The Sport of Tee-ball (T-Ball)
Tee-ball hasn’t been around for long, but the sport is widely popular in the U.S. amongst kids ages 4 to 7. Tee-ball is considered a great sport to prepare a player for faster paced, more coordinated sports like baseball and softball. Contrary to most sports, which often have a competitive nature, tee-ball is more about developing a player’s fundamental skills and having fun.
How to play Tee-ball
Since tee-ball is a sport that’s geared towards youth players, there are certain measures that go into making the game as safe and fun as possible. For example, coaches will often be on the field to facilitate the game and ensure no injury occurs.
The object of the game, however, still stays the same. The team with the most runs scored by the end of the game is deemed the winner. Players score runs by properly hitting the ball that’s stationed on the tee in the field, and rounding the bases one base at a time.
Rules of Tee-ball
- Tee-ball games can be played with teams of 5 to 7 players. The amount of innings played in a game are usually the same as the amount of players on a team.
- Tee-ball fields are very small, with bases only 50 feet apart. There is a dead ball zone about 40 feet from the tee. If a ball is fielded in this zone and the defender runs to the pitching rubber, the ball will be considered dead and the hitter can only advance one base.
- There is a 5 foot “foul” zone in front of the tee. If a ball is hit in this area it will be considered dead or a strike (based on the league) and the player will have a redo.
- A proper hit is when the ball is cleanly hit off the tee. If the player strikes the tee or knocks it over, they’ll have another chance to swing.
- There are no stealing bases in tee-ball. Additionally, baserunners cannot take a lead off. They’re only allowed to advance once the ball has been hit.
- To keep player morale high, an inning will only last the standard three outs or if a team has scored five runs -- than the teams will switch out.
- There is a rotating batter order after every inning to ensure that every player on the team has a chance to leadoff.
- The tee can be adjusted for the player’s height and overall preference.
Because of the fun nature of the game, tee-ball games can end in a tie. This is to teach the players that winning isn’t everything and to enjoy their time on the field. Parents are usually expected to participate in making the game a fun experience for the players. After games, there may be a pizza party or a picnic to encourage camaraderie between the two teams.
Written by: Devin Pickell