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Striking and Fielding Games for PE: Exploring 6 Engaging Activities for Striking Sports in Physical Education


Striking and fielding base games are a popular activity in physical education classes around the world. These games are designed to improve hand-eye coordination, agility, speed, and reaction time while promoting teamwork and strategic thinking. They can easily develop fundamental skills and strategies required for a range of sports, including baseball, softball, cricket, and rounders. Striking and fielding base games can be tailored to different age groups or skill levels and can be easily adapted to suit the needs of any physical education class.


Striking and Fielding Games for PE: 6 Engaging Physical Education Base Game Activities

In this article, I will explore what striking and fielding games entail, and highlight the best ways to include them in a physical education program. The blog will also delve into the many advantages of including striking and fielding games in physical education classes, as well as provide six engaging game activities for PE teachers to include within any lesson or unit.


 

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What are Striking and Fielding Games?


Striking and fielding games are a type of small group or team activity in which players must use a combination of striking and fielding skills to compete. These games are typically played between two teams, with one team attempting to strike a ball or object and the other team striving to field it before the striking team can advance or score points. The true objective of striking and fielding base games is to score points by striking an object and running to a designated area or scoring zone before the opposing team retrieves the object and returns it to the field of play.


Pic by Lara Cox @PEnSoccernut24


Baseball, softball, cricket, rounders and kickball are some of the classic examples of striking and fielding base games. However, variations can be implemented in physical education classes to ensure even those who may not have as much experience with these sports can benefit from playing them. These modifications or lead-up activities will help all students make the most out of their game time and provide a safe environment for them to participate.


 

Benefits of Striking and Fielding Games:


Implementing striking and fielding base games in physical education can provide numerous benefits for participants. Here are some of the key benefits:


Pic by Leticia Cariño @leticarino


  • Improves Physical Fitness: Striking and fielding games can help to improve coordination, reaction time, strength, power, and agility, which can help to build a strong foundation for physical fitness.

  • Strengthens Athletic and Manipulative Skills: These games are excellent for developing specific athletic skills such as striking (batting), running, kicking, fielding, pitching, catching and throwing, among others.


Base Game Skills Visual

  • Enhances Teamwork and Social Interaction: Striking and fielding games promote social interaction and teamwork as participants work together to achieve a common goal.

  • Boosts Confidence: These games are a fun and engaging way to introduce participants to new sports and activities, helping to improve their confidence and self-esteem.

  • Increases Cognitive Development: Striking and fielding games require players to make quick decisions and strategic choices, which can improve cognitive development and problem-solving skills.


Base Game Terms Visual

  • Promotes Stress Relief: Participating in physical activities such as striking and fielding games can help to relieve stress and improve mental health.

  • Fosters Lifetime Physical Activity: Striking and fielding games are a fun and engaging way to introduce participants to lifelong physical activity, encouraging them to stay active throughout their lives.


 

In addition, the highlighted PE striking and fielding base games presented in this blog post align with SHAPE America Standard 2 which states: Applies knowledge related to movement and fitness concepts.


Pic by Travis French @MrFrenchHPE


National Physical Education Standards are used under license from SHAPE America.


 

How do I Implement Striking and Fielding Games in PE?

1 - Determine the Objective of the Game

When implementing a striking and fielding game, it is essential to determine the objectives of the game. Whether it is to improve hand-eye coordination, base running, batting, kicking, fielding, or teamwork, striking and fielding games should focus on the development of specific standards-based skills.

2 - Select Appropriate Game

Choose a fun activity (striking and fielding base game) that is appropriate for the age and skill level of the participants. Some popular striking and fielding base games for physical education classes include whiffle ball, fuzzball, modified softball, continuous kickball, matball and rounders. Check out the example games highlighted in this article for reference.

Pic by Leticia Cariño @leticarino


3 - Establish Rules and Guidelines

Before the start of the game, establish the rules and guidelines to ensure that all participants understand the game's objective and how it will be played. Clear rules help to prevent accidents and promote fairness. Use multiple small groups if you have the equipment and space to do so.

4 - Provide Instruction and Demonstration

Provide clear instructions on the cues required to execute the specific skills involved in the striking and fielding game. Demonstrate the movement(s) and provide feedback to ensure that participants are performing the skills correctly.

Pic by Travis French @MrFrenchHPE


5 - Monitor Participants' Progress

Monitor participants' progress throughout the game, providing positive and corrective feedback and adjusting behavior as necessary. Take note of any issues that arise, such as safety concerns or difficulties performing specific skills.

