The Rules of Baseball –
Baseball is an American sport and is played with 2 teams of 40 players, with 9 players taking to the field at any one time.The object of the game is for your team to score more runs than the opposing team.
To score a run, a player must hit the ball between the foul lines and run across three bases and back to home. A hit outside these lines is classed as a ‘foul ball’ and the batter is not allowed to run.
The essence of the game is between the pitcher of one team against the batter of the other team. As mentioned before, the batter’s job is to hit the ball between the foul lines but the pitchers job is to get the batter out by throwing into the strike zone. This is an imaginary box that’s the width of home plate and roughly between the batters armpits and knees.
- If the pitcher throws the ball through this are a it’s a strike. If the batter swings and misses any ball it’s also a strike.
- If the batter hits the ball outside the foul line sit can be a 1st or 2nd Strike only.
- And obviously, three strikes means you’re out!
- A pitch outside this area is called a ‘ball’.
- Four balls against a batter and he gets to walk to first base. That sounds simple enough, but there are 3 other ways for a team to get you out.
Firstly, if the batter hits the ball along the ground the opposing team can throw the ball to the base he’s running to. If the ball beats the batter to the base – he’s out.A batter can be tagged out whilst running between the bases. If he hits the ball and the ball is caught in the air by the opposing team he’s also out. Once three outs have been made, their half of the inning is over and the other team gets to bat. Once both teams have batted this is known as an inning, the game is played over 9 innings.
There are no ties in baseball, so if the score is tied after 9 innings, extra innings will be played to determine the winner. That’s basically it – but there’s a few other rules you’ll need to understand before playing or going to a game.
For example: Home Run If a batter hits the ball out of the park between the foul lines, the batter batter (and anyone standing on the bases) get to walk freely around the bases and back to home. All runs score.
- Stealing bases: To help move the batters along the bases some players will try and make a run for the next base. This is a risky gamble,as the opposing team will be prepared for this and will try and get you out. If the batter is caught out, he is ‘caught stealing’. If a catcher misses or drops the ball, the batter can try and steal first base.
- Tagging up: If the ball is caught in the air: any players standing on the bases must start from that base before running for the next one.
- Ground Rule Double: If in the rare instance a ball is hit onto the ground and leaves the ballpark, the batter automatically walks to 2nd base.
- Double play: This is where the ball is hit in play and the defending team gets two outs,usually by way of throwing to one base, and then another. Designated hitter in Major League Baseball American League American League teams can opt to have someone bat in place of the pitcher. This player is the designated hitter, and he usually specializes in hitting the ball and scoring runs. In the National League (and everywhere else) – the pitchers must bat for themselves.
There are many other rules not discussed here, but as you watch or play baseball the rules will become clear.