Written by Marshall Kramsky for WCPO
Bunting sucks! Or at least it does in Banana Ball.
The Florence Y’alls recorded the first bunt-ejection of the season while facing the Savannah Bananas Monday night. That’s right — a player was ejected for attempting to bunt in a game.
“Ladies and gentlemen, he just bunted in the game — he’s out of here,” the announcer yelled as the Y’alls’ Brandon Mason attempted a bunt. “Why? Because bunting sucks!”
The Bananas spectacle has drawn a whole new wave of baseball fans to the sport. Besides the millions of social media followers, over half a million fans around the world are wait-listed to check out a game. A Bananas player described the experience as, “a two-hour circus with a baseball game breaking out.”
The Florence Y’alls gave Banana Ball their best shot Monday night.
“It isn’t going to mean anything, whether we win or lose, but it’s going to mean a lot how we compete, and we are going to learn a lot from how they operate. What they do, and all the fun they have and all the fun they project to their fans,” Florence Y’alls President David DelBello said before the game.
The TikTok dances and in-game shenanigans are what made the Bananas famous, but there is more to it.
The team played under the rules of ‘Banana Ball’ — which includes a strict bunting ban. There are a total of nine rules.
- Rule 1: Scoring is different. Each inning counts. Whichever team scores more runs in each individual inning earns a point, except for the last inning. In the final inning, every run counts as a point.
- Rule 2: The game is meant to be fast. ‘Banana Ball’ has a strict two hour time limit. No new inning can start after 1 hour and 50 minutes.
- Rule 3: No stepping out of the box. If a hitter steps out of the batter’s box, it counts as a strike.
- Rule 4: NO BUNTING! If a hitter squares to bunt, they are ejected from the game.
- Rule 5: On ANY pitch a batter can steal first base. Usually, this is attempted on a past ball or wild pitch.
- Rule 6: No walks allowed. After ball four, the hitter begins a sprint around the bases. The team in the field must have every player, besides the pitcher and catcher, touch the ball before they can try to get the hitter out.
- Rule 7: No mound visits what-so-ever. This includes both coach and catcher approaching the mound.
- Rule 8: Make sure to bring your glove. If a fan catches a foul ball, the batter is out!
- Rule 9: No extra innings! If the game is tied after the final inning the game is decided by a ‘Showdown Tie Breaker’ consisting of three rounds. In each round, the hitter must score. If a team scores, it’s worth one point.
- Round 1: Pitcher, catcher and one fielder vs. one hitter.
- Round 2: Pitcher and catcher vs. one hitter.
- Round 3: Pitcher, catcher and one fielder vs. one hitter with the bases loaded (in this round, every run counts as a point).
- If at any point during the showdown a player hits a ball over the fence, it’s a walk-off home run, that team wins the game.