Race to the BasesFocus Skills: Fielding The Ball · Running Bases · Striking The Ball
Race To The Base is a simple striking and fielding game that is perfect for introducing striking to your students as well as for helping students develop an understanding of fielding tactics.
This game is part of the Striking & Fielding Games Teacher Pack which you can learn more about here. (COMING SOON!)
The teacher divides the class into teams of four students. Each player on a team is assigned a number from 1 to 4. The teacher then sets up a playing area for each team that consists of a batting tee and a large cone that are placed 20’ apart. The batting tee will be called the “batting base” and the cone will be called the “running base”
To start the game, Player One steps up to the tee and bats a ball off of it. As soon as they do so, they begin to run back and forth between the tee and the cone. Each time they get to a base, they score a point for themselves (e.g. if a player makes it to the running base and back, they earn 2 points).
The batting player continues to run until the other players (the fielding players) on the team successfully touch the running base with the ball. The ball must be held as they do so, which means it cannot just be thrown to hit the cone. Once a fielding player successfully touches the running base with the ball, the running players turn is done. Player Two then gets a turn at bat and Player One joins the rest of the team as a fielding player.
The round continues until each player on the team has had a turn to bat and run. In between each round, the players discuss tactics that they can use to a) increase the amount of points they score when running and b) stop the running player from scoring a lot of points.
At any point, if you would like to have students work on striking a pitched ball, you can have the next player in the batting order pitch the ball to the batting player.
Build One: Batting Practice
Player One starts at bat and strikes the ball into the playing area. The other players on the team (the fielding players) have to field the ball and attempt to get it back to the tee as quickly as possible. This process is repeated two more times and then the next player (Player Two) goes to bat and Player One joins the fielding team.
Build Two: Race To The Bases
Students now play the full game of Race To The Bases. As a modification, batting players can have the next player in the batting order pitch the ball using an underhand or overhand throw (e.g. if Player Three is at bat, Player Four can pitch). If the batting player chooses this option, they have four attempts to strike the pitched ball. Also, you can add a rule that when the ball is caught out of the fire, play is automatically dead. This encourages fielding players to reflect on their positioning in the field!
Build Three: Babe Ruth
The teacher will now place three spots in the playing area: a red spot, a blue spot, and a yellow spot. The fielding players must now set up with one player at the running base and the two other players standing on two of the three spots. The batting player must attempt to strike the ball in the direction of the open spot.
Once the batting player has struck the ball, the fielding players may leave their positions to field the ball to the running base.
After their turn, the batting player uses the “Striking To An Open Space” to note whether or not the successfully struck the ball in the direction of the open spot.
Players then rotate positions as with the earlier builds.
Grade Level Outcomes
Strikes a pitched ball with an implement with force in a variety of practice tasks.
Identifies the correct defensive play based on the situation (e.g., the number of outs).
Identifies open spaces and attempts to strike object into that space.
How do you give yourself more time to run between the bases?
How do you reduce the batting player’s opportunity to score points?
How do you place the ball you hit when at bat?
Playing areas should be spread far enough apart so as to avoid any overlapping play.
Students should be instructed to drop their bat following their swing (not throw it as they swing).
Pitching players (if used) should be at least 15’ away from the batting player.
The game should be played with equipment that is developmentally appropriate for the students (e.g. dense foam baseballs)
Dense Foam Baseballs
Baseball Gloves (optional)