Our chat with Cassie Hopkins, Vice President and Tournament Director of the National Beep Baseball Association based in Glenview, Illinois.
When was the National Beep Baseball Association founded and what is its mission ?
The National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) was founded in 1976, and is an organization committed to fostering competition and camaraderie through the game of beep baseball for the blind and visually impaired.
How does the NBBA aim to impact the visually impaired community?
This sport is life changing for those who would normally be unable to play America's favorite pastime. Beep baseball is a challenging, physically-demanding and enjoyable competitive sport for athletes who are blind or visually impaired. Whether in the batter's box or on the field, athletes use a combination of strength, skill and auditory senses to focus on the beeping ball and buzzing bases. We have players as young as 14-15 years of age in the organization, all the way up in their 50's-60's. Their only impairment is their sight - they are all amazing athletes! There are currently 29 registered teams across the United States, and a World Series is held each summer.
How can people support your organization?
One of the greatest ways people can support this organization is by finding a team close to them (nbba.org/teams) and volunteering - it takes a lot of volunteers to help make this game a success. Or see where each year's World Series is being held (2023 - Tulsa, Oklahoma; 2024/25 - St. Louis Missouri) and volunteer to help out that week at the fields. The organization is a non-profit and is 100% volunteer driven. Each team is responsible for raising its own funds for travel and competition, as well as equipment, which can get very costly. People can go to nbba.org/donate to make a donation. There is so much more information about this amazing sport at www.nbba.org, or on our Facebook page.
What does "Support Local Baseball" mean to you?
"Support Local Baseball", or "Beep Baseball", in our instance, means getting in there and being a part of it - volunteering your time and energy to these teams and athletes, whether it be by getting water, being in the field with them, or by donating finances even to purchase one beep baseball. This organization is a family that supports each other on and off the field - show up and be a part of it - you'll never be the same!