ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There are no gloves, no stealing and – except for the pitcher and catcher – there is no vision.
This Saturday July 15, St. Louis will host the world’s biggest Beepball tournament, MindsEye Ultimate Beepball Tournament at Assumption Parish in south St. Louis county.
Beepball is mostly comparable to baseball or softball, but with a different scoring and fielding system.
Six players take the field on defense, and the offensive team sends out a pitcher, catcher and blindfolded batter work together to score runs. A run is scored when the batter hits the ball and makes it to a base before the ball is controlled (on the ground or in the air) by a defensive player. If the ball is controlled before they make it to a base, then it’s a an out, and three outs ends the half-inning.
The base is a approximately 4-foot tall padded pole, and there are two of them located at about the same spot as a first base and third base would be on a baseball or softball field. After the ball is hit, one of the base will make a buzzing noise, and the batter has to run to that base and touch it before the ball is fielded.
Since the batter can’t see where the pitch is thrown, he or she will take a practice swing to help show the pitcher where to throw the pitch and catcher tries to give the pitcher a spot to aim at. After the pitcher throws the ball, he or she will yell “swing” so that batter knows when to take a rip at the ball. If the batter swings and misses, that’s a strike. Four strikes and you’re out.
The game lasts six innings, and the team with the most runs, of course, wins.
MindsEye is a radio station dedicated to providing news, information, and entertainment that people with vision loss and other disabilities.
This is the 11th year of the MindsEye Ultimate Beepball Tournament, which has become the largest Beepball tournament in the world for it’s number of teams and players that participate.
Recap of the 2016 tournament:
Not all the players are totally blind, some are partially impaired and other have all their sight. But blindfolds are worn by every batter and fielder (except the pitcher and catcher) to even the playing field.
This year’s tournament starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, with the Championship game expected to be played at 4:30 p.m.