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The six components

The adapting components are a set of factors which provide a framework through which activities, games and sports can be adapted by instructors, teachers, coaches or volunteers.

The aim of using the six adapting components is to be able to provide the technical access to opportunities for participants who otherwise might be excluded if only traditional approaches were used.

  • The six components - the adapted framework

    1. Area
    2. Equipment
    3. Physical Performance
    4. Roles and Procedures
    5. Rules
    6. Scoring

    By using the adapted framework it should help the instructor, teacher, coach and volunteers to start to develop this as a ‘skill’ and find other ways of adapting traditional approaches or creating new activities, games or sports for their situations.

    The terms physical activities, games and sports are of course relative to any situation, however they do provide the non-specialist facilitator with a starting framework through which they can consider what they are attempting to achieve.

  • The basics - the process of participation

    The basic aim of any instructor, teacher, coach or volunteer is to facilitate active participation for an individual or group so they can achieve a high degree of satisfaction.

    This will only be achieved if the facilitator is aware of the process of participation. Project Adapted have identified the following six factors.

    1. attraction
    2. involvement
    3. identification
    4. achievement
    5. independence
    6. expertise

  • The balance

    With the participation process in mind, adaptation can occur by supporting an individual or group’s initial participation with basic changes to the six adapting components. The activity, game or sport will only ever be challenging if the six factors are balanced by the most appropriate arrangement of the six components.

    The following analysis illustrates the manner in which the six components of table tennis were changed to create the balance in the challenges of Polybat.

    Polybat example
    ComponentsChangesBalance of components for the challenge
    AreaRegular table tennis table used. Side panels added, no net.Area: the same secure area.
    EquipmentRectangular bat, modified grip. Plastic golf practice ball.Game and body factors. Reduced for the perceptual factor.
    Physical performanceOne main patterned stroke. Stop start hits possible.Less variation required.
    Variation of play.
    Participant roles - procedureSingles.
    Doubles allows for co-operative play.
    Ball kept in play.
    Target aspect.
    RulesHits can play off sides. Ends provide goals.Account for game challenge.
    ScoringLittle change unless half games played.Parallel able bodied if possible.

  • Learning outcomes

    Teachers, of course, will be more prescriptive with these in terms of the National Curriculum learning outcomes compared to that of a Sports Development worker who would use the more general stages above. In contemporary settings, adapting for physical participation should be viewed much more as a professional tool so it is researched, planned for and recorded, just as a classroom teacher would do it via a number of avenues for maths etc.

Three stages to achieve sophistication in the adaptation technique

First stage – development of six components for analysis

The six components must be developed as an integral way of analysis by a teacher or facilitator. In considering a basic game they must be analytical and develop an awareness of how the six components structure the outcome of the contest – i.e. a net, invasion or striking and fielding game. A good example of this is the way the England and Wales Cricket Board has structured 20/20 cricket to create a balanced exciting challenge.

Second stage – develop a resource of additional ideas

PE teachers and Sports Development Officers should also be using it in a much more in resourceful way. As well as the six components, they should collect, devise and develop a resource of additional ideas and have an actual resource of professional data at the ready.

Third stage – utilisation of the options available

The ability to utilise the variety of options you can have when you consider the relationships between the six components - if you change more than one of the components there will be an effect on one or more of the others. For example, if I do ‘X’ to the area component and ‘Y’ to the equipment component, then I may be better able to achieve outcomes or goals because of what impact these changes have on the physical performance component.

Classification - the seventh component

One constant challenge in any competitive situation or recreational game with special needs, is how to have a relatively equitable contest or challenge. The means of achieving this is classification - a term specific to the sporting context of ‘sport for people with a disability provision’.

In the construction of all the Project Adapted games, this has been considered the seventh adapting component. In some cases, the way the games have been constructed has enabled this component to be solved as an integral aspect of the game, with the arrangement of the other six components, for example:

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Doug Williamson
+44 (0)1949 829 313