Rules of Play:

  1. All players start at the same location and time. Kids and inexperienced players may get a head start or “handicap” if everyone agrees.
  2. The Player must throw the ball up and hit it with a bat to move forward.
  3. The Player may not touch the ball if it is moving unless it is moving away from the goal or the intended path to the goal.
  4. The first ball to reach the goal wins the round. If the times are the same then the fewest hits wins (no one keeps track of how many hits they have so hopefully this will never come up).
  5. Any path from the start point to the goal is legal.
  6. If the ball is lost The Player starts the round over with a new ball. However, players are allowed to use any “locally moral” means to recover their ball.
  7. You may move 5 steps from where the ball stops to hit with better footing or clear an immediate obstacle.
  8. You may not intentionally hit another players ball or another player with your ball or bat and you may not block or “check” other players.


  • Theater: The park, campus or open space containing the starting point and goals for the entire game of Cross-country BigBall
  • Round: A single goal, start to finish.
  • Game: A series of rounds.
  • Stick: A term used to describe a ball staying in place for a goal to count. If “the goal must stick” then the ball must not only touch the goal, it must stay in or on the goal to count as a goal. In the opposite case, “does not have to stick”, the ball does not have to stay in or on the goal to count as a goal. It must only bump the goal.
  • Handicap: A head start. For example, a Handicap of 3 means the player may hit the ball three times before the other players begin.


  • Wear cleats with high tops for traction and to avoid twisted ankles.You must be in excellent aerobic condition, a single goal can cover miles of unrestrained sprinting.
  • Avoid steep uphills in your route unless the way around is very long. If the ball gets away from you on a hill you will have to go a long way to the bottom to retrieve the ball. It could take all day to get to the goal.
  • Avoid going over roofs. Balls get stuck on roofs. Also, balls often go under the intended roof and through the window commonly placed below the roof.
  • Because this game requires a large theater, it is often necessary to traverse other smaller games such as baseball, soccer, golf and polo. This usually does not present a problem but in some cases it may be wise to go around smaller games to avoid a conflict.
  • Players not familiar with the theater should consider playing their first rounds with a hand held GPS receiver.

When the game is over; you’re hot, tired, have a twisted ankle and you lost your ball, nothing makes you feel better than an ice cold Lime Fruit Floe from Trader Joe’s — and they’re fat free.