Games - Baseball

STRIKING/FIELDING ACTIVITES

Baseball with Variations

There are many variations on the theme of baseball. Usually, the activity level of these types of games is not high, therefore modifications can be made to address this. In addition, many students dislike these types of games because their hand-eye coordination is not as developed as that of other students. These activities are designed to address this issue as well.

A variety of assessment methods may be used with baseball. As opposed to skill development (e.g. throwing and catching), I use participation and effort as the major assessment opportunities. This is due in large part to the discrepancy in skill development among students at the high school level. The transferable skills of throwing and catching could be emphasized, however; depending on your objectives.

“Regular” Slow-pitch/Softball/Baseball

Use 4 x 4 foot mats as bases, foam bat and ball, full gym works best
Swing until you hit, ball is only foul if it hits wall behind batter (re-bat)
No lead offs, no steals, no sliding, 3 outs
Pitch to own team (underhand), if ball hits pitcher or pitcher interferes, batter re-bats
Home run over a certain line on outfield wall
Catches off ceiling or wall are “outs”
Umpire (teacher) makes calls, no arguments
Variation #1: no limit to number of runners on base, can pass other runners.
Variation #2: use an old volleyball, turn the game into soccer-baseball

“Throw, Run, Kick Baseball” (for lack of a better name!)

Use 4 x 4 mats, old volleyball
Opponent or teacher pitches, rolls the ball
First “batter” kicks ball, the WHOLE team runs, must stay in order
Fielding team lines up, ball is rolled between legs (or over-under)
Last person in line picks up ball and runs to front of line, teacher blows whistle, any runners off base are out, if any runners make it home; score one for each run home. After each “bat”, next person in line is up to bat.
3 outs (or some variation)
This game involves a lot of running, and I usually can get through 2-3 innings before students have had enough.

“Alaskan Baseball” or “Rounders”

Use cones or small bases, old volleyball
Teacher or own team pitches (rolls the ball)
Runner runs on outside of cones, and continues to run until he/she hears signal
Fielding team runs to where the ball lands, forms a line behind the person with the ball, moves ball under and over to the end, last person either runs to the front and yells “STOP” (or whistle), or the last person has to run to the teacher (pitcher) and hands the teacher the ball (STOP or whistle). Runs are scored for each complete round, or for each cone passed.
This game may require some policing, because the fielding team may set up the line across baselines, causing interference.
Everyone on the team kicks once, then teams switch.

“Bucketball”

One large garbage can (clean), one old volleyball, two large mats (one could be a crash mat)
Garbage can is placed behind home plate (can be placed in other locations). Only one other base – first base. Opponents or own team member pitch underhand lob. Ball is struck with closed fist or arm, runner runs to first and can remain there as long as is desired, even while other batters are running. No limit to number of runners at first or the order of running. All runners at first can run together. If a runner can make it home and still have time, he/she can run back to first, and continue. Each time a runner safely touches home, a run is scored (usually a high scoring game). Fielding team must throw ball into bucket to get runner out. Runner is out if he/she is off a base when the ball hits bottom of bucket. No “pop fly-outs”. Other variations to add: can throw ball at runner while he/she is between bases, hit below waist to get him/her out. If batter makes it to home and ball is sailing towards home for the bucket, the batter can re-hit and continue running. Runners cannot pause at home to wait before going back to first base. Use 3 outs.
If opponent is pitching, and batter misses the ball and ball lands in the bucket, the batter is out. Catcher cannot interfere.

“No-Team Baseball”

Players take up regular baseball positions (e.g. RF, CF, LF, SS, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, P, C), remaining players are batters. Same rules as baseball, with age and skill appropriate modifications possible. A bat and ball may be used, or soccer-baseball. If a batter gets out, they move to RF, and everyone rotates one position according to the order listed above. The catcher moves to the batting line. Successful batters remain at bat for the whole game, unless a maximum number of at-bats is imposed. Players can keep track of their own runs. Suggestion to forbid lead-offs, stealing or sliding, at least initially.

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