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Fun Lead-up Games

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Jan Bremer from North Canton, Ohio submitted these fun baseball and football lead-up games. 
Background: Here are two great lead-up games for your upper elementary students. One is for softball/baseball and the other is a football lead-up game.

Bat Ball
Bat Ball is a lead-up game for softball. It consists of a batting team and a fielding team. Two games may be played at the same time in a large gym. Use cones to divide the floor down the center line.


- 2 bats (This is for two games)
- 2 6-inch Gator skin balls
- 4 Bases
- 10 Carpet squares
- Cones

Set-Up: Use the bases, carpet squares and cones to set up two games as shown on the next page. In this game, the batting team sits in the “dugout†that is made from the 10 carpet squares. One base is used for homeplate and the other base is used for first base.

How We Play It: The batting team sits in the dugout until it is a player’s turn to bat. In this game there is a pitcher, a player covering first base, two catchers, and the rest of the defense is in the outfield.

Scoring Runs: The batters attempt to score a run by striking a pitched ball, running to the opposite end of the gym with the bat to touch the designated sideline, and returning to touch the cone near the home plate.

At the same time, the outfield team will retrieve the ball and throw it to the player covering first base. The player on first base throws the ball to one of the two catchers covering home. If the batter is able to touch the cone before the ball is caught by the catcher, 1 point is scored. If the outfield team is able to get the ball to the catcher first, the runner is out.

Other Rules:

1. Everyone gets to bat before changing sides.
2. If the ball is hit in the air and caught, the batter is not out. The outfield team will still need to get the ball back to home plate before the runner touches the cone with the bat.
3. The batting team supplies the pitcher so there is no argument about bad pitches.
4. Positions should be rotated each time the teams change sides. For example, everyone needs to pitch before anyone has a second turn. This also goes for the defensive players serving as catchers or at first base.
5. All outfielders must stand behind the pitcher.
6. Bunting is permitted.

Four Corner Football
We use Four Corner Football to help our students develop basic passing skills. We usually play this indoors, but it can be adapted for outdoors.


- Gatorskin balls and/or nerf footballs
- Cones to mark the end zones
- 2 Scoreboards with two sets of numbers (enough for four teams)
- Two tables

Set-Up: Place the cones, tables, and scoreboards as shown on the next page. The students are divided into four teams and stand in the center of the gym.

How We Play It: Each of the four teams will huddle and select one player to be the receiver for Round 1. The receiver will stand in their team’s end zone. The rest of the players are quarterbacks.

Distribute the gatorskin balls and/or nerf footballs to each group. The quarterbacks stand behind the cone and throw the balls (one at a time) to their receiver. When a receiver catches a ball, he rolls it out of the end zone. The quarterback who threw the ball will run to their scoreboard and turn over a point. This continues for 1-2 minutes.

If the receiver doesn’t catch the ball, they just roll the ball out of their end zone, and then tries to catch another ball. When the round is over, have the teams select a new receiver and continue the activity. As an additional challenge, move the group further away from the end zone or have the receiver run to the end zone to catch the pass.

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