Video: High Point Hosts Softball Tournament For The Visually Impaired

Video: High Point Hosts Softball Tournament For The Visually Impaired

Posted on Jul.29, 2009, by , under Educational, Inspirational Stories

HIGH POINT – Four softball teams composed of visually impaired players from Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro and Spartanburg were in the Triad Saturday for their season championship.

“Beep Ball is a sport that – it’s something that the blind can do and be challenged in a sport equally,” Charlotte Hornets player Barney Fleming said.

The premise is much like traditional softball, but the outfielders work from seven zones.

“You have two sighted people out in the field and once the ball is hit out into the field, the two sighted people call the zone and the blind will the ball and pick it up before visually impaired person reaches the base,” Fleming said.

And because there can be varying degrees of blindness, each player wears a blindfold to keep things on an even playing field.

“It’s not a disability; it’s an inconvenience to be blind. All of our people have good brains, good hands, good legs, good reflexes, they can do anything that they need to do to play ball except see,” NC/SC Beep Ball Commissioner Cookie Jones-Peele said.

The game in High Point Saturday was the league’s season championship. The Raleigh Rockets hit their way to a win over the Charlotte Hornets.

“It was designed to get blind people from sitting on the couch doing nothing, thinking that they would like to be athletes, to get them to actually come out and realize they can be,” Jones-Peele said.

And she hopes they’ll get the chance to realize that in California. That’s where players from each team in the league will represent the Carolinas at the Beep Ball World Series next week.

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