One of the easiest ways to inject fresh energy into games is to simply modify a common game. Any number of hybrids can be made by introducing a new element to a game.
For example, the common “base game” (single base/three base/four base), typically begins with players evenly divided among bases. They dare others to chase them by running out and making themselves vulnerable. If caught, they join the base of the catcher. When everyone ends up on one base, the game is over.
Several ways to modify the game.
1. Give each team TWO bases at the beginning of the game. If beginning with three teams, it becomes Three/six base. The six bases are in a circle. Each team has two bases, directly across the field from each other. The game proceeds as usual, except that a runner is safe if he runs on to either base. And both bases must be protected. If players crowd onto the one, the other is likely to get circled easily. Circles can be done around either base; one here, two there.
2. Play game as usual, except allow runners to leave their bases in pairs, holding hands. They are immune from being tagged except by another “fresher” pair, also holding hands. If they lose grip when being chased, they are caught. If chasers lose grip, they must return to base and tag up.
Additionally, you can allow threesomes or foursomes to link up and go out and dare or try to circle. They can only be chased by equivalent number of “-somes” who leave base linked up. A threesome successfully circling a base once can claim one player; twice, two; thrice, three (after they go home and tag up.)
3. Three base with bacon. Play game as usual, but place 4 plastic disks (bacon) about 15′ in front of each base. Runners can try to steal other teams’ bacon and add it to their own collection. The game can be won either the normal way–or by collecting all the bacon. This version guarantees activity. If runners who dare others to chase them do not attract chasers off the opposite base, they always have the option of stealing bacon–and moving the game forward.
If you get into the pattern of “inventing” new games by modifying others, the variety is endless. Prisoners’ base has numerous adaptations. For example, keeping points for those you catch instead of spending time waiting to be freed. This version keeps the more daring active instead of spending so much time in prison.
Students can be invited to offer their own creative suggestions for game hybrids.
For an active lead-up game for softball, try playing MUSHBALL, also known as 16″ softball or Chicago softball. Its rules are listed below. No gloves, fast moving, active. 16″ Chicago softballs are readily available on Amazon.
1. Stay 5 yards away from the batter on the first base line or it is an automatic out.
2. You only get two pitches!
3. If you foul on the last pitch, you’re out.
4. The ball must pass the pitcher when batted or it is considered a strike.
5. Do not throw the bat!
6. Set up a batting order and do not deviate from it. Everyone must bat.
7. There are no bunts.
1. You may over run first base only.
2. When there are base runners behind you, you must run or it could be a force out.
3. A fly ball that is caught – runner must tag and run or stay on her base.
4. There is no sliding, no stealing bases and no lead offs.
5. Overthrows — if out of bounds – one base if in bounds – as many as you can
6. You are out if you run out of the base path.
7. Third base rule — all runners may advance only one base
1. Force out – touch the base with your foot when all bases behind a runner are occupied.
2. Tags — if the runner is not forced to run, you must tag them with the ball.
If the runner is forced to run, you may tag the base or the runner.
3. If runner leaves too soon on a caught fly, touch the base for the out.
4. You pitch and catch for your own team. The pitcher can not touch a batted ball. If the ball hits the
pitcher, the batter is out. The catcher makes no plays at home because she is on the batting team.
Refer to the third base rule.
5. Third base rule — Throw the ball in front of the runner going home from third base. The throw must be
below the runners waist and before the home plate. If it is thrown successfully in front of the runner,
she gets a free walk back to third. If the bases are loaded and it is a force run — she is out