Hardball is the nail-biting, high-speed quiz show in which six contestants compete against each other for the chance to win thousands of pounds, but have they got what it takes to outrun the Hardball?
The aim of the game is simple: contestants must get as far down a long, winding track as they can by answering rapid-fire general knowledge questions. Every correct answer moves them one square along the track. However, they're being constantly hunted down by a rolling ball that never stops - the Hardball, and as soon as it passes them, the game is over.
The race is on to stay as far ahead of the Hardball, and their opponents, as they can, because round by round whoever makes the least progress will be going home.
Bright, educated, handsome Conor O'Neill's promising future was wrecked by his gambling addiction, which dragged him into heavy drinking and petty crime, but worst of all, the stifling grip of loan-shark bookies. Desperate for a loan, he agrees to stand in for lawyer friend Jimmy Fleming as coach of a Chicago ghetto Little League baseball team. His sense of pride, becoming the boys' sole idol, and competition, plus their attractive teacher, motivate Conor. But the crushing loan problem rather requires leaving town.