Blind, low-vision participants play in 1st Beep Ball game

Published 1:37 am Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Erin Byrd pitches the ball to one of the participants at Sunday’s Beep Baseball tournament.

Erin Byrd pitches the ball to one of the participants at Sunday’s Beep Baseball tournament.

Members of Covington County’s and the surrounding area’s visually impaired community on Sunday got a unique opportunity to play America’s favorite pastime in an innovative way.

Led by Perry Dillard and Dr. Laura Carpenter, more than 12 participants in the week’s annual Extreme Experience Retreat at Blue Lake Methodist Camp had an opportunity to play Beep Baseball.

Lion John Vick, who donated the equipment in May, said he was pleased with the event.

“It went well,” he said.

Despite the rain, the event was held inside the gym at the camp.

Members of the Andalusia Lions Club, along with other members of the community, served as volunteers to help with the program.

Vick said this unique form of baseball is meant for the visually impaired and utilizes their sense of hearing through a beeping noise produced from the ball itself.


“The pitcher and the catcher are sighted people,” Vick said. “If the batter is not visually impaired, they are blind folded so everyone is on a level playing field. They have to listen to the beep, beep to hit the ball.”

Vick said, at that point, the batter will listen for another beeping sound, this time emitted from one of two “bases” located where first and third would normally be set.

“The bases are four-foot tall Styrofoam upright pylons,” he said. “The beep will come from one or the other of them and the runner will literally fall over them.”

Vick said the defensive players will consist of six other blindfolded players that use the beep of the ball to attempt to locate it.

“If the runner reaches one of the bases before one of the fielders reaches the ball, it’s a run,” he said. “I think, in the leagues, they’ve had something like five balls that have been caught in the air since 2008, so it takes some skill.”

At Sunday’s game, Dillard’s team defeated Carpenter’s team 3-0.