Thursday, April 09, 2009

MOUNDBALL: Official Rules


At the start of the game, each player places their ante into a cup or hat. The game begins in the top of the first inning, with the player closest to the aisle holding the cup for the length of the half inning. Alternately, players may draw numbers or otherwise randomly determine the order.

At the end of the half inning, the player from the fielding team to record the last out will typically throw or roll the ball towards the mound, where the opposing pitcher might easily retrieve it. This is the seminal moment of gameplay, as the ball will usually reach the mound, roll up on the slope of dirt, and roll back towards the grass due to gravity or momentum


Should the ball stay on the dirt of the mound, the player holding the cup is declared the winner, and collects all money in the cup. If the ball should roll back onto the grass, or fail to reach the mound at all, that player has lost the round, and the cup passes to the next player. The money in the cup carries over, as in a skins game in golf, and each player must add more money to the cup. If a player is not in his or her seat holding the cup at the time of the winning or losing event, the other players are not obligated to inform him or her of a winning moundball. It is each player's sole responsibility to pay attention to the moundball results on their own particular turn.


Each time the ball stays on the mound, the player whose turn it is to hold the cup wins all of the money contained therein. Each time the ball does not stay on the mound, the money in the cup increments by one dollar per player. Either way, the game continues with each player adding a dollar to the cup as the teams switch fields between half innings, and the cup passing to the next player for their turn. As the moundball players leave their seats periodically to use the restroom or go to the concession stand, it is important to retain the same order of turns to maintain fairness.

At the end of the baseball game, any money remaining in the cup is returned to the players equally. Some games may be ended early in order to limit the number of turns to a multiple of the number of players - e.g. the game might end after the 8th inning so that four players each had four chances to win over 16 half innings. Only games consisting of 2, 3 or 6 players naturally result in a fair number of turns over 9 innings (18 half innings), although the baseball tradition of skipping the bottom of the ninth when the home team is ahead can affect fairness in any case.


Anonymous said...

I have a question : What happens if we have a group of 16 & all are playing MB. It appears all will get a chance at the winnings, but the people in inning 1 if they win or lose still pay into the cup thru out the game but never get another opportunity to win again right?

Anonymous said...

That's how it is. We played tonight & there was a winner in the 2nd & the 6th innings. Take your cances, it's random fun