to all people with disabilities.
“I think people with disabilities should go out and enjoy their time because you only live once and you can’t always see those games.”
The FIFA Women’s World Cup starts on July 20th. See the latest news from the Women’s World Cup. .

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/vision-impaired-football-fans-will-have-womens-world-cup-matches-described-to-them/5lwh8ifs0 Women’s World Cup 2023 matches include audio commentary

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