Showdown is a fast-moving sport originally designed for people with a visual impairment, but anyone can play!
The game is played on a specially designed table by two players from opposing sides using flat, paddle-type bats. The aim of the game is to bat the ball off the side wall, along the table, under the centre screen, and into the opponent’s goal. The first player to reach eleven points, leading by two or more points, is the winner. Each player serves two times in a row. Players score two points for a goal and one point when their opponent hits the ball into the screen, hits the ball off the table, or touches the ball with anything but the bat or batting hand.
Sound produced by the bee bees rolling around inside the ball indicates the location of the ball during the play. The sport is inexpensive to start up, requires minimal maintenance, and can be played in a room the size of a classroom or meeting room.
Joe Lewis, a totally blind Canadian, had an idea in 1977 to create a game or sport which could be played recreationally and/or competitively without sighted assistance.
Patrick York, a Canadian athlete who is also totally blind, collaborated with Lewis on refinements to the rules and equipment. York was also the major influence in creating the table design. After years of working together the first table and the game of showdown was played in 1980.
Showdown was an international success at its debut as a demonstration sport during the 1980 Paralympic Games in Arnhem, the Netherlands.
International interest was sparked and showdown was subsequently demonstrated at the New York 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games. Other events to feature showdown include the 1990 World Youth Games, the first IBSA World Games in 1998 and the 1999 Pan-American Games in Mexico City.