Alert Bay Baseball is a fun game that is a bit of a combination of baseball and cricket. One of our local PE teachers learned the game while visiting the small village of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. It is very popular with students in our school, because many of them find it less intimidating and easier than softball.
Begin by splitting the class into two teams – one fielding and one hitting. There is a home plate with cones set up in a semi circle a few feet in front of it, and one base – we use a hula hoop, placed about half way between home plate and where second base would be in a baseball game. You will also need a tennis racquet and tennis ball.
Have the fielding team spread out – a back catcher, a pitcher (who stands off centre), someone on the base, and the rest spread out. When a hitter comes up, the pitcher throws underhand slow pitch style pitches. The hitter hits the ball and runs to the base. They can stay there or run back to home. If they make it back to home plate they score a point. They can now choose to go to the back of the hitting line, or to run back to the base if they think that they can make it. Some big hits can get a runner home three times if they are a fast runner. When the next player comes up to hit, a player on the base can choose to stay on the base or run home – sometimes you will have ten students on the base.
A hitter is out if:
- They swing and miss – don’t swing at a bad pitch!
- The ball is foul
- The ball does not go past the cones set up in front of home plate
- The ball they hit is caught
- The base is tagged before the player runs to the base
- Someone holding the ball tags the player before they get to the base
If a player is out, they are out for the inning. Depending on the size of the class, we sometimes play an inning until everyone from the team is out. If there is one player left, they must run home each time they hit, or else they will be stuck on base with no one to hit them home, and therefore out. Other times we will say that we will switch which team is up to hit after five or ten players get out. If this is the case, students should take note of the hitting order so that the next player in line is up to hit first next inning.
- Players on base must tag up if a hit ball is caught
- No stealing
- A runner must tag home plate to score a point/be safe, but the back catcher only has to have the ball inside the cones to get them out
- If a player turns and steps to run, they must run to the base/home
- You must have two hands on the racquet when hitting
- The hitter is out if the ball bounces once and is caught
- The entire team is out if a hit ball is caught with one hand
It may sound a little confusing at first, but students pick it up quickly. I hope that you enjoy playing it!