Wichita Falcons Beep Baseball Team Makes Its Debut In Wichita

June 19, 2017
Wichita, Kan. –Envision is proud to announce the formation of the new Wichita Falcons beep baseball team, an official member of the 34-team National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA). Supported by Envision, the team will kick off its fundraising campaign to raise money for uniforms, equipment and other expenses with a yard sale from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 24 outside of Envision Industries, 2301 S. Water. The yard sale will also be an opportunity for the public to learn more about joining the team or becoming a sponsor. The team’s goal is to get the Wichita community behind it in its efforts to make the sport of baseball accessible to everyone.
 
“People who have lost their eyesight can be just as athletic and competitive as anyone else,” said team organizer and Envision employee Arlene Owens, who is visually impaired herself. “We want people who are blind or visually impaired in the Wichita area to have the chance to play in organized sports and to know they are welcome on the Wichita Falcons team. We also encourage the Wichita business community to learn what we are about by joining us for scrimmages.”
 
According to the American Foundation for the Blind, beep baseball is an adapted form of the traditional sport. It consists of a ball that is larger than a softball that beeps consistently so players are able to hit it when pitched as well as find it in the field. There are two bases rigged with a buzzing sound that is triggered when the ball is hit, so the runner knows which way to go. While the majority of positions are reserved for individuals with vision loss, people who are typically sighted are needed as spotters, catchers and pitchers. During scrimmages or games, anyone other than the pitcher and catcher who is typically sighted wears a blindfold.
 
The City of Wichita Park and Recreation Department has donated use of its soccer fields at Orchard Park for Wichita Falcons practices and scrimmages. The Wichita Falcons intend to begin competitive play next year against teams in other cities and make a trip to the NBBA World Series. Travel will be a necessity since the closest NBBA teams are in Denver and St. Louis.
 
The Wichita Falcons is part of the not-for-profit Wichita Association of Blind Athletes that Owens hopes will expand to include more team sports. For more information about the Wichita Falcons, contact Owens by email at falcons@nbba.org. Team updates will be available on the Envision Facebook page, facebook.com/helpenvision.
 
About Envision: Envision promotes advocacy and independence for those who are blind or low vision. Founded in 1933, Envision is one of the largest employers of individuals with vision loss in the nation. Headquartered in Wichita, Kan., Envision’s mission is to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration for the blind and visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education and research. For more information, visit www.envisionus.com.
 

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