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2010 World Series of Beep Baseball in Rochester Minnesota

In spite of bad weather Beep Baseball can be played under almost any conditions.  A little wet weather is not an impediment.


The final game of the weeklong series was held on Saturday, August 7, between the Taiwan Homerun and the West Coast Dawgs.  Over three hundred spectators showed up for the event in spite of the threatening skies.


The discussion at home plate between the team managers and the umpires is held just before game time.  The starting lineups are exchanged.  Each team has six fielders who play defense and who are eligible to bat.  A team can have a designated hitter or fielder on the starting lineup.  Each team also has sighted spotters to help the defense and a sighted pitcher and catcher.  Typically for a tournament a team also has a half dozen replacements on the bench, but this is not always the case.

For a typical game there is an umpire-in-chief (UIC) behind the plate and at least one base umpire in the field to rule on defensive actions.  When the defender has control of the ball and says “catch” the field umpire will signal out.  If there is a base umpire, he will signal safe when the runner touches the base.  The umpire-in-chief will then decide if the point counts or of the batter-runner is out.  For the final of the World Series there were six umpires:  one on first base, one on third base, three umpires in the field and the umpire-in-chief.

To start play the UIC asks the spotters “Ready spotters?”  Then he asks the pitcher “Ready?”  Then he signals the controller “Bases”, and the controller will test each base to verify they are functioning correctly.  The UIC then tells the spectators “Quiet Please” so that the players can hear the action.  The UIC then announces  the number of outs and “Play.”  The pitcher then has 30 seconds to throw the first pitch.


The Umpire-in-Chief positions himself along one of the “extended” baselines so that he has a good view of the plate and the batter.  In this case, for a right-handed batter the umpire is on the third base line extended about three yards back.  The catcher is positioning his glove to mark the spot he wants the pitcher to position the ball so that the hitter can hit it.

When the pitcher begins his motion he then announces to the batter “Ready” and then “Pitch” when he releases the ball, or any other verbal signals he has worked out with his batters. 

The UIC will announce “Strike” if the batter misses the ball, or “Foul Ball” if the ball goes out of bounds or does not reach the semi-circle drawn in fair territory 40 feet from home plate.  Another possible call is “Foul Tip”, which is always treated as a foul ball.  A batter can decide not to swing at the pitch.  The first time this is called a “passed ball”, after that it is always a strike.  A batter is out on the fourth strike (unless the fourth strike is a foul ball or a foul tip).


Here is a strong fly ball hit down the third baseline.  The base operator will turn on one of the bases as soon as there is a hit.  In this case he will probably turn on first base to avoid a collision at third.

Controllers might favor turning on third base for a batter who is an experienced baseball player who probably tends to run to first automatically.


Here the Taiwan Homerun pitcher has launched the ball to the plate and the batter is preparing to swing.

The umpire will announce “Strike one”, “Strike two” or “Strike three, full count” on a swing and a miss, or on a foul ball.  On the fourth strike the umpire will announce “Strike four, he’s out” and then “One out, two in” to indicate the number of outs and the number of runs already scored in the half inning.


As soon as there is a fair ball, one of the spotters will announce the number of one of the six defenders who has the best position to make a play on the ball.  Spotters can only announce one number once.  If there is a double call by the spotter or spotters, a run scores.  Spotters typically use inflexion in their voice when they call a number to indicate if the ball is a fly, a hard hit line-drive or a bouncing grounder.

Defenders can talk to their teammates to help locate the ball.  “Over me” or “under me” are heard frequently.


Defenders use their full body to first block the ball, and then to seize the ball and show control to the base umpire.  The defender will announce “Catch” when he thinks he has control of the ball.  The base umpire will then decide and signal the catch.


Pitching and hitting are the result of long and frequent practices to correctly position the ball in the strike zone and to correctly swing the bat in the strike zone.  It is almost impossible to hear the ball coming, it is a question of repetition and positioning.


Here the defender has fielded the ball and has raised it so show that he has control.  The base umpire is indicating “Safe” with both arms raised to indicate that the runner reached the base before the catch and therefore has scored a point.

It is important that the ball emit an audible beep before the pitch.  The defense can request that the ball be changed before the next pitch.  A pitcher can also request a ball change.

After a defensive error you might hear “the sun got in his eyes” or “he was squinting” from the players or the crowd.


Defensive strategy requires teamwork and communication between the defenders to stop and to locate the ball.  The six defenders will position themselves on the field (usually three short and three deep in the field) and to the left or right of the field according to whether the batter is left-handed or right-handed.


Here the batter is running to first base as fast as he can to beat the defense.  Batter runners usually tackle the base.

Bases should be tested before every play and are frequently damaged.  The speakers may turn and be muted by the padding in the bases, so an effective remedy is to turn the speaker back so that it faces the opening so that all can hear the single tone.



Here the runner has tackled the base but the defense is still looking for the ball, so the batter-runner has scored a point.


This was an exciting game in six innings.  The West Coast Dawgs finally prevailed in the last inning by one point to win the series.  Everyone shakes hands after the match.









Taiwan Homerun








West Coast Dawgs










That evening there were 500 people for dinner in the hotel, with awards and speeches.

All Star Offense:                              MVP: Lupe Perez, West Coast Dawgs, 0.684

Warren Richardson, Chicago Comets, 0.659

Wen-Shen Chiu, Taiwan Homerun, 0.623

Giovanni Francese, Chicago Comets, 0.618

Brett Sanders, Kansas All-Stars, 0.600

Chen-Kuang Wang, Taiwan Homerun, 0.591

All Star Defense:                             MVP: Esubalew Johnston, Colorado Storm, 6.333

Eric Mazariegos, West Coast Dawgs, 6.143

Nim Novakovic, Carolina Pride, 6.000

Clint Woodard, Kansas All-Stars, 6.000

Bobby Lakey, Lonestar Roadrunners, 5.500

Greg Roberts, Bayou City Heat, 5.000

Pitcher Award: (fewest Strike outs per at bat:  Chun-Yu Lin, Taiwan Homerun, 0.1141

Spotter Award:                                               Taiwan Homerun

Sportsmanship Award:                 Colorado Storm

Final Standings:                                               1. West Coast Dawgs (7-1)            2. Taiwan Homerun (8-2)

3. Kansas All-Stars (5-2)                                 4. Austin Blackhawks (5-2)

5. Bayou City Heat (7-2)                                 6. Indy Thunder (5-4)

7. Chicago Comets (5-3)                                8. Carolina Pride (2-6)

9. Boston Renegades (3-4)           10. Colorado Storm (3-4)

11. Lonestar Roadrunners (3-5)                 12. Tyler Tigers (1-6)

13. Southwest Slammers (3-4)    14. Minnesota Fighting Lions (1-6)

15. Wichita Sonics (0-7)



Françoise Nagel (from Paris), Joe Wood and Nick Lopez (from the Chicago Comets), with Joe’s dog Todd.  Joe Wood and Nick Lopez have played beep baseball for 30 years and are both former members of the board of directors.  Both Nick and Joe have won beep baseball’s highest awards and are members of the Hall of Fame.

Next year’s World Series will be in Indianapolis, Indiana.  In 2012 it will be held in Ames, Iowa.

Report prepared by Tom Nagel, President of the ABBF:  http://bipbaseball.fr



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