Beep baseball is a version of softball for individuals with visual impairments and blindness. A game consists of six innings, with each half-inning consisting of three outs. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins. Each half-inning involves one team hitting while the other team plays defense. There are always six defensive players, and both the defensive players and batters must wear blindfolds at all time. The game also includes a pitcher, catcher, and one or two “spotters,” all of whom have unimpaired vision and are not allowed to make defensive plays.
The game is played with a weighted softball that contains a beeping device to alert players to its location. A play begins when a pitcher says “ready,” informing the batter and defense a pitch is about to happen. The pitcher then says “pitch” or “ball” and throws an underhand pitch to the batter. The batter gets up to four strikes and one “pass” (a ball at which no swing is taken) to hit a ball in fair territory at least 40 feet. Upon making contact, one of two bases (first or third base) will be “activated.” The batter must identify the activated base and run to it. If the batter reaches the right base and makes contact with it before the defense secures the ball, the batter has scored a run. A ball hit at least 170 feet in the air in fair territory is considered a home run if the batter can reach the activated base within 30 seconds. A home run is worth two runs.
To record an out on defense, a player must secure the batted ball before the batter reaches the activated base. Each defensive player begins a play in a numbered zone. Once a batter makes contact with a ball, a spotter will alert the defense to its general location by shouting the numbered zone in which the ball is or is going towards in an effort to help the defense make a play as quickly as possible.