Vitilla lives on; the game develops a great eye for the ball in those who play

“Vitilla,” or street baseball, lives on in most urban centers in the Dominican Republic, especially in the barrios.

Vitilla is the Dominican version of stickball. For the uninitiated, stickball is a street game that is or was extremely popular in every major city in the United States. All you needed was a broomstick, one of those pink bouncy balls and a few rules.

Vitilla (stickball) is baseball without bats, balls, bases, or gloves. “Home” could be a manhole cover, and anything could be a base: a lamp post, a mailbox, or a sewer grate. In the Dominican barrios, the same thing applies. The game has certainly been around since the start of the Great Dominican Diaspora in the early 1960s.

However, in the DR, instead of a pink bouncy ball, the kids use everything from bottle caps to the tops of the 5-gallon water bottles as the objects to be thrown.

To this day, pro baseball players still use variations of the game as a training method to increase their hand-eye coordination. 

This game, along with “La plaquita” (license plate) are two of the truly down-to-earth games played all over the country. The plaquita is a Dominican version of cricket and is played on the streets as well.

Read more in Spanish:
El Caribe


4 March 2024