Beep baseball is a version of softball that is played by individuals who are blind or have visual impairments. According to beep baseball’s governing body, the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA), the first beep baseball was created by Charles Fairbanks in 1964, and was the tipping point that led the game to its current levels of popularity and competition.
Beep baseball bears some similarities to softball in terms of hitting, fielding, and pitching, but with modified rules regarding scoring and outs. Additionally, sound emitting bases and balls, as well as audible pitchers and defensive spotters, are used so that individuals can play without any sight whatsoever.
Benefits of Playing Beep Baseball
There are many physical and mental benefits associated with the game of beep baseball. Players are entirely reliant on their hearing and touch abilities to hit, field, and run the bases. Players who begin and consistently continue to practice and play the game will likely experience an increase in their sensory reflexes as they use them more and more to listen and react to pitchers, fellow players, spotters, balls, and bases.
Additionally, players who approach the game with a willingness to learn and contribute to a team should benefit mentally and socially from winning and losing as a team and working with coaches and fellow players to improve individual and team skills, as well as their effective communication skills and abilities.
Beep baseball is a game typically played by individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or legally blind. Batters and fielders wear blackout eyewear (goggles/glasses/blindfolds/etc.), while pitchers and catchers should be individuals with unimpaired vision, whether naturally or through the use of corrective eyewear. Additionally, one or two spotters, who should also have unimpaired vision, are used to direct the defense toward a hit ball.