Considering the unprecedented popularity of baseball in America, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many modified versions of baseball are in practice in the region, for the real version of baseball is considered inappropriate for kids and casual players. As compared to baseball, it is relatively easier and safe.
The origins of this game date back to at least the 1950s, the first ever Tee Ball league was played in March 1958, the league was formed by Claude Lewis, director of the Warner Robins, Georgia, Recreation Department, and 20 children participated in the very first year of this league. Also, it was Lewis who designed rules for the modern version and mailed it to concerned departments in his country and overseas.
Tee Ball is quite popular in all states of America, especially among school kids who can participate in the game without any fear of being hit by a hard baseball ball or any such injury. As per one estimate, more than 2 million children play Tee Ball in the USA.
Object of Playing Tee-Ball
Just like baseball, two teams play against each other and the team which scores the most number of runs after the deciding number of innings wins the game.
Though, in broader perspective, the primary objective of the game is to introduce children with the sport of baseball and hone their hand and eye coordination which can only be done in the similar environment and continuous practice.
How to Play?
Tee ball is played a light bat similar to baseball bat and a ball which is placed over a Tee. It’s a kids sport which is considered as a preparation for kids before the move to baseball. It is played between two teams of equal number of players and the number of innings can vary. Both teams bat and field equal number of times, there is no pitcher in Tee ball but the batter hits the still ball placed on the Tee.
Tee ball has simple rules which make it convenient for kids to participate in this game. If you want to learn further how it is played and what are the rules, you can find everything in general rules of Tee ball.
General Rules of Tee Ball
- 5-7 players can play for each side, or you can add or less a few players, but make sure that both teams have the same number of players.
- Moreover, you can keep the number of innings equal to the number of players. Make every kid bat once and call it an inning, in this way, the time taken by one inning will be minimized.
- If the match comprises 7 innings, then all batters bat at once and all 7 innings are over at once. Then the opposition takes their turn.
- There is no pitcher in Tee ball. The ball is placed on a Tee and the batter strikes it anywhere in the field.
- A batter can have as many swings as he wants on the ball, until he gets out.
- There are 4 bases and batsmen can complete one run by running these 4 bases.
- Fielder who fields the ball can tag the running batsman out with the ball in his hand.
- A batter can also be dismissed by getting caught in the field.
- A catcher stands behind the batter in the homebase, his job is to place the ball on the tee.
- Rest of the fielders can be placed anywhere.
- In the end, the team with the most points wins the game.
Before the start of the match, a coin toss takes place to decide which team will bat first.
Time Duration of a Tee Ball Game
It’s a casual sport and the time duration of a single game depends upon the number of innings. For best practice, it is advised to keep the number of innings minimum because kids don’t have the stamina to field for long hours.
There are no dimensions related to the playing field of Tee Ball. It is played on grassy fields, mostly parks, where bases are marked as per the area given and a homebase can be set where the Tee is set for the player to strike.
Every equipment you need in Tee ball doesn’t have specifications for the dimensions but it’s up to the convenience of kids, what feels easy in their hands. For a game of Tee Ball, you’ll need:
Bucket: A bucket is not necessary but it is considered a good practice in American school where children place hit balls in the bucket and after a few shots hand over them back to the batter who can then place them on Tee one by one and hit. This, of course, saves time if they play only with one ball.
Tee Balls: These balls are similar to balls used in baseball but much softer and lighter.
Tee: The Tee supports the ball when the batsman is ready to strike. Make sure the length of this tee is according to the height of kids.
Bats: These bats are easy to lift and are 25-26 inches long. The lighter the bat is, the easier it will be for kids to play.
Helmets: Though the game is very safe, kids still wear helmets, perhaps to emulate professional baseball players or for extra safety.
Tee Ball Trainer/Teacher
Sports teachers and Tee Ball transfers are supposed to train kids at school level and supervise their matches. They ensure that players learn the rules of baseball in an easy way and their safety remains first priority.
Famous Tee Ball Events
Several Tee Ball events take place at domestic level in the USA, in which, not only kids but adults eager to hone their baseball skills also participate in separate contests.
The Tee Ball, for being less popular outside the USA, doesn’t have an international governing body. However, there is Tee Ball USA Association, which is the national governing body in the country and sanctions all professional events held in the country.