Roller-Bat, Game for all ages

When I was a kid, we lived at the end of a long gravel road without any neighboring kids we could play with. I was the youngest, with a sister four years older and a brother two beyond her. To while away lazy, pre-Internet summers when we’d read all our books and the rabbits were fed and the clouds and the neighbor’s cows doing nothing of interest, we’d often play a game of our own invention called “Roller-Bat”.

The game was simple. You needed three players, a bat, a ball, and optionally a fielder’s glove.

  1. To begin, the eldest would take up a position as fielder at the end of the long gravel driveway–or wherever he thought the first ball was likely to go.
  2. The youngest would take the bat and step up to the plate–which in our case was the end of the paved part of the driveway.
  3. This left the middle child to pitch.
  4. After three strikes, the pitcher had the option of claiming the bat, in which case she swapped positions with the batter.
  5. After batting successfully, all three players were free to run after and retrieve the ball. Whoever held the ball first gots to try for a “run”. The bat was laid on the ground at the “plate” facing the “runner.” The “runner” then tried to throw the ball such that it would roll into the bat. If successful, he or she could claim the position of batter. If the ball missed or bounced over the bat, it didn’t count. The ball could fly and bounce as much as desired, but it had to roll into the bat to count as a run.
  6. Optionally, runs or hits could be counted for scoring, but more often we just played to have fun.

And now you can too, you know…if the Internet ever goes out.