A Crash Mat Bellyball Base
A Crash Mat Bellyball Base

Baseball/Softball: Bellyball Game

Pat Aitken for PE Update.com

Here's a great game that's a variation of baseball. The main difference is that players running the bases must belly-flop onto crash-pads or high-jump mats which act as bases.

Bellyball uses two teams of 10-15 players.  You'll need three crash-pads or high-jump mats for the bases and a hula hoop for home plate, as well as a big rubber bat and a playground ball or volleyball.

The pitcher throws the ball, making it bounce in front of the hula hoop.  When batters make a hit, they must run the bases and “belly-flop” onto the crash mats to be safe. If they hit a double or farther, they must belly-flop onto first base, roll, run to second, belly-flop onto it, run to third etc.

A caught fly ball means the hitter is out, even if the ball hits a wall before it's caught. There are three outs.

The ball is never foul, and even a ball that has been ticked is a hit. When playing indoors, a ball that hits the  backboard beyond second base counts as a home run.

Patti McNally of F.P. Walshe School in Fort McLeod, Alberta, says Bellyball gets so competitive, it's advisable to have an adult umpire.

You could play regular baseball or softball, by simply substitute crash-mat bases for the real thing.

1. Daniel Keller, Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Baseball, Human Kinetics, 2011.
2. Patti McNally (F.P. Walshe School, Fort MacLeod Alberta), “Bellyball.” Sprinter, February 1996.

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