Sightless players compete in beeping baseball tournament

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - An international baseball tournament is happening this week in Columbus, but in this version of the game, none of the players can see the ball.

Competitors with varying levels of vision impairment are all wearing blindfolds to even the playing field.  They depend on their sense of hearing to guide them to the bases.

The game is called Beep Baseball, named for the beeping sound that the ball makes.  The bases also make noises, to help guide the players in the right direction.  After hitting the ball, they can either run to first or third.

If an outfielder gets to the ball before the runner makes it on base, it's an out.

"Beep Baseball helped me regain my confidence in social situations, it helped me a lot.  I've got my confidence back in walking and talking to people," said Jimmie Burnett of the Atlanta Eclipse.

"I like the fact that it gets me active while having fun at the same time.  You meet a lot of interesting people," said Eclipse player, Sam Hogle.

Teams from across the country are competing, and the players who traveled the farthest come from Taiwan.

Volunteers from Paws Humane are taking care of the seeing-eye dogs while their owners compete in the game.  It's the first time the tournament has been played in Columbus.

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