SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – Mindseye, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting inclusivity and empowering individuals with visual impairments, is proud to announce the upcoming Battle for Illinois Beepball game, presented by Ameren Illinois, featuring the Gateway Archers and Chicago Comets. The rivalry game will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the University of Illinois Springfield REC Park, located at 2100 Vachel Lindsay Drive. The event will include an exhibition game starting at 10 a.m. As part of Mindseye’s ongoing commitment to creating inclusive opportunities, the Battle for Illinois Beepball game aims to raise awareness of adaptive sports and additional services available for individuals with visual impairments. 

Beepball, also known as Beep Baseball, is a form of baseball designed for visually impaired individuals. It is played with a modified beeping ball and bases that emit a sound to assist the players. While beepball is designed for individuals who are blind or partially sighted, people of all visual abilities can play since each athlete is blindfolded except for the sighted pitcher and outfield spotters.

The sport began over 40 years ago and has grown exponentially over the last decade due to the need for more inclusive sports. MindsEye’s competitive team, the Gateway Archers, was founded in 2020 and has seen tremendous success in tournaments held locally, regionally and at the national level through the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA). The team will serve as the host for the upcoming Beepball World Series in July. The team’s roster has players spanning from across the St. Louis and metro-east region as well as Central Illinois with the recent expansion of MindsEye’s services to the area.

“I hope this game will develop a passion for beep baseball in others, like me, who may not have known about beep baseball before,” said Gateway Archer Nathan Lawson. “I hope it shows the excitement and camaraderie that comes with playing the game, encouraging more individuals to join teams and participate in tournaments. Ultimately, I hope the Battle for Illinois games helps elevate beep baseball to a wider audience, gaining recognition and support as a competitive and inclusive sport.”

The Battle for Illinois Beepball game will showcase the incredible athleticism and determination of the players while highlighting a longstanding rivalry between Chicago and St. Louis. The two teams will compete against each other, demonstrating their skills, teamwork, and resilience.

For Chicago Comets’ player Dustin Youngren this is a rivalry similar to the St. Louis Cardinals and his beloved Chicago White Sox. “I know quite a few of the Gateway Archers and I respect every single player, but on that field, it doesn’t matter if we are friends or foes. When we’re on the field, it’s all or nothing.”

The Battle for Illinois Beepball game is open to the public, and Mindseye encourages individuals of all ages and abilities to attend and support the participating teams. Spectators can expect a unique atmosphere as players use their auditory senses and tactile skills to track the ball and make impressive plays.

Through the game, Mindseye aims to shine a light on the services available in Central Illinois such as the Illinois Radio Reader program. The service aims to empower individuals who are blind or have low vision by providing them with access to newspapers, magazines, books, and other printed materials through an audio broadcast.

“We intend for the Battle For Illinois game to bring awareness to the visually impaired community on and off the field. The Radio Reader program provides individuals the opportunity to live independently and stay connected to their community through the news,” said MindsEye Board Member and Springfield resident, Aren Dow.

The service is a free and convenient way for visually impaired individuals in Central Illinois to stay informed. With the help of dedicated volunteers, Mindseye reads aloud content from various sources allowing listeners to stay up-to-date on news, entertainment, and other informative content.

Listeners can access the radio reading service either through a dedicated Mindseye radio, available for loan, or by streaming the broadcast online through the Mindseye website. The service operates 24/7, providing listeners with a wide range of programming.

Battle for Illinois is graciously supported by Ameren Illinois and Raising Canes. For more information about Mindseye, beep baseball, or the radio reading service, please visit www.mindseyeradio.org.


About MindsEye
The nonprofit MindsEye strives to build a more inclusive community by translating vision into audio for individuals who are blind or have low vision. The Broadcast Information Program provides listeners access to long-form journalism and local news. The Audio Description Program enables every person who attends a theatre production or museum exhibit the chance to enjoy a rewarding experience. The Adaptive Athletics Program raises awareness and provides educational and competitive opportunities for athletes who are blind or partially sighted. For more information, visit MindsEyeRadio.org.

About the Gateway Archers

MindsEye founded the Gateway Archers in 2020. The team of 12 is comprised chiefly of home-grown players from across St. Louis and the Metro East. They are a nationally competitive team participating in the Beep Baseball World Series hosted by the National Beep Baseball Association. This year’s World Series will be held in St. Charles, Missouri from July 21-28.

Media Contact: Jason Frazier – President and CEO, jfrazier@mindseyeradio.org | 618-394-6447

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