Sample Games to Develop Sports Skill Development

 

(baseball/softball)

1.  ONE-OLD-CAT - Use home plate and first base.  Only one batter.  The batter is out when: 

a. He strikes out.  (Swings and misses three pitches. Balls and strikes are not called.)

b. He hits a ball that is then caught on the fly before it hits the ground.  The player catching the ball becomes the new batter.  The player hitting the ball takes the position of the player catching the ball.

c. He hits the ball, but can't run to first base and back to home before one of the fielders tags him out or  touches home plate with the ball.   If the batter strikes out or is tagged out, players move up to the next position in rotation.  The catcher becomes the new batter; pitcher becomes new catcher; first base becomes pitcher; second base becomes first base, etc.  The batter, when out, take his position as the last fielder.


2.  TWO-OLD-CAT -
Played same as above, except that two batters are used.  Batter reaching first base successfully can stay there until the second batter hits him home.
 
3.  THREE-OLD-CAT - Three batters are used, and all the bases.

4.  PITCH -
You can play this game with just a pitcher and catcher.  A third player could act as umpire.  One player starts as the pitcher and tries to throw strikes to a pretend batter. Three strikes, and he earns an out.  Four balls, and the pretend batter walks.  A run is scored for each walk after the bases are loaded.  After three outs, it is the catcher's turn to be the pitcher.  This continues for a certain number of innings.  Pitcher allowing the fewest runs wins.  The game could also be played by drawing a strike zone on a wall.  The zone should be drawn 18 inches wide by 32 inches high.  The lower line should be 16 inches from the ground.  Play with the same rules as before.  This version of the game could be played by a single player.
 
5.  PERCENTAGE HITS - Each player has a chance to swing the bat at pitched balls 10 times.  His score is the number of hits he gets.  Object of the game is to achieve the highest percentage, on to beat his own previous highest score.

6.  THREE FLIES UP -
One player hits the ball, and the other players try to catch it.  When any player catches three fly balls, he gets to be the next batter.  Two grounders count as one fly.
 
7.  PICKLE­ - A runner pretends to be caught between two bases.  The other two players try to run him down.  The runner wins if he gets to one of the bases successfully.  The basemen win if they tag him out.

8.  BAT-AROUND -
Two teams.  Play like regular baseball, but each player on a team is to have one turn, and only one turn, at bat each inning regardless of the number of outs.  When all players have had a turn at bat, it becomes the next team's turn.
 
9.  PLAYING CATCH - There are a number of catch games for pairs or trios of players to play.  Two players could see how many catches they can make successfully before missing.  They could then try to beat that score the next time.  Distances could be increased as more challenge is needed.  The type of throw could also be changed.  For example, players could throw grounders to each other, or high pop flies.  Several teams could compete to see who could reach 21 consecutive catches first.


10.  THREE-TEAM BASEBALL -
Play same as regular baseball, but with three teams instead of two.  Each team is composed of four or five players.  One team is at bat, next team plays the infield, and the third team plays the outfield plus shortstop.  When batting team has three outs, they take the outfield.  The outfield team takes the infield, and the infield team gets to bat.  Team with the most runs after a certain number of innings wins.
 

11.  BASE-RUNNING SPEED - Use a stop watch to time players as they take turns running to first base.  Players then try to beat their own previous best time.  The same for first to second base, or first to third base, or even around all the bases.

12.  TWO HITS -
Rotate positions after batter has had two hits.  A batter scores a run each time he reaches first base successfully.  After the batter has hit the ball twice, he assumes the last fielder's position, and all players move up.  Player scoring the most runs by the end of the playing time wins.
 

13.   PRETEND DRAMATIC-PLAYS - Set up pretend situations, then try them out for real.  It's fun to see how they turn out.  For example: 

The bases are loaded with only one out.  The score is tied in the bottom of the 9th.

A man is on first base with nobody out.  He is going to try to steal second.   

A player is on first base with one out.  You are going to try to get two out with a double play to end the inning.      

A runner is on third base, and you are going to try to bunt him home.


14.  SCORE-A-BASE -
All players have an equal number of times at bat, and earn points according to the base they get to on any hit they make.  Reaching first base earns one point; second base earns two points; third base earns three points; home plate earns five points.  First player to reach 21 points wins the game.
 

(Football)

15.  TOUCH FOOTBALL - Two teams.  No tackling allowed.  Play is stopped when and where the player with the ball is tagged by an opposing player.  Each team is given 4 downs, then the other team has a chance on offense.  A team on any down may kick the ball instead of running a regular play.  Six points for a touchdown.  Two extra points can be earned after the touch down if a team can get the ball into the end zone on one play from the five yard line.  No particular number of players on a team, but sides should be fairly even for close, exciting games.


16.  FLAG FOOTBALL -
Same as touch football, except each player wears strips of cloth (flags), with a knot in each about 4 inches from the end, hanging from his belt.  Each player wears two.  One on his right and the other on his left.  Ball carrier is considered downed when a flag is pulled from his belt.
 
17.  PASS BACK - Two teams face each other on the playing field.  One team lines up about halfway between the midline of the field and their own goal line.  One player throws the football as far as he can toward the first team's goal line.  At the point a player on the other team catches the ball, he throws the football back toward the first team's goal line.  This continues back and forth until one team scores by successfully throwing the football across the opposing team's goal line without it being caught in the air.  If the ball is caught before it hits the ground there is no score even if it is caught behind the goal line.  Six points for each touchdown.  First team to score five times or has
the most points when time is called wins.