6 - Cool Down and Reflection

After the game, cool down exercises and reflection are essential to help participants recover and understand the value of the striking and fielding base game they played. A cool-down should include stretching and breathing exercises to relax the muscles and promote recovery.


 

6 Striking and Fielding Base Games to Use in a PE Class


With a comprehensive understanding of the important function striking and fielding games have in physical education and some tips for implementing them in a lesson, here are six engaging activities for PE teachers to include within any lesson or unit:


1 - Hit the Zones


Overview

Teams alternate between offense and defense, with the offensive team scoring points by hitting the ball into three designated zones and the defensive team attempting to stop it in an earlier zone. The former can either hit from a tee or from a pitch while latter must catch and field any balls that have been hit.

Skill Focus: batting, fielding, catching, throwing & reaction time


Equipment

  • 2 bases (home plate and 1 base)

  • 1 batting tee or large 36” cone

  • 1 softball, rag ball, tennis balls, hard foam ball or whiffle ball (use a portable container to keep all the balls)

  • 1 bat or tennis racket


Hit the Zones - PE Base Games - Striking and Fielding

Game Instructions and Rules

Create 2 even teams per playing area (teams of 6 – 12)- multiple games can be played on a large field. Establish three 30-foot zones by laying out lines and/or setting up cones, then put a home plate in the center to act as the batting area. The batting or kicking team lines up behind the cone (in a permanent batting order).

  • Players take the field (defense) or line up at the batting/kicking cone (offense)

  • The team in the outfield attempt to get each batter “out” by catching a “fly ball” or fielding the ball before it passes into “ZONE 1” after the batter hits the ball from the tee or from a coach-pitch

  • The batting team can get the following points:

5 points if the ball is hit ‘on the ground” or “in the air” into ZONE 1

10 points if the ball is hit “in the air” into ZONE 2

20 points if the ball is hit “in the air” into ZONE 3

  • If a ball lands in a zone but rolls into the next, points are awarded only for 1st zone

  • If using a teacher-pitch, students get 5 good pitches to make it fair

  • Three outs and the teams switch offense and defense


 

2 - Twenty One


Overview

On offense, players attempt to hit or kick a ball and get as far around the bases as possible earning set points per base. The team in the outfield throws the ball to a base before the runner reaches it stopping future points from being earned. 21 points wins the game

Skill Focus: batting, kicking, running, catching, throwing, accuracy, reaction time


Equipment

  • 4 bases

  • 1 softball, rag ball, tennis ball, hard foam ball or whiffle ball - playground ball if kicking

  • 1 plastic baseball bat or tennis racket

  • 1 scoreboard per group


Twenty One - PE Base Games - Striking and Fielding

Game Instructions and Rules

Create 2 even teams per 4-base diamond. One team takes the field (1 pitcher & 1 catcher, 1 at each base, 2 short stop’s and 3 or 4 in the field. The batting/kicking team lines up behind the cone (in a permanent batting order) with the first person (batter/kicker) at home plate read to hit.

  • Players take the field (defense) or line up at the batting/kicking cone (offense)

  • This game can be played like a softball game using bats/tennis rackets to ‘strike” a ball or like a kickball game using a playground ball with a “kick”

  • The batting/kicking team hits or kicks the ball and attempts to go as far around the bases as possible after their hit/kick.

  • Each base the hitter/kicker reaches earns them that many points: 1st base- 1 point; 2nd base- 2 points; 3rd base- 3 points; home plate- 4 points

  • The fielding team tries to stop the hitter/kicker from earning maximum points by “cutting them off’ and throwing the ball to a base before they reach it (i.e., the fielding team person throws the ball to 3rd base stopping the runner from getting 3 points)

  • As in baseball/softball; 3 outs and teams switch from offense to defense

  • Whatever team reaches “21 points” first, is the winning team.


 

3 - Mat Ball


Overview

Players can score points by kicking/striking a ball, running around all three bases to home plate as many times they desire, then attempting to get outs when they are in the field. Outs occur by catching a kicked/hit ball or by tagging players who are off a base.

