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Water Balloon Baseball: What You Need And How To Play

Water balloon baseball is very easy to set up and keeps the family entertained for hours. I want to share what we found works best and some variations on how to play water balloon baseball.

Water balloon baseball can be played with small or large groups and the rules can vary. Typically a batter will be pitched a water balloon. If the batter breaks the water balloon they will start to round the bases. They will need to avoid additional water balloons thrown by fielders to get on base.

There are so many different ways to play water balloon baseball that it can become a never ending game. It’s fun to get inventive with the rules and we always have a blast playing with different variations.

What You Need To Play Water Balloon Baseball

You’re going to need a few things to have a successful water balloon baseball match. A lot of these things, besides the water balloons, most people already have or can easily make with things around the house.

To play water balloon baseball you need:

  • Water Balloons, Lots Of Water Balloons
  • Baseball Bat
  • Bases
  • Buckets
  • Cones
  • Players

Water Balloons

The amount of water balloons you will need can vary depending on how many people are playing and how long you want to play for. We usually start with about 50 water balloons made and then make more as we keep playing. That way you don’t end up with loads of left over water balloons when it’s time to call it quits.

We just get this Bunch O Balloons Water Balloons Pack from Amazon. It comes with 420 self sealing water balloons that you fill up in groups at a time. You can fill 100 water balloons in under a minute if you get this pack.

Baseball Bat

Baseball bat is a simple one, we usually use one of those plastic baseball bats made for wiffle ball. You could also use a real baseball bat, but you only really need to pop a water balloon, so it’s not necessary.


It’s helpful to have something easily noticeable for your bases so everyone can quickly see where the bases are. We’ve used pieces of cardboard before, but using pieces of foam floor tile has worked out a lot better for us. You will need three bases and a home plate. A lot of people can easily find things around the house to use as bases.


We like to use buckets to hold all the water balloons. A bucket for the pitcher, and another one off to the side to hold any extra water balloons as we make them. Anything that can hold the water balloons off the ground to keep them from popping will work. We like to use the big buckets with handles to help carry them around easier.


You could use cones to mark the path between the bases or to mark the bases themselves. Cones may not be entirely necessary if your bases are easy to see. You could also use cones to mark the area where the fielders need to stand. One of the variations we like to play involves the fielders standing a certain distance away from the bases.


You need people to play! Invite some family over or have your kids invite their friends. This game can be played with just two people, but the more the merrier in this case. We found it works best and is the most fun with two teams of 3 or 4.

How To Play Water Balloon Baseball

These are the traditional rules to playing water balloon baseball. I will put some variations on the game below. To start you will need to divide the players up into two teams. Flip a coin to see which team is up at bat first. The team on defense will have a pitcher and fielders. The team up at bat will only have batters.

Up At Bat

The batter will have three chances to hit a water balloon pitched by the pitcher with their bat. If the batter swings and misses, that is a strike. If the batter hits the water balloon but it doesn’t break, that is foul ball. If the pitcher doesn’t throw the water balloon over the plate and the batter doesn’t swing, that counts toward the foul ball count.

Getting On Base

After the batter breaks a water balloon he becomes a runner and it’s a mad dash to first base. This is where the fielders will have a chance to hit the runner with a water balloon to get them out. Each fielder is only allowed to throw one water balloon per base the runner attempting.

If the foul count reaches 3 fouls, the batter can take first base uncontested. The fielders will not be allowed to get the batter out as he takes first base in this case. Unless you want to throw water balloons at them anyway, it’s up to you.

Home Run

If the batter wants to continue past first base he can. But the fielders will be allowed to throw unlimited amounts of water balloons if the runner tries to take more than one base at a time. You can even allow fielders to move past the boundaries in this case as well. This makes it harder to get a home run but adds some more exciting action to the game.


The pitcher just stands at the mound and throws water balloons to the batters as it’s their turn. It’s nice to cycle through pitchers to give everyone a chance at it. This way no one gets left being a fielder all the time and the batters have different pitcher to contend with.


The fielders are standing out in the field throwing water balloons at the runners as they round the bases. Use cones or rope to mark a barrier that the fielders can not cross. Unless of course if the runner is trying to take extra bases. The fielder will only be allowed one water balloon throw per base the runner takes. You can alter this rule to make the game more fun as you see fit.

Fun Variations To Water Balloon Baseball

There are so many variations you can place on this game to make it more fun for everyone playing. It’s best to start playing and make the changes that work for your group as you go. Here are some fun variations we use.

Smaller Groups

With only a few people you won’t be able to play with the traditional rules, but you can still play and have fun. If you have just one adult and a couple children for example, the adult can be the permanent pitcher. In this case the kids can just bat and if they break a water balloon, the pitcher can now act as a fielder and try to get them out.

It’s fun seeing how far around the bases they can get before being hit with a water balloon. You could also have any one waiting to bat act as a fielder to help the pitcher out while they wait their turn to bat.

Free For All

There are no teams. Instead, only one person is up to bat at a time. When the batter gets a hit, they need to go for a home run every time. Either they get a home run, or they get hit by a water balloon, no other outcomes.

This is a fun way to play if you have 4 or more people but not enough to create separate teams. You will have to create a rotation to determine the batting order, but this way everyone is always involved. No one will be waiting to bat because all the players will either be fielding, pitching, or batting at all times.

Runner Catch

You could implement your own house fairly easily with this game. One of the ones we like to use is that if a runner catches a water balloon thrown by a fielder. They runner now gets an extra life. Meaning he can now get hit with one water balloon and still be in the game for that round of bases. This can be implemented along with other variations as well.

Clean Up

This is really the only downside to playing water balloon baseball. There are always little pieces of water balloon plastic all over the place. We usually give the kids a little paper bag and have them collect all the pieces after we’ve finished playing but no one likes this part.

Try to make it fun for them by offering anyone who helps pick up water balloon pieces a freeze pop. To speed up the process tell them whoever collects the most pieces will get a free shot at you. Meaning they get to hit you with a water balloon and you’re not allowed to move out of the way.

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