Multi-Ball Baseball

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise sending balls while attempting to score runs and fielding balls to prevent an opponent from scoring runs.

  • Intermediate (Ages 13-15)
  • Senior (Ages 16-18)

Facility

  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 6 balls of various sizes (e.g., tennis, utility balls, foam)
  • 1 bucket
  • 4 bases

Safety

Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe traction. Clearly outline the boundaries for the activity and set a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Remind students to be cautious when moving and to be aware of the personal space of others.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into four equal groups. Two groups play in each game.
  • For each game, participants set up four bases in a diamond shape and place the bucket where the pitcher normally stands.
  • One group begins as the “batting” group while the other group begins in the field.
  • Participants establish a batting order.

Activity Instructions

  • The batter throws six balls at the same time into the field.
  • The fielding group works together to retrieve the six balls as quickly as possible and place them into the bucket.
  • The batter tries to run as many bases as possible before all six balls are placed into the bucket.
  • The batter can choose to stop at any base and continue to run from that base when the next batter throws the balls into the field.
  • Batters are out if they are in between bases when all six balls are in the bucket, and the batting group will receive no points from that runner. If the fielding group gets a batter out, they receive one point.
  • When a batter returns home safely, he or she receives one point for their group.
  • All participants on the batting group have a chance at bat before the batting group switches positions with the fielding group.
  • At the end of the inning, total the number of runs scored. Groups try to beat their score from the previous inning.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity.
Multi-Ball Baseball

Adaptations

To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Decrease the distance between the bases.
  • Remain in the game if all the balls are returned to the bucket and the batter is between two bases.
  • Choose the type of object they want to send (e.g., rubber chicken, soft-skinned ball).
  • Increase the number of buckets in the field.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Increase the distance between the bases.
  • Use an implement to send the ball (e.g., hockey stick, tennis racquet).
  • Pass the ball to every person in their group before returning the balls to the bucket when fielding.
  • Use an implement (e.g., an upside down pylon, bucket) to catch the ball when fielding.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies to help participants send and catch balls. Note that this list is not an exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Manipulation skills and effort awareness: applying a controlled force to send objects into a designated area; applying manipulation skills to successfully catch/field the ball (e.g., as a batter, sending the balls to different locations on the field to make it challenging for the fielders to return the balls; as a fielder, being in a ready position with your arms out ready to catch a ball)

Movement Strategies

  • Applying appropriate skills to be proficient at sending objects using the hand to score a run (e.g., using an overhand throw to send the ball far)
  • Understanding and developing tactics to quickly field the balls in order to prevent the opponent from scoring runs (e.g., working as a group to pass the ball from one person to the next when catching long balls)

Living Skills

Interpersonal Skills

  • Working collaboratively as a group to cover the playing area when fielding the ball
  • Using communication skills with other participants to achieve a common goal (e.g., as fielders, communicating with each other if you are going to catch a ball)

Critical & Creative Thinking Skills

  • Applying manipulation skills and strategies to decide how and where to send the balls into a designated space to score a run (e.g., use speed and good decision-making skills to decide when to run quickly between bases to avoid getting out)
  • Applying locomotion skills and strategies to be in the optimal position to field the balls