Baseball is the ‘Favorite National Pastime’ of millions of Americans and has remained popular over the years, but most people don’t know that as a sport, it has been around since 1744. The interesting thing is that the formats of the game have been untouched throughout centuries, and it is part of a select group of sports that can claim to be in its original format. The sport may not be globally recognized as the biggest, but it is huge in North America, Japan, and Canada.
The World Series of Baseball is the pinnacle of the sport and is seen to be on par with the Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup. The ironic bit is that only teams from North America compete in this event, which is one of the main reasons why the rest of the world doesn’t recognize it amongst the biggest sporting events in the world.
If you’re thinking about taking up baseball or are simply interested in learning how it’s played, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re going to be discussing America’s favorite pastime and are going to be covering the main rules of baseball that every player must know by heart.
The Object of the Sport
All games and sports have different objectives, and in baseball, the aim is to score more runs than the opposing team. You do that by hitting the ball thrown at you by the pitcher as far as you can before you run around the 4 bases to complete a run. When the player manages to run around all 4 bases without being tagged out, another batter is going to take their place on the mound.
This will continue until all 4 bases are loaded or when 3 batters are struck out or tagged out, which will complete an innings. There are 9 innings in total, and the team that manages to make the most runs after 9 innings is going to be the winner. If the scores are tied after 9 innings, the game is going to continue until there is a clear and definite winner, as there are no ‘draw-games’ in baseball.
The Equipment and the Players
Baseball is played between two teams with 9 players on each side. The game lasts for 9 innings, with teams alternating between batting and fielding in every inning. The scores you make in an inning are added to a cumulative score, and the team with the most points at the end wins.
Innings and Baseball Field
Every team has 3 outs per inning, after which they must swap roles, and every inning can be broken into 2 parts, the Top is where the away team will bat, and the Bottom where the home team will bat. The baseball field is divided into 2 sections: the outfield and the infield.
Specifics of the Game
The pitching mound is in the center of the infield, and it’s where the pitcher stands and throws down the ball to the batter. The batter will be standing at the home plate, and the other three bases are called First base, Second base, and Third base. All batters must touch all bases to complete a successful run.
400;”>Baseball bats can be made from various materials, and the most common ones are metal, aluminum, or wood, while the ball is white with red stitching and is about 3 inches in diameter. The team fielding will wear ‘Mits,’ an oversized glove that helps them pick up and catch the ball in the field.
The catcher stands behind the batter at the home plate and wears extra padding in their glove along with a helmet, leg guards, and a body pad to guard against balls missed by the batter, some of which are hurtling at around 100mph.
Run Scoring and Winning the Game
Even though, as a game, baseball appears to be quite simple but ask the players, and they’ll tell you that to score runs in baseball is anything but simple. Batters need to hit the ball into the outfield and try to run around all 4 bases, touching them with their feet, before the fielding team collects and throws the ball to the base the batter is running towards.
Batters can make matters simpler by hitting the ball out of the park and into the crowd, which is known as a ‘Home Run.’ You don’t need to touch all 4 bases at once to score a run, because players can stop at any base they want if they feel they might not make it to the next base before being tagged out.
Multiple points can be scored by players from one hit if more than one player is already on one of the bases on the field. That’s where the term ‘All Bases are Loaded’ comes from and essentially means that there is a player on every base.
So, when a batter makes it to first base, the players on the second and third bases can run home to complete their set of 4 bases and score a run for their team.
The number of points you manage to score is dependent on how many players get around the home plate before being tagged out. You can score a maximum of 4 points from one hit.
Winning the Game
One team must score more points than their opposition after 9 innings to win a game of baseball. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner, but if the scores are tied at the end of 9 innings, an extra-innings will be played until there is a definitive winner.
There you have it, everything that you need to know about the main rules of baseball to get started. So, get out there on the field and start indulging yourself in America’s favorite national pastime.