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Blastball



 

An introduction to team sports for ages 3 - 5 

 

This is a "game" that has the potential to create a great deal of interest in baseball for players of a very young age.  BLASTBALL  is meant to be a FUN introduction to baseball.  It is designed to generate fast-paced action, provide recreation and exercise, create enthusiasm and  encourage children to continue to be involved in sports.  It's an opportunity - for the parents as well as the players - to meet a lot of people and make new friends.    

Our Blastball teams are generally scheduled to play two games per week - game days vary each week with each team's playing dates dependant on its player availability.  The length of each game is determined by the participants and their parents but is generally approximately 45 minutes. (There is no set pre-determined time limit.)  Players are welcome to leave earlier - or stay later - depending on their individual interest.   It's fun as long as the "fun" lasts!

  

Parental help is 100% compulsory.

  • Play is on small teams at an introductory level with a sponge bat & ball on a non-competitive basis.
  • We'll be playing games in groups of 5 (or 6) per side so there'll be lots of hitting and no sitting out.
  • No score is kept; kids play just for fun, make friends, and learn teamwork.
  • No glove nor helmet required (but we supply some helmets - just in case).
  • Only one base is used and it *blasts* when jumped on.
  • Hugh opportunity to help the kids develop their catching, throwing and hitting skills while learning to be part of a team, taking turns, and laying the basis for becoming "good sports"  - but requires LOTS of parental help. 

BLASTBALL is a developmental "game" invented and formerly marketed by the ATEC Athletic Training Company in the United States. It is a very simple concept utilizing the skills of baseball in a fun, fast-paced activity for young players.  With only one base and a foam bat and ball, it is safer and less complex than T-Ball. Note: We supply the bat and ball.  Personal bats are not allowed to be used in Blastball.

The game is an exceptional introduction to Baseball for a number of reasons: 

  • It is fun and fast paced with lots of chances to bat in a short time-span.
  • It is easy to play, players have instant success.
  • No glove or special equipment is needed by the player.
  • It runs within a flexible time-frame.
  • It doesn’t cost a great deal to participate.
  • It allows good and efficient use of facilities. (We play 2 or 3 mini-games at a time near the diamonds that our other leagues use.)   

BLASTBALL offers the opportunity to teach all five basic fundamentals of baseball --- hitting, throwing, catching, running and fielding. It is also a ton of fun with fast, continuous action and simple rules.

We play our games with 5 (or 6 if everyone shows up to play) players per side. The team you are assigned to has up to 11 players but is split into 2 "squads" each game night. Each squad plays a mini-game (about 3 bats each, or 15 or so minutes - whatever the coaches decide) against the other team's 2 squads. The event usually then finishes with an "inter-squad" game, team meeting and refreshments. Note: For 2007 we eliminated the 4 team rotation and now generally use only 2 - sometimes 3 - stations in the rotation. 

Each team bats through it's entire order, twice is recommended, before switching to field while the other team's players bat. Fielding positions are usually: catcher, "pitcher", 1st base, and up to 2 fielders/rovers. Players are to be given the opportunity during each game to play each fielding position. The ball is hit after the umpire yells "play ball" and the batter runs to the base. The object is to make the base "HONK" before a defensive player gets the ball and yells "BLAST"

OUR SETUP for BLASTBALL: At Franklin Park, Blastball events are scheduled to be played on the grass with the Tee set up under the trees that run along the fence between diamond #1 and #3 (by the church). Set up far enough out from diamond #3 so as to be well clear of their outfield. We could have as many as 6 tees to set up with Grassy area #3 being the furthest. Allow about 40 ft between each Tee and have the batters hit towards the school side of the park. Know which team you are playing so you can set your Tees up 40 ft apart. We play split squads so you'll be batting at their Tee as well as your own. 3rd team in denotes that your team will be part of the rotation with the two other teams scheduled so it'll be a rotation involving 3 teams and half of your players will move to play at each of the other Tees (in turn) while half of your teams players stay at your own Tee. Play at each Tee for about 10 to 15 minutes then each team will have their complete squad back at their own Tee for any further play and a wind-up session (meeting, snacks, review). At Midland, Blastball is setup far into the left outfield area of Diamond #1 or by Play Area #2. 

Offensive squad: There should be a batting coach, a first-base coach (directing the batter running to first and the "jump") and an "on-deck" coach (prepping the next batter).

Defensive squad: There should be a coach (who also acts as the umpire and calls "play ball" with the catcher, and at least two field coaches.

Since we play our teams in 2 split-squads each per session - this means there should be 6 (or more) volunteers from each team.  Everyone has to do what they can!

The kids catch on to the game very quickly and the novelty of the noisy base may wear off. You should be ready to add small "additions" to the game to keep the kids challenged, remembering at all times that attaining success is the number one priority to having fun.  Some such additions could be as follows:

  • Add one throw and subsequent catch to a designated team-mate by the defensive player who fields the ball
  • Have the ball thrown home to the catcher when fielded and the “catcher” place the ball on the Tee.
  • Lengthen the distance to the base.
  • Widen the vector for the hitters (i.e. place the "3rd baseline cone" further away from first).

For our 2023 season, each team was requested to have a Safety Coordinator to ensure that everyone complies with any mandated health/safety protocols (e.g. social distancing, medical masks, sanitizing, etc.) and any health/safety measures that that a specific team wanted enforced for its participants. The team's Snack Coordinator, if the team has one, is the volunteer that coordinates "healthy" snack schedules and ensures that shared treats are individually packaged whenever possible. 

Age guideline: If you wish to register a child who will be turning 3 before the end of May in the year of play, the system will currently allow you to do so. (No younger children are allowed.) We urge you to assess your child's interest, maturity, attention span, skill level, etc. as the league does include children more than two years older. All players are expected to learn to take instruction from other adults (coaches, helpers & such) --- and all adults with players are expected to help the team in some capacity. Summary: there are mandated safety protocols, playing rules and procedures that everyone is expected to adhere to for the safety and well-being of all.

 

Every year, it's a whole new BLAST! (This one's from our 2018 season!)

Blastball photos from:  2022      2019     2018    2017    2016    2015    2014    2013 

  2012     2011    2010     2009    2008

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