Lions Beep Baseball for the Blind
Visually Impaired Athletes Take to the Field
Beep baseball, named for the beeping sound the ball makes, allows visually impaired athletes to participate in a competitive sport that many people might think impossible for disabled individuals to play. Because equipment and tournaments can be costly, many teams reach out to local Lions clubs to help support the beep baseball program.
Ames, Iowa, USA
The Lions Step In
Lions clubs across the United States support beep baseball teams in their communities by contributing time, money and team spirit, so visually impaired athletes can enjoy their love of the game. Lions volunteer on the field as field judges, base operators, spotters and umpires. They also volunteer off the field by keeping score, managing information tents and doggie daycare tents, bringing water to the players and cheering them on. Through sponsorships, Lions send teams to various tournaments and the Beep Baseball World Series to help players achieve their dream of being champions.
Beep baseball is a fun, hands-on service activity that gives Lions the chance to work side by side with blind and visually impaired individuals. Kevin Barrett, past president of the Broadview Heights Lions Club, said, “As knights of the blind, we’re able to work with the sight impaired to help them have a healthy and beneficial activity. And at the same time, we’re recruiting new members for the Lions through the visually impaired community and families.”
A beep baseball game is generally six innings long. The batter and fielders are blindfolded. There are only two bases, and they also beep. The National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) is made up of 26 U.S. teams, plus one in Taiwan.
Tips and Tools
Make it Happen: Sponsor/Volunteer with a Local Beep Baseball Team
What is required to start a beep baseball team? »
A successful beep baseball team requires time, money and dedicated people. The team is made up of at least five or six blind or visually impaired individuals, and volunteers who are willing to donate their time to the sport.
How do Lions volunteers help throughout the beep baseball season? »
Volunteers who play as pitcher, catcher and spotters must be able to see, and they attend all practices and games. Other tasks include providing transportation for players, setting up and taking down the field at practices and games, maintaining the equipment, fundraising and attending team meetings.
Any special words of advice? »
Volunteers are as much a part of the team as the actual players, so Lions’ commitment to the sport and the team is essential.
"The Lions club has been honestly the best thing for the blind community that I can think of."
Beep baseball player, Indianapolis RHI X-Treme
"People have said it’s a fantastic experience and something they’ve never seen before."
Sheffield Lions Club member