Didier SEMINET, President of the French Federation of Baseball and Softball (FFBS), met yesterday at the headquarters of the Federation with Tom Nagel, President of Beep Baseball France, and Najib Lamjaj, General Secretary, to sign the new protocol.
From left to right: Najib LAMJAJ - General Secretary of Beep Baseball France, Didier SEMINET - President of the FFBS, Tom NAGEL - President of Beep Baseball France.
This protocol now authorizes "affiliated clubs, on an experimental basis and for non competitive practice, to form Beep Baseball sections for sight impaired and non sight impaired players."
FFBS: Can you tell us how the Beep Baseball Project started in France?
Tom Nagel: This project started over two years ago. I was in the US, in Boston to be precise, when I discovered this sport. I was literally shaken by the agility of these sight-impaired players. After this exhibition match, I immediately bought the required equipment. Back in France, I started translating the rules with Gilbert Lejeune and Najib Lamjaj. We set up a website and a sports association to develop Beep Baseball.
FFBS: How did things get off the ground in France?
TN: To start with we tried several events in the Val d'Oise (North of Paris) with the help of Alain Roucan. Today, our association has started training with the Nogent-sur-Marne (just East of Paris) Bandits.
FFBS: How is this protocol important for your association?
TN: First of all I would like to thank the Board of Directors of the Federation for its careful attention to our project. I am personally very happy about this signature which offers a sunny future for Beep Baseball France. We will now be able to start full scale activity in France and promote integration of sight-impaired and non-sight-impaired baseball in clubs affiliated with the Federation.
FFBS: What is your strategy for development?
TN: The Federation has offered us a framework to develop and especially to simplify player recrutement thanks to the Federal player license. All the structures of the Federation, leagues, departments and clubs, can now set up Beep Baseball sections. For us, it is imperative to let baseball and softball players and fans know about Beep Baseball. We have identified strategic cities like Toulouse, Marseille and Lyon. I know already that Montpellier is very interested in this project. Our objective is to create three or four teams by the end of next year.
FFBS: Who is Beep Baseball for?
TN: Obviously for the blind and sight impaired, but not only. Non-sight-impaired people can play by wearing a mask. And we need pitchers, catchers and spotters, who must be non-sight-impaired. There is a real integration of all types of players in Beep Baseball.
FFBS: What procedures do clubs need to follow to set up a Beep Baseball section?
TN: Our association is there precisely to help clubs set up. I invite interested club Presidents to consult our website http://bipbaseball.fr and to contact me personally - firstname.lastname@example.org or +33615691429
You can read the formal agreement between the French Federation of Baseball and Softball and the ABBF - Association Beep Baseball France here.
For more information on Beep Baseball see:
Bip Baseball France http://bipbaseball.fr
Articles on the International Baseball Association of Federations: