NBBA Newsletter

Table of Contents

·        Newsworthy Items

·        2003 Pre-General Assembly Board Meeting

·        2003 General Assembly Minutes

·        2003 WS Friday Board Meeting Minutes

·        2003 Fall Board Meeting Minutes

·        Necessary Forms for the 2004 Season


Newsworthy Items


·        Team NBBA registration ($25) is due by March 1st  in order to register your team name to be able to participate in the World Series. (See form included in the Newsletter.)  Initial team rosters are due by June 1st with a $10/member fee.  Final Rosters are due by July 1st ($15/member fee) in order to be able to participate in the World Series. Don’t forget to include the Certification letters for new players no later than with your final team roster.  


·        Letters verifying visual impairment will be required for all NEW athletes participating in the 2004 World Series. 


·        The dates for the 2004 World Series are August 1st – August 7th. The meetings will be held on Tuesday, August 3rd.  Games will begin on Wednesday, August 4th, and continue thru Friday, August 6th.  The Championship games will be held Saturday, August 7th. The tournament will be held in Columbus, OH. The hotel is the Holiday Inn on the Lane. 


·        2004 Regional Tournaments –

June                             Topeka, KS  (contact John Parker)

June                              Chicago, IL  (contact Dave Smolka)

June                              Midwest City, OK

NOTE:                           Next Viper Classic will be in 2005!


·        Nominations – There are 9 Board positions up for election in 2004. They are:  President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary, Kevin Barrett, Seth Clark, Stephen Guerra, Sam McKinzie and Wilbert Turner.  Kevin Barrett may only be elected to an Executive office position. Please submit your nominations (remember the person must be willing to run) to Kevin Barrett at (216) 671-8647 or Kevin.barrett@dfas.mil.


·         For the most current info, visit the NBBA website:  www.nbba.org 


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Pre-General Assembly NBBA Board Meeting




Present:  Joe Wood, Seth Clark, Neal McDonald, Dave Smolka, Jan Traphagan, Kevin Sibson, Kevin Barrett, Lenny Williams, Wilbert Turner, Tim Hibner, Stephen Guerra, John Lykowski, Jim Wolfe, Michael Garrett, Roy Trujillo, Kari Biesendorfer, Doc Bradley, Jeana Weigand, Ken Bailey –Interim Head Umpire 2003 WS.

Guests:  Ron Barton – 2003 WS Coordinator, Terri Smolka, Nancy Burgess and Doug Hall – Florida Sand Spurs, Clint Woodard- Chicago Bluffs, Lois Zimmer and Chris Parsons – Red Lion Hotel Representatives. 


Call to order.


Secretary’s report: Motion by Lenny Williams to accept as presented in Newsletter, 2nd Joe Wood, approved.

Tournament Hotel:  Lois and Chris provided pertinent information regarding relief areas and WS and hotel shuttle services available.

Treasurer’s report and Endowment report:  Motion by Stephen Guerra to accept as read, 2nd Neal McDonald, approved.

Tournament report:  No 2005 bids yet.  Kevin Sibson addressed issues regarding fields, game times and public information postings.

Issue brought up at this time regarding minors pitching in the NBBA and the liability and dangers involved.  Motion made by Seth Clark to check on the NBBA providing a waiver to be used for minors pitching in NBBA events.  2nd by Neal McDonald.  Discussion.  Seth withdrew the motion.  Jeana Weigand motion to re-address the issue either Friday night at Board meeting OR in November.2nd Stephen Guerra, approved.

Issue #2:  Chicago Bluffs picked up a player from the Indy Thunder (who dropped out of the WS due to injuries).  The Indy team had not provided a release form for this player at this time.  Will the NBBA allow the Bluffs to use this player since they brought him to Denver in good faith?  Wilber Turner motioned to allow the individual to play since both the player and the team were registered with the NBBA for the World Series, but the team backed out.  2nd Lenny Williams, motion passed.

