Is it just me or is rounders a happy sport? I’m not sure if it is the sport itself which seems to bring out the best in the students or whether my enthusiasm for it is infectious. I was introduced to rounders in Year 3 at my tiny primary school in the Cotswolds, England. At every opportunity we would ask our teacher (who was also the Headmaster) if we could play rounders this afternoon. He always seemed to say yes! My class which was made up of Year 3-6 would walk down the road to the local park to play. We loved it! Happy memories.
Now I’m a PE teacher it’s the first sport I go to when I am given the opportunity during our striking and fielding unit. I think it is such a shame personally that it has been taken out of the GCSE PE options. I understand that it doesn’t offer the pathways of others sports however it has so much going for it. I have had success with rounders from Year 5 all the way through to sixth form and I love the range of roles and skills that are displayed during a game of rounders.
The really competitive students are engaged because rounders can be so exciting. Students become quickly affiliated with their teams and the competition between batters and fielders can be fierce. The more able are desperate to hit the ball far and into space and the less able enjoy the fact that they don’t always need to run and can have intervals of ‘rest’ either fielding or waiting to bat.
Whilst it is tempting to listen to the students and always go straight into a game, I do like to try some drills and skills so that everyone gets the opportunity to develop their catching, throwing and fielding skills but in particular their bowling and their back stops skills. Here are a few of my favourite games and drills.
Beat the Ball – Brilliant game for teaching lots of skills. Emphasis on quick throwing and catching between the bases but also reiterates position on the base and quick running between the batters. I use the bat as a relay baton for the batters.
Bowling – With my younger students I start in pairs just practising bowling. One bowling and the other providing a target with the hands. Whilst a very plain practice, it gives repetition to both the bowler and catcher an encourages the use of the hands as a target. It is also a good lead in activity to the following activity, Catch the Mis-Hit.
Catch the Mis-Hit – The bowler bowls ball to batter who stands in batting box with a cone. The cone is used to deflect the ball backwards or the ball is missed and goes directly backwards to the backstop.The backstop throws the ball directly to first base. First base stumps post and throws ball to bowler. I like to use this drill to teach positioning of the backstop. Emphasis on hands as a target and one foot slightly forward to aid the throw.
There are many resources and drills for rounders and I hope to add more to this blog as I use them and hope this page is as useful for you as it will be for me.