Double Diamond Baseball (Grades 1-12)
Materials and Preparation:
The teacher or students prepare questions in four
degrees of difficulty; single, double, triple, home
Two baseball diamonds will be needed in order to
use a Ping-Pong game format. Mark the bases on the
The batter is asked by the pitcher to pick the level
of difficulty of their question – single, double,
triple, or home run.
The pitcher selects and asks a question from the
single, double, triple or home run stack. If, however,
the teacher is “pitcher” and does not
have stacks of questions already prepared, he or she
can just ask questions “off the top of their
If the student answers correctly, the student walks
to the appropriate base and other runners advance
the same number of bases.
If the question is answered incorrectly, a “fly
ball” is called, and the question goes to a
player of the team that is “in the field.”
When you say “fly ball,” wait
before calling on a student so that everyone
in the field must dig for the answer.
If the player in the field answers the
question correctly, the fly ball has been
caught and the batter is out.
If the outfielder misses the question,
the fly ball has been dropped, and the batter
goes to first base on an error. All runners
advance one base on an error.
- When using the Ping-Pong game format, the questions
alternate between teams. So, the second question goes
to the team that was in the field (i.e., playing defense)
during the previous question. The Ping-Pong format guarantees
that both teams get to bat an equal number of times,
that everybody plays all of the time, and that both
teams are continually engaged in scoring runs.
The “Ping-Pong” format does away with innings.
In order to make outs meaningful, compute the final score
as runs minus outs.
Pick four students of roughly equal scholastic ability
to be captains. They do not need to be fast students.
In fact this is a nice chance to honor some of your slower
students. Give them your class list and say:
“I want you to take this class list to the table
in the back of the room and make equal teams for me.
Horse-trade until they are equal because you will have
to live with them.”
If you wish to add a further guarantee of fair play,
say to the students:
“It is your job to choose and trade until the
teams are equal. After you give me equal teams, you
will draw lots to see which team you will captain.”
Keeping track on the chalk board
Comments or Variations:
Most 4-Level games follow a Ping-Pong format with
the question going to the opposite team if missed.
It is best to play such games open book. You will
find the players on defense digging for the answer
as soon as it is asked. Since kids hate doing nothing,
you will usually find the rest of the students on
the team that is “at bat” digging for
the answer as well.
Football is similar except that the defense can “sack
the quarterback” for a ten-yard loss when the
student picks a 10-yard question, or they can intercept
a 20, 30 or 40-yard pass play.
- If you have any questions about rules, turn it over
to the students. They will make sure the rules are fair.
And, speaking of keeping things fair – a perennial
preoccupation with teenagers – how do you choose