How to Play Danish Longball

By Jodi Thornton O'Connell

Danish Longball is a simplified batting game designed to teach students basic skills such as running, scoring and teamwork. Instead of playing the game on a diamond, like baseball, Danish Longball is played on a corridor between two bases. The batter swings at a ball pitched to him and runs to the base, whether he hits it or not. Like baseball, he'll be out if the other team catches a pop fly or tags him with the ball while he's between bases. Unlike baseball, you can have any number of players on the single base, waiting to run back to the home base to score a point for the team.

Setting Up for the Game

Determine the size of your playing field based on the age and skill level of the players. Four cones will adequately mark off a batting box, and another four will mark the base. You can use a hula hoop for the pitcher's mound. Once the ball is in play and the ball gets returned to the pitcher inside of his pitching area, any player not on base is automatically out. You can play with as few as four players on a team. Divide players up equally between two teams, with one team batting and the other in the field.

Putting the Ball Into Play

Have the team that is in the field select a pitcher and a catcher. The others can spread out between the two bases. A batter steps up to the front line of the batting box and gets a single pitch to either hit or let fly by. Either way, the batter tries to run to first base before players on the other team either tag him out or get the ball back to the pitcher on the pitching area.

Scoring a Run

Once a batter makes it into the base area, he can decide whether he has time to run back to the batting box to score a run, or wait on base for a better opportunity. Any number of batters can wait at the base for the opportunity to make a run. To score, the runners must cross a line even with the front of the batting box, not touch the base itself. Should the pitcher receive the ball back inside his pitching area before the runners cross the line, each of them is out.

Variations on the Game

There is no "three-out" rule in Danish Longball. Play continues until every person on the batting team has had a turn at bat. All players left on base when the last batter swings must run for home during his turn or they will be automatically out. The teams switch roles. You can decide ahead of time to play to a certain score, or name the winner after playing a certain number of innings. You can also play the game with a kickball instead of a bat and ball.

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