Beepball | St. Louis Public Radio

Beepball

A batter swings at a softball equipped with an electronic beeper at the Ultimate Beepball Championship Tournament.  July 13, 2019
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The sun was fierce — and so was the competition — on a recent Saturday in South St. Louis County as visually impaired athletes from around the region took to the baseball field alongside players with normal vision.

The balls beeped, the bases buzzed, and the players all wore blindfolds — except for the pitchers and catchers. 

The annual event is known as the Ultimate Beepball Championship Tournament. It’s organized by MindsEye Radio, a nonprofit in Belleville that provides programming for people with vision loss. Beepball — also called beep baseball — is a form of the sport invented in the 1960s for people with impaired vision.

It's a little early for baseball at Busch Stadium, but this weekend you can catch a game of beepball just outside the stadium.

Beepball is a version of softball, adapted for people who are blind or visually impaired. Along with some slight modifications of the rules, it features a beeping ball and two buzzing bases. Players wear blindfolds, except for the pitcher and catcher, who are actually on the same team, and two spotters.