The Pain-Free Rounders Survival Guide

The summer term is upon us. With it comes the promise of long sunny days, ice cream, tourists who look like boiled lobsters and of course…rounders.

Am I the only one who hates this supposedly ‘fun’ activity? I cannot think of anything worse than standing in a field with the sun in my eyes, dreading the moment when a ball flies towards me and everyone screams ‘CATCH IT!’ If they’re so bothered, why don’t they catch it themselves? Don’t try the ‘it’s good exercise’ excuse on with me either. Those mild bursts of running juxtaposed with hours of standing in a field heightening my risk of skin cancer are not going to benefit me at all.

Luckily, after suffering through so many torturous PE lessons, I have picked up a few skills that make playing the game just about bearable. So if the sight of a wooden bat makes you shudder, if your nightmares involve a PE teacher yelling ‘catch it, butterfingers’ and if you would find cataloguing the contents of your fridge more interesting than a game of rounders, then I salute you as a kindred spirit. This is the guide for you!

1. ‘Deep field’ in a very obscure position (preferably one that is rarely touched by hedgehogs, let alone rounders balls).

2. Stand in a position that looks vaguely as if you are about to catch a ball (ie not with your arms crossed). This gives the teacher one less reason to yell at you.

3. In the unlikely event that the ball comes within ten metres of you, pretend to suffer from Delayed Reaction Syndrome then jog towards the ball painfully slowly. Flail your arms around a lot and it doesn’t matter how fast you run; the teacher will be mildly impressed.

4. When someone else picks up the ball, put on a disappointed face and shuffle back to your original position.

Get out. This is a double whammy because not only does it save you from having to run round the whole pitch, but you are also banned from batting for the rest of the game. The genius who invented this rule deserves a medal.

There are two ways of getting out, both equally low exertion:

1. Be run out. This involves a technique you are already familiar with – the Painfully Slow Run. Just apply this technique until the person behind cannot help but catch you up. What’s more, it is they who are yelled at, not you. Bonus!

2. Ensure that the ball reaches the post before you. The Painfully Slow Run comes in handy yet again here. You can run as far as you like with this method, but why you might want to is beyond me.

Run and hide.


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