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Rules of the beep baseball game

In the National Beep Baseball World Series, James

In the National Beep Baseball World Series, James Sciortino pitches to Alex Barrera. At left, Jim Hughes finds his way to an empty space on the bench. A beep baseball game lasts six innings. (July 31, 2013) Credit: Robin Rayne Nelson / ZUMA

A beep baseball game lasts six innings. There are three outs per half inning, just like regular baseball. A batter is issued four strikes and is allowed to let one pitch pass by without swinging.

There are six visually impaired defenders on the field. There is a sighted pitcher, catcher and spotter. Only visually impaired players can make a play on a batted ball. The pitcher and catcher cannot.

To compete in tournaments, a player must produce documentation of his or her vision impairment. To level the playing field, all players wear blindfolds.

The pitcher's mound is 20 feet away from home plate. A batted ball must travel 40 feet to be considered a fair ball. There are two bases, first and third, 100 feet away from home plate. The bases are soft, foam pylons, which look like football tackling dummies.

A run is scored if a batter reaches a base before a fielder possesses the ball. A batted ball is not often caught by hand, but covered or trapped by a player after coming into contact with it.

On the release of every pitch, a base operator will throw a switch and one of the bases will make a loud, buzzing sound. That is the base the batter is required to run to. There is no pattern as to which base will buzz.

"I can tell people about the game in conversation, but you really don't get the feel for it unless you've experienced it and you've come to see it," said James Sciortino, of Franklin Square, the sighted pitcher for the Bombers. "Because I see a complete difference when people actually see the game. You can't help but be impressed with what these guys do on the field."

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