Lesson Plan #: AELP-GAM0203
Submitted by: Martin Smith
School/University/Affiliation: Nelson Island High School
Date: October 6, 2001
Grade Level: Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
- Physical Education/Games
- Physical Education/Team Sports
Duration: 30-45 minutes
Description: This gym game is a combination of baseball and dodgeball, with some variations. Instead of bases, the game makes use of a Start/Finish line, an End line, and safe zones. Each player going up to bat is allowed only one swing, but students are not penalized if they miss the ball. Each student on the batting team strives to make it to the End line and back to the Start/Finish line without getting hit by a fielder.
- small soft (playground) ball
- bat (with soft end preferable)
- 4 cones
- Lap Game Diagram
Prior to playing the game, set up the gym as follows:
Students have a rectangular playing area, using the ends and sides of the gym. One end of the gym (underneath a basketball hoop) stretching across the gym is the Start/Finish line, and the opposite end of the gym stretching across the gym is the End line. The areas behind the Start/Finish line and the End line are called the safe zones. The Start/Finish line is where the batting team lines up and bats from. Place two cones at the Start/Finish line (one on each side of the gym) and two more cones at the End line. Playing the game:
Divide students into two teams. One team bats while the other team fields. The members of the fielding team spread out anywhere in the field. One field member is selected as the pitcher. The pitcher and the batter stand behind the Start/Finish line (see Lap Game diagram above). The pitcher stands next to the batter and allows the batter to touch the bat to the ball (the pitcher stands an extended arm and bat length away from the batter with the ball held out in front of him/her). The pitcher then tosses the ball in the air and the batter swings. The remaining team members must stand away from the batter out of swinging reach. When the batter is done swinging, he/she needs to move to the runner’s position. The runner’s position is an area where all the runners start whether they hit or miss the ball (see Lap Game diagram). The runner has to wait behind the Start/Finish line to run. [ Author’s Note: If the batter does not hit the ball, the batter moves directly to the runner’s position without being out. If there is no one else to bat, then the batter continues to attempt a hit until someone crosses the line safely.]
The next batter steps up to swing. Depending on the outcome of the swing, the person in the runner’s position may choose to run to the End line or stay put. Many runners may accumulate behind the Start line (or safe zone) before running. When runners feel that they can make it to the End line (safe zone), they can run. All students can run at once or just one or two at a time. Students must run to the End line and back to the Start line to score (not usually kept).
There are two ways that outs can occur. If the fielding team gets the batting team out by a direct catch (ball not touching the ground), then the teams switch places. If runners are hit outside of the safe zones or touch the ball, their team is out. However, it’s possible for the batting team to get the other team out before all the fielders are in a safe zone (either end). After a student has been hit, the batting team can pick up the ball and attempt to get the fielding team out before all the field members make it to a safe zone. If the batting team is able to hit a fielder and all batters return safely to a zone, the batters get to bat again. If the batting team is unable to hit a fielder before all fielders reach a safe zone, then the batting team becomes the fielding team.
General rules to keep in mind:
- When batting, each player is allowed only one swing. Each player always goes to the runner’s position, even if the player does not hit the ball.
- An out occurs when the ball is caught in the air or an opposing team player is hit by/touches the ball.
- No head throws/hits count unless the student ducks into the ball.
- As long as the pitcher has the ball, runners cannot run.
Assessment: Observe students throughout the game, assessing their hand-eye coordination when hitting or catching the ball. Also assess students’ decision making skills when they are attempting to run during plays. Special Comments: It is helpful to play in a gym, but this game can also be played outside with no boundaries (except for the safe zones).