Sunday, July 30, 2006
"The balls are large, 16-inch softballs with an implanted electronic beeping device so that players can gauge the location and movement of the ball. Bases are columns of foam rubber, four-feet tall, and at least seven inches across. Each base has a buzzer placed three-feet high that faces home plate and is operated remotely from behind home plate. The buzzer is, again, an auditory indicator for the players."
Beep Baseball is a serious sport, one designed so that the visually impaired can participate fully, passionately, and safely.
"Blindfolds," the AAASP continues, "are also an essential component of the equipment list."
You bet. Blindfolds that "...must incorporate a nose pad to eliminate the ability to peak down the side of the nose; each player must be blindfolded, regardless of the extent of their visual impairment."
Cool. Significantly cool. So everyone's equally handicapped. Which, in a way, means that no one is.
And this: "When a batter hits the ball, they will run to either first or third base, depending on which base has been remotely activated. This is done in random order; the batters are never sure which base to run to until they hear it beeping."
Perfect. A split-second of confusion. Just long enough to make things suddenly fun again. And maybe, as the other team races to field the ball, just the split-second they need to find it.
Sounds like a game that would be fun for anyone.
Seems like a significant achievement, this Beep Ball, the product of a deep understanding of play and sport and humanity.
Labels: invented sports