INDIANAPOLIS — "Banana Ball" is coming to Indianapolis next summer.
The Savannah Bananas, the barnstorming viral sensation, are bringing their unique take on the nation's pastime to Victory Field. The Bananas will face their "rivals," the Party Animals, on June 30 at the home of the Indianapolis Indians.
The game is part of the Bananas' 2023 World Tour.
(NOTE: The video in the player above is a story about the Savannah Bananas from our sister station KENS in San Antonio.)
The Bananas have built a massive following on social media, including more than 3.4 million TikTok followers, for the circus-like atmosphere at their games. On top of what you'd expect to find at a ballgame, the Savannah players often break out into dance moves and find ways to get the crowd directly involved in the game.
“The Savannah Bananas provide a fun, captivating and family friendly baseball experience for fans of all ages,” said Indians president and general manager Randy Lewandowski in a release. “We are excited to welcome the newest and zaniest version of baseball, Banana Ball, to Victory Field next June.”
The Bananas created "Banana Ball" as an alternative way to play the game they've loved since childhood. Some of the unique rules include:
- Time clock: Every game lasts a maximum of two hours. When the clock strikes :00, the game is over.
- Scoring: Runs are scored in traditional baseball style, with a runner crossing home plate, but they only count for the inning in which they're scored. The team with the most runs in an inning gets one point.
- Batter up: Batters must stay in the batter's box during their at bat and they're not allowed to bunt.
- No walks: If a batter draws ball four, they run - don't walk - to first base, and any additional base they can reach before every defender touches the baseball and can tag them out.
- The tiebreaker: If a game ends in a tie, each team picks a hitter to face the opposing pitcher and one fielder (plus the catcher). Once the ball is hit, the hitter has to make it around to home plate to score a point before being put out.
- Foul balls are fair: If a fan catches a foul ball during an at bat, the hitter is out.
The Bananas and Party Animals were drafted from the same pool of players after tryouts and play one another throughout the tour, but the games are competitive, unlike the Harlem Globetrotters regular routs of the outmatched Washington Generals.
The team's rise to fame and their first "world tour" was the subject of a series on ESPN+ this summer, appropriately titled "Bananaland."
Tickets are not yet on sale for the Bananas' game at Victory FIeld, but fans are able to sign up for presale alerts.
Tickets for the game start at $25, with children under the age of 3 getting in free, as long as they don't occupy their own seat.