Nominating:  4 nominations will be presented at General Assembly for the 5 available Board positions.  Reminder that only 3 sighted positions are available this year.

Rules:  3 rules will be presented to General Assembly.

By-Laws:  4 submissions for changes will be presented to General Assembly.

Motion to adjourn.


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General Assembly Minutes


2003 World Series Denver, Colorado

July 29, 2003


Call to order.


Secretary’s report:  Motion to accept as presented in newsletter by Jim Wolfe.  2nd Lenny Williams, approved.

Public Relations Committee Report (Dave Smolka chair):  Welcomed Florida Sand Spurs.  Described the NBBA “welcome packet” for future distribution to new teams.  Working on establishing beep baseball with groups in Puerto Rico, Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom (England).  Discussed his trip to the Carolinas League to attempt a merger of them with the NBBA.  Chances are not looking good at this time.  Letters have been written about beep baseball to 52 state schools for the blind.  A guideline “Lions” letter is being worked on to send to each team to help gain funding from that organization.  Also working on a “generic” informational brochure and a video for teams to use for fundraising and information purposes. 


Treasurer’s report  and Endowment report (John Lykowski):  Read as follows later in newsletter.  Motion to accept each as read, 2nd, approved.


Tournament Committee Report (Kevin Sibson):  No host city has bid for 2005 at this time.  2004 host city is Columbus, OH with dates set of August 1-7, 2004.


Rules Committee Report (Jim Wolfe):  Request for new ball rule  Proposed rule read.  Discussion.  Motion to accept the new rule, as read, by Lenny Williams, 2nd Steve Plouck, passed.

Change of wording “catcher to umpire” as should have been originally written  Proposed change for rule read.  Discussion.  Motion to accept the change, 2nd, passed.

Change ready, set, pitch in pitchers cadence.  Proposed change/new rule read.    Discussion.  Motion to accept, 2nd, passed.

***NOTE:  these rule changes will go into effect in 2004. 


By-Laws Committee Report (Stephen Guerra):  Substance abuse clause change.   Proposed clause read. Discussion, motion to accept, 2nd, passed.

Change number (#)  of At Bats (AB)  and games played for stats purposes.  Proposed change read.  Discussion, motion to accept, 2nd, passed.

Increase of dues from $5 to $10.   Proposed change read.  Discussion, motion to accept, 2nd, passed.


Nominating Committee Report (Kevin Barrett):  From committee:  Terri Smolka, Bobby Lakey, Roy Trujillo, Neal McDonald.  Open to floor.  John Parker (Kansas All-Stars) nominated, 2nd, nomination declined.  John T. Herzog (Chicago Comets) nominated, 2nd, nomination declined.  Jeff Dell (Cleveland Scrappers) nominated, 2nd, nomination accepted.  Dan Kelley (Columbus Vipers) nominated, 2nd, nomination accepted.  Motion for nominations to close, 2nd, passed.

Vote results (new or re-elected board members):  Terri Smolka (Chicago Comets), Jeff Dell (Cleveland Scrappers), Roy Trujillo (TeleCom Pioneer Denver, CO), Dan Kelley (Columbus Vipers), Neal McDonald (West Coast Dawgs).

Old Business:

Revisit allowing Regional Tournaments to pay money to the NBBA to have their tournament be a sanctioned NBBA tournament.  Motion to charge a $10 fee per tournament for this purpose, 2nd.  Discussion regarding umpires and training…can this be done?  Yes.  Will NBBA membership be a requirement to play in an NBBA sanctioned regional tournament?  Current NBBA members or new NBBA members can play in these tournaments.  The June 1st roster will help accommodate this.  Motion to charge $10 per tournament to allow a regional to be a sanctioned NBBA tournament  passed.


New Business:

A NBBA member and US Blind Golfer brought up the idea for the NBBA to check on the possibility of applying for a Lions Club International Fund Grant.  This issue will be assigned to a few board members who will work on this project.


Opening Ceremonies for the 2003 World Series were discussed. 


Motion to adjourn, 2nd, passed. 


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2003 WS Friday Board Meeting Minutes




Present:  Michael Garrett, John Lykowski, Terri Smolka, Dave Smolka, Joe Wood, Kevin Sibson, Jim Wolfe, Seth Clark, Tim Hibner, Neal McDonald, Roy Trujillo, Kevin Barrett, Jeff Dell, Dan Kelley, Wilbert Turner, Jeana Weigand, Doc Bradley, Ken Bailey


Guests:  Ron Barton, Yvonne Barton, Lenny Williams


Call to order.


Welcome new members.

No Secretary’s, Treasurer’s or Endowment report.

Tournament Committee: 

Discussion of what to do with the NBBA equipment.  Motion to have Jim Wolfe rent a U-Haul to take the equipment (bases, home plates, 18 tarps and all electronics) to Kansas to store in his temperature controlled barn.  2nd, discussion, passed.

Information regarding deceased current or former NBBA members is to be sent to DAN GREENE from this time forward. 

Roy Trujillo mentioned special thanks to Qwest for all their support and efforts.  Discussion followed over appropriate and inappropriate behavior when dealing with sponsors for the World Series.  We must respect our sponsors and set aside personal agendas.

Balls and Equipment:  Discussion of the shortage of bases due to the current demand for them.   Motion by Roy that any allotment for equipment should be left to the discretion of the NBBA “Ball and Equipment Committee” (amended from “treasurer”). 2nd by Stephen Guerra, passed.

Cost for the bases is $315 per set PLUS shipping.  Please contact Jim Wolfe prior to sending any money so he can confirm a total amount due WITH shipping.  Make checks payable to NBBA.

Balls – Roy thanked everyone for all the cooperation with the switch since Merrimack Valley shut down.  1100 balls were manufactured. 

Fee is $16 per ball for chamber replacement on used balls.

Free matter shipping for balls has been “revoked” so balls will now require a shipping charge.

Membership:  Discussed number of teams registered with the NBBA vs. the number attending the World Series.  Discussed the Awards Banquet and the abuse seen with its attendance.  Fear this will prohibit future bids for host cities.  Wilbert Turner motioned to have Doc appoint a committee to review the banquet procedures and form a solution to this problem.  2nd Joe Wood, approved.  Per Doc, committee to consist of NBBA Secretary and the WS Coordinator from the last 3 World Series host cities:  Cleveland, Chicago, and Denver.  Presentation to be made at November board meeting.

Hall of Fame:  Nothing new at this time.  Jim Quinn Award is ready for the banquet.  Ron Whaley will present the award. 

Projects:  March board meeting assignment regarding the NBBA scholarship criteria for applying and the application itself ready.  Passed out in print and Braille copies.  Requested Board to review and provide feedback to we can have an immediate vote in November.  Question was raised so they will check into any IRS requirements for officially sponsoring a scholarship.

PR:  Working on committee to apply for the Lions International F>C> grant.  Currently on the committee:  Dave and Terri Smolka, Kevin Barrett, and Jeff Dell.  Report will be made in November on their progress.  Side note:  The new International Lions President is blind.

Discussion of the NBBA supplying an embroidered patch, like that in Major League Baseball, for teams to wear on their uniforms.  Motion by Jim Wolfe for the NBBA to due this and make the patches available to teams who wish to wear them, 2nd, passed.

Passed out brochure “NBBA INFO” and requested feedback.

Old Business:  Taiwan’s absence from the 2003 World Series.  Secretary to write letter encouraging their return to World Series competition…we missed them!

New Business:  NBBA head umpire shirts – Motion by Stephen Guerra to leave the accountability for the NBBA owned head umpire shirts in the hands of John Lykowski, 2nd, approved. 

Doc, as President, authorized, within his power, the purchase for nine (9) additional “tarps” for the NBBA (they are to be included in the equipment) and a printer/cables/ink for World Series stats and information.  Money to pay for these items will come from the Tournament fund.

Fall Board Meeting:  Bid placed by Stephen Guerra for Phoenix, AZ for November 7-8-9, 2003.  Room rate promised of $69/night and a meeting room will be available Friday night and through the day Saturday with a lunch fee of $15/person.  Motion to accept the bid by Dave Smolka, 2nd Neal McDonald, passed.

Seth Clark brought up the issue of the NBBA changing its definition of a “dead ball”.  Discussion.  Tabled until the November meeting…address the issue with the Rules Committee.

Motion to print and mail the next NBBA newsletter by Jim Wolfe, 2nd Neal McDonald, passed.

Website assistance…information for those participating was presented.

Discussion of inappropriate behavior of NBBA members or their family members in hotel, especially those who are underage.  Doc to discuss the issue with those involved.

Motion to adjourn. PASSED!  


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2003 Fall Board Meeting


Phoenix, AZ

November 8, 2003


Call to order.


Roll taken.

          Present:  Ed Bradley, Joe Wood, Kevin Sibson, David Smolka, Jeana Weigand,

          Kevin Barrett, Stephen Guerra, Michael Garrett, Tim Hibner, Dan Kelley, Terri                Smolka, Roy Trujillo, Wilbert Turner, Jeff Dell, Jim Wolfe, Kari Biesendorfer.

          Absent:  John Lykowski, Seth Clark, Neal McDonald, and Sam McKinzie.

          Guests:  Cora McKiernan

Secretary’s Report: World Series Tuesday morning minutes were read.  Motion to accept as read, 2nd, approved.

World Series Friday night minutes were read.  Motion to accept with corrections, 2nd, approved.

Treasurer’s report read.  Motion to accept with questions regarding reimbursement to umpire, 2nd, approved.

Endowment fund report read.  Motion to accept as read, 2nd, approved.

NBBA Budget for 2004 read.  Motion to accept as read, 2nd, approved.

Motion to continue with the World Series raffle drawing, 2nd, approved.



2003 Final report read.  Ron Barton made requests to the NBBA that portions of the excess funds raised by the Denver committee using the NBBA’s 501©(3) status be returned.  Discussion.  Motion to make no reimbursement to Denver, but to waive the World Series Entry Fee for the 2004 World Series for the Rocky Mountain Eagle team, 2nd, motion did not pass.  Motion to make no reimbursement to Denver and put the excess funds in the NBBA Tournament Fund to assist future host cities if needed, 2nd, passed.


RECESS for lunch.


2004:  Columbus, OH report read.

2005:  Still no bid yet.

Motion by the Tournament Committee for the NBBA to pay for all awards presented at the NBBA World Series, 2nd, passed.  Doc appointed a committee, consisting of Wilbert Turner, Kevin Sibson and Terri Smolka, to prepare guidelines for award requirements and present them at the 2004 Spring Board Meeting.


PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE:  Lions Club International Fund grant proposal is approximately half finished.  Kevin Barrett, Jeff Dell and Terri Smolka are also working on the project.  Questionnaires are being sent to team contacts to obtain extent of local Lions Club support.

The PR committee will be following up with the state schools for the blind in an attempt to get beepball programs initiated in the schools.

A new team from Arlington, VA has expressed interest in the NBBA.

Attempts are being made to have Hal McCoy, a blind sports writer for a Dayton, OH newspaper who follows the Cincinnati Reds, provide some coverage for the 2004 World Series.

A beepball video/DVD for informational and fundraising purposes, approximately 10 minutes in length, is almost complete and will be made available to teams when ready.

Motion to accept the PR report as read, 2nd, passed.


EQUIPMENT:  Bases:  5 sets remain (with covers and foam) with 1 set of electronics.  These are all spoken for and the NBBA has orders for approximately 7 additional sets.  Jim Wolfe will make contact with the “additional orders” and give them a time frame for when their orders will be filled.  He will order 20 covers, to be billed to the NBBA with previous permission, but will order the foam on an as needed basis.


PROJECTS:  The NBBA scholarship is being tabled until the March meeting as we file a schedule H 1023 with the IRS to allow the NBBA to provide scholarships.


HALL OF FAME:  Working on acquiring team info and info on players. 

Cora McKiernan has some balls signed by MLB players that she will donate to the Hall of Fame.

Wilbert Turner mentioned attempting to maintain an exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  Stephen Guerra will work with Kevin Barrett on contacting PR in Cooperstown, along with Jan Traphagan, to see what is available, what the NBBA can do and the cost. 

Kevin Barrett specifically asked to have all score sheets and stats from World Series and regional tourneys sent to him for Hall of Fame use.


MEMBERSHIP:  274 members in the NBBA at this time. 

Per the Friday night WS Board Meeting assignment, the “banquet committee” moves that the NBBA make a banquet policy as follows:  SEE BANQUET POLICY IN HANDBOOK FOR BEGINNING if the host city hosts an awards banquet free to NBBA members, this shall include up to 15 (fifteen) PLAYERS, listed on the July 1st final roster, and up to 5 (five) core volunteers (pitchers, catchers, spotters, coach or manager).  Any additional players, volunteers or family members may attend but must PAY PRIOR to the final count given to the facility hosting the banquet. 2nd, passed.  NOTE:  This does not mean you can substitute volunteers or family members if you do not have 15 players or 5 core volunteers.

Motion by Tim Hibner for the “banquet committee” to determine/define “key personnel” (i.e. umpires, etc.) who will also have banquet fees covered.  2nd, approved.


RULES:  Nothing at this time.


BY-LAWS:  Reviewing Article I of the By-Laws so they will match the NBBA Articles of Incorporation.  Working on a “NBBA Policies Handbook”.  Goal of providing a complete copy of the NBBA By-Laws on our website by the 2004 General Assembly.


NOMINATING:  Term of the entire Executive Board expires in 2004:  President, 1st & 2nd Vice-Presidents, and Secretary.  Board members with expiring terms:  Sam McKinzie, Seth Clark, Stephen Guerra, Wilbert Turner and Kevin Barrett.  Kevin Barrett may only be re-elected if he is nominated for the Executive Board.


PIONEERS:  Pioneer meetings will now be held the first part of each year beginning in 2005.  Organization is now recognized as 501©(3).  They have taken over the funding and distribution of the NBBA Sportsmanship Award.  Georgia Pioneers are requesting assistance with setting up a ball production and distribution facility.  Calls are already coming in asking about how they can support the 2004 World Series.


BALLS:  Production of approximately 1100 this year.  Have received little, if any, complaints.  Please do not send checks for ball orders to Merrimack Valley. 

Discussion of pay back of loan from the NBBA ($10,000 to purchase 5000 batteries).  Would like a written record of the loan for facility records.  Addressed the issue of needing to keep re-applying for this loan since the balls are sold at no profit.  There is no possibility at this time for an in-kind donation of batteries.  Due to this lack of profit, the Denver beepball production facility cannot establish an operating supply capital without increasing the cost of the ball.  So, EFFECTIVE 11/7/2003, the cost of the balls increased to $30 plus S&H.  Replacement chambers for dead balls are now $21 plus S&H.  Roy hopes that once capital is established and he pays back the NBBA loan the facility will be able to decrease the cost of the balls.



NBBA patches for team uniforms.  Discussion of the design.  3 styles shown.  PR committee motioned for the red, white and blue 3.5-inch circular patch with a picture of a beepbaseball and the letters NBBA in print and Braille in the center be the official patch of the NBBA. 2nd, approved. 