18.  PUNT BACK -
Same as PASS BACK explained above, but players kick the ball instead of throwing it.
 
19.  PASS FOR DISTANCE CONTEST - Players take turns throwing the football for distance from a set throwing line.  Measure the distance in yards (large steps).  Players could compete with each other or players could try to beat their own distance records.  Instead of measuring the distance in yards you could place a marker (piece of cardboard) where the ball first touches the ground.

20.  KICK FOR DISTANCE CONTEST -
Players take turns kicking the football for distance from a set kicking line.  Measure the distance in yards (large steps) or place a marker where the ball first touches the ground.  Players could compete with each other or players could try to beat their own distance records.
 
21.  THREE CATCHES UP - One player punts the ball to the other
players in the field.  First player able to catch the ball three times becomes the new kicker. 

22.  FOOTBALL TARGET SHOOTS -
Place four boxes on the ground with point values on each.  The boxes with lowest point values should be placed nearest the throwing line.  Boxes with higher point values should be placed further away.  Each player gets to throw the ball four times.  He may aim at any box on each throw.  He scores points according to the boxes he hits.  Player scoring the most points after a certain number of rounds wins. 
 
23.  PAIR FOOTBALL - Each pair selects one player to be the passer and the other player to be the receiver.  A particular running pattern for all receivers is decided by all players as a whole.  Each pair performs the passing and receiving pattern five times.  Pair successfully completing the pass the most times out of the five attempts wins.  A variation is to have a simple game of football.  Defenders do not rush the passer, but only defend against the pass.  Running yardage is not counted.  Wherever ball is caught is where the next down starts.  Three downs and then a kick.  The other team (pair) gets their turn on offense wherever they catch the kicked ball. 

24.  PRETEND PLAYS -
Players work up a play and then try it out.
 

(Four Square)

25.  SIMPLE FOUR SQUARE - Use a volleyball or playground ball.  Draw a court, 8 feet, divided into quadrants.  You may use ones already lined out at your local school playground. Four players, one for each quadrant.  Four players take position in the court by standing on the outside corner of each court.  The player in the court numbered 4 is the server.  The server begins the game by dropping the ball into his own court.  As the ball rebounds upward, the server uses an underhand volley to direct the ball into one of the other three squares.  The player in the square where the ball lands must redirect the ball to another square using an underhand volley.  Play continues by volleying the ball from square to square until an error is committed.  The person responsible for the error is out.  If there are any players waiting to play, he is out of the game, and one of the waiting players gets to play.  If there are only 4 players, the player making the mistake goes to court one and any players involved move up thus filling the vacated space.  The game is then continued with the server repeating the starting procedures.  Players commit an error whenever they:

Are unable to redirect the ball into another court.               

Use an overhand volley (palms down) instead of an underhand volley.               

Volley the ball out of the court.               

Volley the ball into his own court instead of into another player's court.               

Volley the ball onto a line.               

Touch the ball before it bounces in his court.

Allow the ball to bounce in his court before returning the ball to another court.               

Catch or hold the ball momentarily before returning it to another court.

The object of the game is to remain in the game as long as possible and to earn the right to become server by eliminating players in squares with higher numbers than your own.  VERY YOUNG players could play the game similar to that above, but allowing them to catch and throw the ball instead of volleying it.


(Soccer)

26.  ONE-ON-ONE - Use a relatively small playing field.  Place goal markers about three feet wide at each end.  Large boxes placed on their sides could also be used for goals.  Two players.  Each player tries to kick the ball into his opponent's goal.  Start each play at the center of the field.  First player to score five goals wins the game. 
 

27.  HALF-COURT SOCCER - When you have a very small playing area, you simply want to limit the amount of running needed, or only have one goal available, you might play the game like in half-court basketball.  Both players or teams use the same goal, but as in basketball if you get possession of the ball close to the goal you must first clear it by taking it away from the goal and across a specified line before bringing it back and trying to score.

28.  STEAL-THE-SOCCER BALL -
Play like Steal-the-Bacon, but use a soccer ball.  Two teams line up an equal distance from the ball.  Every player is given a number.  For each number on one there, there is a player with a corresponding number on the other team.  When the leader of the game calls out a number, the player from each team with that number runs to the ball and tries to dribble the ball soccer style back to his line so he can earn a point.  First team to get ten points wins.
 

(tetherball)

29.  SIMPLE TETHERBALL - Have your own tetherball and pole or use the one at your local school playground.  Players must stay in their own playing area.  The object of the game is to wind the rope in the desired direction by hitting the ball with the fist.  The opponent tries to hit the approaching ball in the opposite direction.  Both players try to wind the ball completely around the pole.  To begin the game, the server stands on the playing area and hits the ball.  The ball is not in play until it has passes through the opponents zone.  Fouls include: 

Allowing the rope to wrap around the hand.
Touching the pole with the hands.
Stepping out of the playing area into the other player's playing area.
Catching the ball. 

The penalty for a foul is a free hit for the opponent.  The free hit is taken like the serve with the exception that the rope may not be unwound more than one-half turn before the hit is taken.  A point is earned by the player in whose direction it is wound regardless of which player completed the winding.  After a point is scored, the serve goes to the loser.  A game can be set to any number of points or played with in a time limit.  VERY YOUNG players could play the game similar to that above, but allowing them to catch and throw the ball instead of hitting it with their fists.