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Blind Baseball International Cup to Premiere in the Netherlands

The first WBSC (World Baseball Softball Confederation) Blind Baseball International Cup will be held from August 20-21, 2022 in Beek, Netherlands. During this event, “the first-ever blind baseball event sanctioned by the WBSC,” six national teams will participate in two groups, representing France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, and the USA. Top finishers from each group will advance to the semifinals and winners from that round will compete for the title. Baseball for the Blind, known as B4B, an adapted version of the sport, was developed in Italy by Alfredo Meli, a former Italian Baseball National Team player. It is relatively popular there and in other countries, “but still emerging in the U.S.” B4B is distinct from Beep Baseball. The sport does use audible sounds, like bells inside the ball, beeper sounds to mark location, and a coach clapping plastic or wooden paddles to guide the runner. Unlike Beep Baseball, the game does not include a pitcher or catcher. The batter holds the ball in one hand, releasing it while swinging the bat with the other hand. Each team is made up of five blind players, one sighted player, and four or five sighted assistants. International events such as this one aim to advance the goal of WBSC to have the sport recognized by the International Paralympic Committee. WBSC, headquartered in Pully, Switzerland, is “the international governing body for baseball and softball.” The Confederation has 193 National Federations Members and 14 Associate Members from 137 countries and territories, representing a movement “that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide” each year. Read more here about the First WBSC Blind Baseball International Cup to be held on 20-21 August in Beek, Netherlands. Additional information about B4B is included in an article reporting on a game held in Franklin, Connecticut between teams from Connecticut and New York in October 2021. Check out the write up, entitled Baseball for the Blind comes to Connecticut in game Saturday. And to learn more about the WBSC, check out the Organisational Profile here.