Apple to Bucket
Participants learn about and practise striking an object with an implement into an open area. Participants learn about and practise fielding a ball to prevent points from being scored.
- Junior (Ages 10-12)
Materials and Equipment
- 1 bat per group
- 1 batting tee or large pylon per group
- 1 ball (e.g., tennis, foam, wiffle ball) per group
- Buckets for fielders (e.g., pail, upside-down pylon)
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. Provide a safe distance between activities.
- Divide participants into small groups (e.g., three to six).
- Each group divides into one “Tree” (batter) and two to five “Buckets” (fielders).
- Each group sets up a batting tee with a ball.
- The “Tree” hits its “Apple” (ball) off the batting tee and toward the “Buckets.”
- If a “Bucket” catches the “Apple” before it hits the ground, that “Bucket” is awarded 1 point.
- If the “Tree” succeeds in having its “Apple” hit the ground before a “Bucket” can catch it, the “Tree” is awarded 1 point.
- Once the “Buckets” have caught three “Apples,” the round is over, and one of the “Buckets” takes a turn as the “Tree.”
- This continues for as many rounds as there are participants. Once all rounds have been completed, the groups play again to try to beat their score.
- The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: As a “Tree” (batter), where can you aim to strike the ball to make it challenging for the “Buckets” (fielders) to catch it? As a “Bucket” (fielder), where can you position yourself so that you are successful at catching a ball?
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:
- Choose the type of implement they want to use.
- Use a larger object to hit (e.g., beach ball, soft-skinned ball).
- Throw the object instead of batting it.
To increase the challenge, participants could:
- Create a different point system for their group (e.g., 10 points for catching the “Apple” before it hits the ground, 5 points for catching the “Apple” after one bounce, 1 point for catching the “Apple” when it’s rolling.
- Change the manipulation to kicking.
- Use a lacrosse stick or a scoop as a “Bucket.”
- Start in a sitting position and get up once the ball is hit when in the “Bucket” position.
- Change the ball to 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 list is not 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 an object (e.g., standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with most of the body weight on the back foot, moving body weight forward toward incoming object by pushing back hip, and applying a controlled force to use a bat to send an object into open space
- As a batter, understanding and developing tactics to bat the ball into an open space to score a point (e.g., varying the distance the ball is hit to avoid it being caught by the fielders)
- As a fielder, understanding and developing tactics such as working as a group to cover the space and being ready to move in order to be in the optimal body position and location to successfully catch the ball
- Understanding one’s own strengths in applying skills, concepts, and strategies, and understanding areas that need improvement (e.g., selecting the ball based on the participant’s level of optimal challenge)