Skill Focus: kicking (or striking), running, catching, fielding, throwing, and teamwork


Equipment

  • 3 large mats for bases (you can also use 4 cones or hula hoops to make a large base)

  • 1 home plate to kick or hit from

  • 1 rubber playground ball or soft soccer ball (smaller gator skin ball if students are striking vs kicking)

  • 1 cone for kicking/striking team to line up at


Mat Ball - PE Base Games - Striking and Fielding

Game Instructions and Rules

Create 2 even teams per 4-base diamond. This game is best played indoors. One team takes the field (1 pitcher (roller), 1 catcher, 1 at each mat, 2 in short stop positions on the 1st and 3rd base lines and 3 or 4 in the field. The kicking team lines up behind the “kickers” cone.


  • Players take the field (defense) or line up at the “kicking/striking team” cone (offense)

  • The offensive team (kickers/strikers), one at a time (in order), stand on home plate and attempt to kick/strike a rolling/pitched ball anywhere into the field area. There are no “foul balls”. A team scores a run when a player touches all three bases in order and touches home plate without getting “out”. Players may stop at any mat (or hula hoop) and do not have to run if they do not want to and multiple players can be at the mat

  • The fielding team's pitcher gently rolls or pitches a ball to the kicking/striking team's players. The fielding team tries to get a runner “out” if they catch a kicked/hit ball in the air or field the ball and tag a runner with the ball when they are off the base

  • Runners (on bases) may advance after a ball is kicked/hit and even if it’s caught. A runner must go to the next base if they leave a base. Runners may keep rounding bases (unlimited times) and keep scoring until their team kicking order is complete

Mat Ball Video by Stephanie Cisneros @BBEbulldogsPE


 

4 - Pin Baseball


Overview

By following the rules of regulation softball or kickball, students seek to get their opponents out by knocking down bowling pins (placed on each base) and score points by hitting or kicking a ball and running around the outside of each individual base.

Skill Focus: batting, kicking, running, catching, throwing, accuracy, reaction time

Equipment

  • 4 bases. 4 pins (or 2 liter bottles)

  • 1 softball, rag ball, tennis ball, hard foam ball, whiffle ball or playground ball (if using kickball rules)

  • 1 bat or tennis racket

Pin Baseball - PE Base Games - Striking and Fielding

Pic by Leticia Cariño @leticarino


Game Instructions and Rules

Create 2 even teams per 4-base diamond. 1 pin is placed on each base and home plate. One team takes the field (1 pitcher & 1 catcher, 1 at each base, 2 short stop’s and 3 or 4 in the field. The batting or kicking team lines up behind the cone (in a permanent batting order) with the first batter/kicker at home plate read to bat/kick.


  • Players take the field (defense) or line up at the batting/kicking cone (offense)

  • The team in the outfield attempt to get each batter “out” by knocking down a pin before the batter (runner) is able to reach his/her “next” base. To run to first base, the ball must be fair. After the player is on base, they run to the next base each hit

  • A runner may advance only 1 base at a time no matter how hard the ball has been hit by their teammate. The runner goes to the outside part of each base (the pin is on the inside portion of the base). A teacher or student leader will judge whether or not a runner made it to the base before the pin is knocked down.

  • If the runner makes it to the base before the pin is knocked over, they are safe

  • Fly balls are an out, students get 5 good pitches to make it fair, 3 outs and the teams switch offense and defense as in regulation softball/kickball


 

5 - Scooter Baseball


Overview

Players score runs by striking or kicking the ball and riding a scooter around three bases to home plate. To make “outs” while in the field, a player must either catch the ball, tag their opponent off a base or throw it to a base before the scooter arrives.

Skill Focus: striking, scooting, catching, throwing, tagging, sportsmanship and teamwork


Equipment

  • Scooter boards for all field players and 4 for the batting/kicking team

  • 1 tennis racket (if striking)

  • 4 bases (polyspots work best)

  • 1 “bouncy” foam or oversize tennis ball

  • 1 playground ball (if kicking)

  • 1 cone for striking team to line up at


Scooter Baseball - PE Base Games - Striking and Fielding

Game Instructions and Rules

Create two even teams per 4-base diamond. One team takes the field sitting on a scooter board (1 pitcher, 1 catcher, 1 at each base, 2 in short stop positions (first and third base lines) and 3 or 4 in the field. The batting/kicking team lines up behind the cone (in a permanent batting order).


  • The offensive team (strikers/kickers), one at a time (in order), sit on a scooter board at home plate and attempt to strike/kick a ball into fair territory (between the 1st & 3rd base line that extends out into the field).

