Sport in schools is often divided between those who love it and those who actively try to avoid it but for the latter group, it’s often a lack of confidence or ability which is the root cause.
Some sports can be more difficult to participate in if you’re not naturally athletic but that’s not the case with rounders.
Played in England since the Tudor times, this sport has a history of being inclusive and accessible for all. The contemporary game hasn’t veered away from this concept and this makes it the perfect entry-level sport to encourage participation for every student.
Comfort in anonymity
Those who are naturally athletic may enjoy a wide range of PE lessons but children who find it more difficult could feel as if they’re simply not good enough to take part. If they can’t run fast, jump high or display nifty footwork they may feel as if they’re not cut out for athletic endeavours.
Rounders is a game that can start to change those perceptions because it provides the chance to participate in a team sport where there’s a place for every level of ability.
Being part of a big team with so many different positions provides a comforting degree of anonymity which can make it more accessible to those who are anxious about taking part. As just a few examples, there’s bowling, batting, deep fielding, and backstop, all of which require different skills.
Rounders is a sport that everyone can participate in and with the reassurance of being part of a large group rather than singled out, it’s a far less intimidating way to start playing sport.
This is particularly well illustrated by the wheelchair rounders which is played around the country, proving irrefutably that you don’t need to be traditionally athletic to enjoy taking part.
Take a fun approach to rounders
Children don’t need to be good at sport to feel included in rounders because of the team spirit which develops during every game.
Even if the ball is missed, the player could still go on to score, so not being good with a bat doesn’t prevent participation. The rest of the batting team cheer on their team mates while they’re out on the field, and there’s no hierarchy about who’s better; when players are on a base, there’s very little difference.
The same applies when bowling and fielding; it’s a group effort with all players contributing at various points. If you’re less able, it’s possible to choose a fielding position which isn’t as important or as active.
This removes the pressure from having to “perform” and allows the player to just relax and enjoy their time on the pitch.
More than athletic ability
Although being good at sports certainly helps in rounders, the game demands much more than just being able to run fast or bat well.
Other skills such as planning, strategy and tactics are just as important – if not more so! – giving players who don’t have the same sporting ability the chance to contribute in other ways.
Rounders is almost unique in its ability to unite a team and promote sportsmanship because of the lack of emphasis on athleticism. This removes some of the fears and frustrations which are barriers to participation in sporting activity, making it far more accessible for all.