Race to the Base
Participants learn about and practise striking a ball to score runs, and fielding a ball to prevent the batter from scoring points.
- Primary (Ages 6-9)
- Junior (Ages 10-12)
Materials and Equipment
- 1 bat per group
- 1 foam-type ball per group
- 1 pylon or tee per group
- 1 base per group
Inspect the area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the surface provides safe traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Provide a safe distance between activities. Remind students to be cautious when moving.
- Divide participants into small groups (e.g., four to six).
- Participants set up a tee for the batter to hit the ball off of. Participants place a base in front of the tee at a distance appropriate for their skill level.
- In each group, one participant begins as the batter and the other participants are the fielders. The batter hits a ball off the tee and attempts to run to the base and back to the tee as many times as possible before one of the fielders places the ball back on top of the tee. The batter is out if the ball is caught before it hits the ground or when the ball is returned to the tee and the batter is between the tee and the other base.
- One point is scored for each time the batter gets back to the tee safely.
- Once the batter has had three turns at bat, participants rotate so that each participant has a turn as a batter.
- The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: How do you decide where to send the ball to score the maximum points Describe where and how your body can be positioned to be successful at fielding the 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:
- Decrease the distances between the base and the tee.
- 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.
- Play in larger groups with the home base in the middle, and the batter can now hit in any direction, including behind.
To increase the challenge, participants could:
- Increase the distances between the base and the tee.
- Pass the ball to every fielding participant before returning it to the tee when fielding.
- Catch the ball using an implement (e.g., an upside down pylon, a bucket) when fielding.
- Change the ball to a smaller object (e.g., tennis ball, waffle ball).
- Have someone pitch the 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; applying manipulation skills to successfully field the ball (e.g., standing in a ready position with feet shoulder width apart and arms out ready to catch the ball)
- Applying appropriate skills to be proficient at sending an object with an implement (e.g., making sure feet are slightly wider than shoulder width apart with most of the body weight on the back foot when preparing to strike a ball)
- Understanding and developing tactics to quickly field the ball in order to prevent the batter from scoring points (e.g., passing the ball quickly and returning it back to the batting tee)