  • A team scores a run when a player rolls over all four bases (polyspots) in order and touches home base without getting “out”

  • The fielding team's pitcher bounces a tennis ball or rolls a playground ball to the striking/kicking team's players. The fielding team tries to get 3 “outs” when the other team is up to bat the following ways:

  1. Strike out a batter (players have 5 “good pitches” from a pitcher to make it fair,

  2. Catch the ball in the air,

  3. Tag someone off the base with the ball and

  4. Get a “forced out” - throw it to a base before the person arrives there if that person is forced by another runner behind them to advance to the next base. Everyone is forced to get to first base.


 

6 - Home Run Race


Overview

On offense (when up to bat), players attempt to make a hit and race to get a “home run” before the defense (the fielding team) can throw the ball around the bases (in order).

Skill Focus: striking, running, fielding, catching, throwing, accuracy, reaction time

Equipment

  • 4 bases

  • One ball (either a softball, rag ball, tennis ball, hard foam ball or whiffle ball)

  • 1 bat or tennis racket

  • 1 scoreboard per group

  • Optional gloves for outfield


Home Run Race - PE Base Games - Striking and Fielding

Game Instructions and Rules

Create two even teams per 4-base diamond. One team takes the field (1 pitcher & 1 catcher, 1 at each base, 2 short stop’s and 3 or 4 in the field. The batting team lines up behind the cone (in a permanent batting order) with the first batter at home plate read to hit the ball.


  • Players take the field (defense) or line up at the batting cone (offense)

  • The team in the outfield attempt to get each batter “out” by catching or fielding the ball and quickly throwing the ball (in order) from 1st base to 2nd base, to 3rd base and then home before the batter can run the bases and get a home run

  • If the batter/runner gets the home run and beats the ball around the bases, a run is scored. If the ball reaches the catcher before the runner makes a “home run”, an “out” is recorded and no run is scored

  • Runners should not stop running and should never stop at a base- their goal is a “home run” every time at bat

  • Fly balls that are caught are not considered an “out” and the fielding team should still quickly throw the ball around the bases

  • Have the entire batting rotation go through before switching from “outfield” to “at bat” - then the game continues

  • The pitchers should be players from the batting team and there are no strikeouts


 

Final Thoughts


Striking and fielding base games are a great way to get students active and engaged in physical education classes. The games highlighted above are not only fun, but also provide a variety of opportunities for learning different skills used in base games (baseball, softball, cricket, kickball, etc.) like striking, kicking, fielding, running, throwing, tossing, catching, tagging, tracking, agility, hand-eye coordination and teamwork. With these games being so versatile they can be adapted for all age groups – from elementary-aged kids to high school youth - making them perfect for any PE class!


Beyond what has been presented here, there's a multitude of striking and fielding game alternatives to explore and discover. Don't be afraid to experiment with different base games, personalize them and explore diverse tactics that can help enhance students' physical literacy skills as well as boost their motor development. Challenge yourself to discover more captivating games for striking and fielding, making your physical education classes both fun and educational!

Good luck and keep it FUN!!!

 

Need some FREE physical education games?


Do you need some FUN games for your physical education program that include detailed instructions and play diagrams? Cap'n Pete's Power PE has you covered!

Need some FREE physical education games?

Fill in the form below to download the FREE Physical Education Games Packet- 18 Game Set to use in your PE program! Inside this package are 18 fun and exciting PE games for students, designed for a wide range of ages.


This set is a PDF digital download that includes selected games (3 from each) from the following sets from Cap’n Pete’s PE Games Super Bundle.


1. PE Base Games, 2. PE Basketball Games, 3. PE Soccer Games, 4. PE Volleyball/Net Games, 5. PE Disc Games, and 6. PE Small Group Multi-skill Games


 

If you're looking for a ton of PE Games that are ideal for large, medium or small-sized groups, check out Cap'n Pete's PE Games: Super Bundle- Basketball, Soccer, Net, Disc, Base & Small Group Games.


PE Games: Super Bundle- Basketball, Soccer, Net, Disc, Base & Small Group Games.

This Super Bundle includes 150 games from 6 PE game sets that originate from the following resources: PE Base Games, PE Basketball Games, PE Soccer Games, PE Volleyball and Net Games, PE Disc Games, and PE Small Group Multi-Skill Games. Each set has 25 top-rated games that can be used by PE and classroom teachers to teach skills and keep students HAPPY and ACTIVE!!!


You can download them from either of the following platforms: Cap'n Pete's Power PE Website or Teachers Pay Teachers- Cap'n Pete's TPT Store



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