The Alternative to Baseball: Spaceball

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 6:36 PM EDT
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Over the course of the long winter months baseball lovers in the County were waiting for the snow to melt to start their seasons only to find out that as soon as it did there wouldn't be a season at all.

(Michael Boone): "Well I coach the middle school baseball team here in Presque Isle. SO we missed our full season. My brother is in eighth grade so he missed his season. So I was really hoping this would happen so I wouldn't miss two seasons of baseball so I'm glad we're doing something and happy it's to this capacity."

That something Michael is talking about is a modified version of baseball. It's called SpaceBall.

(AP): "Spaceball at it's core is the game of baseball. The biggest difference are that players are not able to field balls outside of their zone. As you can see we've added lines to the field separating each position and players are not allowed to field baseballs to keep them separate on the field. We've also taken the catcher out of the equation to limit that crowding around the plate with space in that regard.

Andrew Perry is the program director at the Presque Isle Parks and Rec Department. The department had a choice to either not play baseball at all or come up with an alternative. They did the latter.

(Andrew Perry): "This was born out of necessity. We were given strict guidelines as far as what we could or could not do...specifically in this case pertaining to baseball. So rather than give in and decide that we weren't going to do anything, we went to the drawing board and said where are the problems...Where do they lie? What are the issues? And how can we fix them? So, Spaceball was born out of the need for an adjustment to space on the field, that's where the name comes from. So the two biggest issues were space and sanitation both of which we've been able to overcome and here we are able to play the game."

Last week the Parks and Rec department held a workout to divide the teams up based on skill level. The kids range from 4th graders to 7th graders.

There are only two teams in the league and they only play 2 games a week, but these kids who have been quarantined in their homes for the last 3 month have no problem with that!

(LC): "I mean it's different but if that's the only thing we can do to play then it's fine with me I don't really mind as long as we're out here playing just getting our practice in."

(AP): "Bottom line we really wanted to give kids their summer back. They've had to sacrifice a lot with academics, school, social time with friends, sports, and we didn't want to give this up. We wanted to do everything we could to make it happen so they could play the game that they loved…

Andrew says game will continue to evolve...The goal is to get it as close to baseball as possible.

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