is a competitive, outdoor game for 3+ people that is typically played with a baseball
, or flying disc
. One person is designated as the thrower, and stands a good distance away from the rest of the group. The game begins with the thrower calling out a number (typically a multiple of 100 between 100 and 500), and then throwing the baseball
, or hitting the baseball
with a baseball bat
, in the general direction of the group. The person that catches the throw gains the number of points called out. The process is repeated until one of the players reaches or exceeds 500
points. That player then switches places with the thrower, and the game continues. Typically, all player's point totals are reset when a new thrower is instated.
A few variations to the game exist. These optional rules are:
- Points are retained after one of the players reaches 500.
- Any mathematical quantity may be used, including infinity and negative infinity. Often, the term jackpot is used in place of infinity.
- If a catch is attempted but missed (i.e. the object is touched but dropped), the player must deduct that throw's value from his total. When this rule is combined with the above rule (ie infinity is allowed), the math is bent slightly such that infinity accumulation is additive. This means that dropping two infinity/jackpot throws would yield a score of negative 2 x infinity. If an infinity/jackpot throw were then successfully caught, the player's score would be negative 1 x infinity, or simply negative infinity. Varying by region, this variation can be used selectively by using the term "hot" (e.g. calling "400 hot" would mean that the aforementioned variation would be in effect, however calling "400" would mean that merely the standard rules would be in play).
- Two or more balls/discs may be used. They may be thrown simultaneously or one after another.
- If using a baseball, rather than calling out a number, a particular kind of catch may be worth a certain number of points - 100 for catching a fly ball, 75 for catching the ball on one bounce, etc.
- The thrower can also specify whether the ball/disc is "dead" or "alive". A "dead" ball is one that has to be picked up off the ground, and an "alive" ball is one that must be caught. And a "dead or alive" ball is one that, as the name implies, can be gotten either off the ground or in the air. Normally the ball is considered to be alive unless the thrower says otherwise.
- Another rule which can be applied is the impairment rule. Impairments are thrown out in the form of a "Mystery Box". The box can contain a certain number of points, or it can contain an impairment. The four impairments are: "handcuffs" where you must catch the ball as if you are wearing handcuffs, "glue" where you must keep your feet together, "worm" where you must catch the ball while you lie on your stomach, and "bat" where you must close your eyes. You can also throw "crippled" which is all of the impairments at once. Impairments are removed when the thrower changes.
Though 500 is meant to be played competitively, it is first and foremost a game played "for the fun of it". Mutual respect and a postitive attitude are key. See the Ultimate "spirit of the game" rule.
The game was mentioned by Duane Kuiper and Mike Krokow during a game between the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres on July 4,2007.