03 June 2012

Beep baseball

Beep baseball is an adaptation for visually impaired players.  The video shows how the game is played, and interviews participants at the 36th annual Beep Baseball World Series, held last fall in Indianapolis.

Here are some of the rules, via last month's Harper's Magazine:
A team is composed of a minimum of six blind or visually impaired players and two to four sighted people: a pitcher, a catcher, and two defensive spotters.

There is no second base. First and third bases are four-foot padded cylinders with speakers that buzz when activated. The batter does not know which one will be turned on. When the ball is hit, the runner must identify the buzzing base and run to it before a defensive player fields the ball. If the runner is safe, a run is scored. There is no running from one base to another...

Playing defense is the most challenging aspect of beep ball. Generally teams will field three infielders and three outfielders. For defensive purposes the field is divided into six zones. Each team has two sighted spotters positioned in the outfield, one on either side of the field. When a ball is hit, a spotter will call out a number indicating the general zone toward which the ball is traveling. The players coordinate their defensive moves according to the number that is called. Spotters cannot pass on any further information. The players can verbally communicate with one another.

Outs are earned by fielding the ball before the runner reaches the base. The fielder must have the ball in hand and off the ground to constitute possession. Defensive players pick up the beeping sphere and display it for the umpire’s call. In the NBBA’s history, there have been only four documented cases of a hit ball being caught in the air.
If you are interested for the sake of a family member, the organizations website is here.


  1. That looks like great fun!

  2. Fantastic!
    I live in Hereford, UK, where we sometimes hold the Blind Football (soccer) World Cup. It's an amazing sport, played with a ball with a rattle inside and sighted goalkeepers and spotters - really fun to play and watch!

    What I particularly like (about Beep Baseball, and Blind Football) is that the players are blindfolded, which not only evens the field on different levels of partial-sightedness, but is an easy way to let sighted players join in too, thus making the sports much more inclusive and not 'blind only'.

    (It baffles me why, in some sports-for-the-disabled organisations, there are rules against able-bodied people participating when they would have no advantage, for example: wheelchair races, or wheelchair baseball. An able-bodied person in a wheelchair would have no advantage or disadvantage against a disabled person in a wheelchair, so why are able-bodied people sometimes excluded from participation?)



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