Parallel

Activity Overview

Batters learn about and practise striking a ball with an implement while working with another participant to score points. Fielders learn about and practise fielding a ball to prevent the batter from scoring points.

  • Junior (Ages 10-12)

Facility

  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 8 pylons
  • 2 batting tees
  • 2 bats (e.g., foam, plastic)
  • 2 balls (e.g., wiffle, foam, tennis ball)

Safety

Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Caution participants to be vigilant of moving opponents and thrown balls.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into pairs.
  • Participants set up 2 batting tees in the middle of the activity area. Each batter will be hitting the ball the same direction. Equally space out 4 pylons behind the each batter in parallel lines to one another.
  • Participants make sure there is enough space between the 2 batting tees for the batters to swing without hitting each other.
  • One pair of participants begins as the batting group.The other participants spread out around the designated activity area as fielders.

Activity Instructions

  • The pair of batters each hit the balls off their tees and away from the pylons at the same time.
  • Following the hit, each batter runs along their respective line of pylons to accumulate points. Each group determines their own scoring (e.g., each pylon is worth 1 point. If a batter reaches the last pylon, he or she turns around and runs back along the same line. 10 points If a batter makes it back to the batting tee).
  • Fielders collect the balls, and when they place the balls back on each of the batting tees, the batters stop.
  • The batters combine their scores for a collective group score. If a ball is caught in the air, the batting group subtracts 5 points from their score but the batter may still run.
  • After three turns at bat, the batting pair moves to the field, and another pair takes a turn at bat. This continues until all pairs have had a chance at bat.
  • Leaders ask open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: When striking the ball, how do you decide where you want send the ball to score runs? As the fielding group, describe how working together can help your group.

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 distances between the pylons that the batter has to run to.
  • Choose how they want to strike the ball (e.g., tennis racquet, arm/hand).
  • Choose the type of object they want to send (e.g., beach ball, soft-skinned ball).
  • Return the ball to the batting tee by rolling it into a designated area around the tee when fielding.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Increase the distances between the pylons that the batter has to run to.
  • Pass the ball to every fielding participant before returning it back to the tee when fielding.
  • Catch the ball using an implement (e.g., an upside down pylon, bucket) when fielding.
  • Change the ball for a smaller object (e.g., tennis ball).

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies to strike and field a ball. Note that this is not an exhaustive list, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Manipulation skills and effort awareness: Applying a controlled force to strike an object with an implement into a designated area; applying manipulation skills to successfully receive/field the ball (e.g., striking the ball with a strong force so that it goes far)

Movement Strategies

Understanding and developing tactics to quickly field the ball to prevent the batter from scoring points (e.g., working together as a group to position yourself accordingly to cover the space in the field)

Living Skills

Interpersonal Skills

  • Working collaboratively as a group to cover the playing area when fielding the ball and/or batting the ball.
  • Applying communication skills with other participants to achieve a common goal (e.g., communicating with your partner to develop a strategy to score the maximum number of points)

Critical & Creative Thinking Skills

  • Applying manipulation skills and strategies to decide how and where to send the ball into a designated space in order to score points (e.g., observing where the fielders are and making a decision on where to send the ball)
  • Applying manipulation skills and strategies to be in the optimal position to field the ball and return it back to the tee