WXXI AM News

Largest Northeastern Beep Baseball tournament held in Rochester

Jun 23, 2018

Credit National Beep Baseball Association

The largest "Beep Baseball" tournament in the Northeast is being held in Rochester this weekend.

The Beast of the East tournament is for visually impaired or blind athletes, and features teams from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In Beep Baseball, the ball emits a repetitive beep as it's tossed over the plate and hit out into the field.

Kirstyn Smith, Team Manager for Rochester Pioneers, as well as the President of the Rochester Area Blind Athletes Incorporated. She says this tournament shows that kids with visual impairments can participate in sporting events.

"Having visibility for a tournament like this demonstrates how something as long lasting as America's favorite pastime can have a few modifications to allow everyone to be involved and to play equally."

Smith says it’s just all about creativity and finding ways to make sports work for those with different abilities. Everyone playing in these games plays in blindfolds to even the field.

"As individuals lose their vision, they often become more sedentary, more isolated, so being involved, staying physically fit and participating in the community of other individuals who have visual impairment is just a really amazing part of this sport."

This was the first year Rochester has hosted the tournament, and the second year they were part of the league.