Play Beep Ball!

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A shout of "play ball!" echoed through the gym, as a batter took his place in front of the plate.

With the swing of his bat, the large yellow, beeping ball flew toward six players, spread out in a line.

This is beep ball.

It's baseball for blind or visually impaired athletes and on a recent afternoon, about a dozen people gathered to play at the UAH Fitness Center.

The game was organized by UAH's Ability Sport Network (ASN) and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB).

ASN Director David Kyle says, "there's not a lot of adapted sports for people with visual or physical disabilities. So, that was the whole purpose of starting the Ability Sport Network. We wanted to provide the opportunity."

Larry Povinelli first played the game more than 20 years ago, while he was living in the DC area and says there's a real demand for sports in the community.

"Just like someone would want to go out and play baseball, softball, we can go out and do that with beep ball."

Organizers hope to make beep ball games a regular occurrence in the Tennessee Valley. There are beep ball leagues and a national organization that oversees a World Series.

Issac Beavers, a regional director for AIDB, says he'd love to see a local team represented there one day.

"Our community is made up of all different kinds of people and we can cater to and involve everybody in everything that we do. Huntsville's a pretty good city for that but we want to make it even better."

You can learn more about ASN here.