PR committee motioned that “the 3.5 inch patch be sewn on sleeve of the uniform; regular and affiliated team members of the NBBA MUST wear the patch at all NBBA events.  Any regular or affiliated team member NOT complying with the above will be required to purchase the patch at a fee of $5 prior to the start of the first game of any tournament or shall forfeit their right to participate in any NBBA event, including the World Series, until the patch is visibly shown on the sleeve of their uniform.  Only one patch will be distributed to each regular and affiliated team member.  The initial cost of the member patches will be deducted from membership dues. 

Additional patches will be available for a fee of $2, which will be used for future purchases.  The patch shall be supervised under the direction of the Secretary of the NBBA.Wearing the patch promotes the NBBA organization.  The patch shows outside parties that this is a creditable organization.”

Discussion.  Amendment:  “A 1 year grace period will be allowed for the 2004 WS.  By 2005, all teams will be required.”  Amendment 2nd, amendment passed.

Full motion WITH the amendment defeated.

Kevin Barrett moved that beginning with the 2004 March 1st team registration, each team would be sent 20 patches to the team contact to be worn in the 2004 World Series, with a 2005 World Series final requirement for wear.  Penalty for not wearing patch from 2005 forward will be that team being ineligible for the NBBA sportsmanship award.  2nd, passed. 

Kevin Barrett also moved that additional patches would be available for $2 at future tournaments with the proceeds going to the General Fund.  2nd, passed.


NEW BUSINESS:  Wilbert Turner moved that the World Series brackets seed both the top and bottom ranking teams in proportion to the number of brackets used in each WS.2nd, passed.


Head Umpire…Dan Tracy resigned due to health reasons.  Doc appoints Ken Bailey to fulfill the term, approved.

Jeana Weigand moved to leave the Head umpire an appointed position, but to not require the head umpire to be a board member.  He will be required to be on the Rules Committee and attend WS Tournament Committee and Board meetings, 2nd Tim Hibner.

Discussion.  Doc turned meeting over to Kevin Sibson so he could address the issue. 

Decided to table the motion until the March Board meeting. Meeting turned back over to Doc.


GameFace® provided the NBBA with a piece of protective face equipment to see if the Board would promote it and include it on our website for NBBA use.  Due to several concerns regarding not only the straps covering ears and its potential to interfere with our blindfolds, but also the safety of the mask when used with a heavier ball than previously tested, the board chose to not endorse the product at this time.


Motion for the Board to reprimand the behavior of a coach who verbally released a player to another team for 2003 WS play, but then did not follow up with the written notice to the NBBA.  No 2nd. 


Motion by Jeana Weigand to have the WS Friday evening Board meeting begin at 8pm and have a 90-minute time limit.  Only issues not able to wait until the Fall meeting are to be discussed. 2nd, passed.


Motion to reimburse traveling board members, 2nd, passed.


Motion to have the Spring Board meeting in Columbus, OH on March 5-7, 2004.  2nd, passed.  Hotel is the Holiday Inn on the Lane. 


Motion by Jeff Dell to have player/team biographies (forms available) from teams sent to Jeff Dell, 2nd, passed.


Motion by Jeff Dell to have the $10 sanctioning fee for regional events given to the Rules Committee and have them provide “cliff notes” for officials to be used at games, 2nd, passed.


Discussion of transferring money to the John Ross Endowment Fund from the Tournament Fund.  Tabled until the Spring meeting.

Jeff Dell motioned to host a canned food drive with proceeds to benefit a food bank in the host city of the WS.  Each member to provide 2 cans or $1 donation.  2nd, passed.


Motion to adjourn.


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Necessary Forms for the 2004 Season


·        Newsletter Request Form

·        ADOPT-A-BALL for the 2004 World Series

·        NBBA Team Registration Form **Due March**

·        NBBA Team Roster Registration Form **Due June**

·        NBBA World Series Roster Billing Form **Due June**

·        John Ross Endowment Fund Pledge Card

·        Hall of Fame Nomination Form

·        Plate Umpire Evaluation Form



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