|Written by Bill Hanks|
Mat ball is a game that children love to play. It can be played outdoors and indoors in the winter. It employs the skills of catching, throwing, kicking, running, and dodging. You can play this game with large numbers of players. You can establish your own boundaries and ground rules to fit your needs. This article will explain how to set up and play the game.
Set up your field of play like a softball or baseball field. You need three large mats that are used for bases. You should be able to get up to 10 children on a mat at a time. Home plate should be set off to the side. either set it along the first base or third base line.
Fielders can play anyplace on the diamond or even in foul territory. You have one pitcher that rolls the ball over the home plate area or to the kicker. The batter (kicker) gets one attempt only. Once they kick the ball, they run towards first base. They are out when, the ball is caught in the air, they are forced at first base, kick it foul twice, or get hit by a thrown ball as they run the bases.
A player is allowed to continue running the bases as long as their team is up. However, they may stop once they reach the home base. It is up to the runner to make this decision. Each team can be given either 3 or 6 outs. The more children you have, the more outs you should use.
The regular batting lineup can be used or altered. Players are only required to bat in order on the first go around. After that, you can mix it up or keep the same batting order. The main object is to keep the children running the bases. No stealing of bases is allowed. No lead offs either. A player that leaves the base before the ball is kicked is ruled out.
It is not unusual to have scores in the 100's. You can add extra rules like an automatic home run, out if you hit the ceiling while playing indoors. Safe, if you get hit above the waist with a thrown ball.
The good thing about Mat ball is that it keeps children running. They really don't know how much running they do.