Sport Signs

In this section, you will apply the “person” ending that was introduced in Chapter 9. This is a great chance to practice your newfound knowledge. The next set of vocabulary words will be related to sports. However, you can double that vocabulary set by simply signing the sport and then transforming it to indicate the player. For instance, if you sign the word “golf” then add the “person” sign, the sign becomes “golfer.”

The following images of sport signs serve a dual purpose. From them, you will learn to sign specific sports, while at the same time you will continue to learn how to form a compound sign. As mentioned before, the compound sign is made by simply adding the “person” sign immediately after signing any one of these sports signs described. Just to refresh your memory, take another look at the “person” sign in Chapter 9.

HOCKEY: Use your bent index finger to sweep across the “open” left palm, imitating a hockey stick. Add the “person” sign, and the sign becomes “hockey player.”

FOOTB ALL: Use both “open five” hands, palms facing each other, and interlock your fingers together several times, imitating two teams crashing together. Add the “person” sign, and now the sign becomes “football player.”

The football huddle was invented by Paul D. Hubbard. Hubbard was a quarterback on the Gallaudet football team, and his opponents were deaf. The team learned that the opposing teams were reading their signed messages and could understand their team plays. Therefore, Hubbard decided to make a team huddle. This huddle is now a tactic used by all football teams.

As you can see, many of the sports signs are mimed or gestured. Here are a few more that are signed exactly the way you would imagine:

  • To sign “baseball,” hold both fists at shoulder level, imitating holding a baseball bat.

  • To sign “golf,” hold both fists as though you are swinging a golf club.

  • To sign “swimming,” move both arms, imitating a swimming stroke.

  • To sign “basketball,” hold an imaginary basketball and imitate the action of shooting a basket.

  • Add the “person” sign to each of the sports, and the sign describes a player of the sport (baseball player, golfer, swimmer, basketball player).

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