Whacky Baseball

Focus Skills: Fielding The Ball · Running Bases · Striking The Ball



quickrulesicon Quick Rules

The teacher sets up a large playing area that involves two large sets of bases that are aligned in a concentric circle formation (the number of bases per set should be equal to the size of each team you will create). The inner bases are used by the fielding team and the outer bases are used by the batting team. Four of the fielding team bases will be assigned as stop spots. One team is selected as the batting team while the other team will start off as the fielding team. The fielding team sets up with each member of the team standing on one of the fielding bases. The first player from the batting team steps up to home plate and attempt to strike a ball that is pitched to them by the next player in the batting order.  If a player fails to strike the ball within four attempts, they go to first base but no other batting team player moves. If the player strikes the ball, the immediately begin to run around the bases. They are trying to score a point by running around and touching each batting team base before returning to home plate. To prevent the batting team from scoring points, the fielding team must field the ball to a player on a stop spot base. Once the player at that base is in possession of the ball while touching their base, they yell STOP. When STOP is called, any batting team player who was running around the bases must return to the last base they touched. Once each player on the batting team has had a turn at bat, the teams switch roles.

buildicon Builds

Build One: Runners & Relayers The batting team gets into a line behind the catcher’s base. Each player on the fielding team places themselves on a fielding team base so that all of those bases are covered. The first player from the batting teams steps onto home plate and the catcher is given a ball. On the teacher’s signal, the batting player begins to run clockwise around the bases, making sure to touch each base. As soon as they do so, the fielding team attempts to relay the ball clockwise around the bases, starting from the catcher's base and moving backwards from there. The fielding team players need to be on their base before relaying the ball to the next base. The batting team player is attempting to make their way around their bases and back home before the fielding team relays the ball around their bases and back to the catcher’s base. If the batting team player gets their first, they earn a point for their team. If the ball gets their first, the fielding team earns a point. In between each turn, the fielding team players all have to switch bases. Once each player on the batting team has had a turn to run around the bases, the two teams switch roles. Build Two: Whacky Throwdown In build two, the batting team will select their batting order and then wait for their turn in their team’s dugout area (which is off to the side of the base circles). The teacher will then select three of the fielding team bases. Along with the catcher’s bases, these bases will be assigned as stop spots. The fielding team then sets themselves up on their team’s bases. The first player from the batting team steps up to home plate with the ball on their hand. They then throw the ball so that it lands within the bases. As soon as the batting team player throws do so, they begin to make their way around the bases. To stop the batting team’s run, the fielding team needs to field the ball to one of the stop spots. Once the player at the stop spot is in possession of the ball while on their base, they yell STOP and the batting team player has to return to the last base they touched. After each time STOP is called, the fielding team rotates clockwise and the next player from the batting team steps up to home plate and is given the ball. Once the next batting team player throws the ball into play, all batting team players on their bases begin running around the bases once more as the fielding teams works to get the ball to a stop spot. If ever a batting team player throws the ball outside of the base circles, it is considered a foul ball. In this case, the batting team player has to throw the ball again, but not before all batting team players return to the base they were at before the throw took place. Batting team players can have multiple players on the same base at any given time. If a batting team players makes it around the bases and touches home plate, they score a point for their team. Once each player on the batting team has had a turn throwing the ball, the two teams switch roles. Build Three: Whacky Baseball In build three, the teacher will create a foul line that is tangent to the base circles at the home plate. The class now continues to play with the same rules except that the batting team players must strike the ball with a bat in order to put the ball into play. The ball will be pitched to the batting player by the next player in their team’s batting order. For the ball to be considered in play, it must land beyond the foul line. Just as in the previous build, batting players attempt to score by making their way around the bases and fielding players attempt to prevent the other team from scoring by fielding the ball to one of the stop spots. Once each player on the batting team has had a turn throwing the ball, the two teams switch roles Build Four: Cross-Country Whacky Baseball In this final and very optional build, it is best to take the game outside. We’re going to decrease the amount of bases and increase the playing area so that it covers a huge space. All fielding team bases are now considered stop bases. The fielding team can decide who plays on base and who plays spread out in the very large field. The fun in this build is placing your bases in creative areas depending on where you are playing it. Batting team players now have much further to run to get to their next base, but also have a lot more open space to play with. Just as in the previous build, batting players attempt to score by making their way around the bases and fielding players attempt to prevent the other team from scoring by fielding the ball to one of the stop spots. Once each player on the batting team has had a turn throwing the ball, the two teams switch roles

tacticalicon 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.

questionsicon Discussion Questions

How do you decide where to throw/strike the ball when at bat? Why would you try to strike it there? When running, how can you increase your chances of getting around the bases as quickly as possible? How do you decide between using a long throw or a series of relayed short throws to get the ball to a stop spot? How do you decide where to stand when not assigned to a stop spot?  

safetyicon Safety Information

Have students drop (not throw) the bat after batting Allow students from the batting team to pass each other when running around the bases. Fielding team players should never get in a running player's way.

equipmenticon Equipment Requirements

Bases (two sets) Pinnies Cones Striking Implement (e.g. Bat, Racquet) Dense Foam Ball
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