How to Play Baseball Football

If you have a large group of experienced baseball players, and want to put all their skills to the test without a diamond, baseball-football is for you.


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    Make teams. You can do this however you like, from boys versus girls, old-school gym style and more. Just try to make the skill level about equal.
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    Make a field. You can use anything from a real football field to pylons marking the corners. The players should be able to run end-zone to end-zone in about 10 seconds, and sideline to sideline in about 5-7.
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    Pick a kicking and receiving team. It can be a coin toss, rock paper scissors, or whatever you can think of.
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    "Kick off". Back up to your back quarter (halfway between the half of the field and the end-zone) in the centre, pick a thrower, and show a thumbs up to show you and your team are ready. When the other team responds, set your defenders in motion, and throw the ball. The ball must travel at least 10 yards (or 10% of your field) before the kicking team can try to collect it, or it's a minor penalty. The receiving team will collect it, and attempt to run down the field, until they're tagged like in normal baseball. The play stops at the site of tagging.
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    The offensive team (the team with the ball) gets 4 (or whatever you want) downs (tries) to get to the end-zone, using passing (throwing the ball to receivers) and running (giving or flipping the ball to a runner) plays. Every play starts either with the centre passing the ball to the quarterback or the QB starting with it. The QB says "Hut" and the play begins. If you traverse 10% or more of your field, you get a first down and an imaginary line 10% in front of you for another one. See the rules of football for more rules.
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    There should be at least one defender on the quarterback counting "steamboats", or a predetermined number of seconds (counted 'one steamboat, two steamboat...') If the quarterback does not pass or make a play by the count of the last steamboat, defenders may tag the QB for a sack. If they do before, it's a minor penalty.
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    Play resumes until 4th down and the offense has not reached the end-zone or if they score with a touchdown (reach the end-zone) or field-goal ("kick" the ball into a certain large space [see football uprights]). A touchdown is worth 6 points and a field-goal attempt from the goal line for an extra point, and a field-goal that isn't after a touchdown is worth 3 points.
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    On 4th down, the team must choose to go for it, punt, or try a field-goal. If you go for it, you must get a first down, or the other team gets the ball at the line of scrimmage (where the play starts.) Punting is basically a kickoff from the line of scrimmage, and see about field-goals above.
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    A turnover is when the defense gets the ball. Mid-play turnovers are interceptions (a defender catching a pass) and fumbles (an offender drops the ball before being tagged and a defender gets it). Kicking turnovers are kickoffs, punts, and missed field-goals. Turnovers also occur if you fail to get a first down on 4th down.
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    On penalties- There are several different levels of intensity for penalties - minor, for small things and accidents, which are usually about 5% back; major, which are for slightly bigger things and a little more dangerous (like tripping), and are usually 10% back; ejections, which are for very dangerous things like fighting, which is out for the game; and suspensions and expulsions, both for repeated ejections and incidents, but the prior is a certain amount of games where you're not allowed to participate, and the latter, out of the league for good. Yardage penalties can be reversed (forward instead of backward) if the defense incurs the penalty. Play always stops at the point of infraction.
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    Play resumes until a predetermined point, whether it's an hour, until the sun goes down, or a certain amount of points, it can be anything. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.


  • The play can vary any way you want, from flags instead of tags, to a wide or narrow field, etc. Make it work for you.
  • Learn the rules of real football to understand it and its rules better.


  • If your players are young or not very experienced, use a softer ball in case they miss a pass.
  • Be sure to keep safe. Everyone should wear a helmet, and hard overhand throws (other than the "kicks") should be prohibited and have consequences, and no tripping, tackling, hitting, etc.

Things You'll Need

  • Baseball
  • Players (2+)
  • Baseball Gloves
  • Helmets
  • Pylons (if needed)
  • (Optional) Flags

Article Info

Categories: Football