Baseball has been dubbed the “national pastime” of the United States. Every spring, millions of baseball fans anticipate the start of a new season. Baseball is also popular in Latin America and Asia, particularly in Japan. A bat and a fist-sized ball are used to play the game. Two nine-player teams compete against one another. The object is to get the most points possible or runs in a game. Baseball could be introduced to kids with simple rules and regulations, some of which are –
Baseball is a sport in which two teams of nine players compete to score more runs than their opponents by running around the bases and crossing home plate as many times as possible.
The batting team does not bat again until the fielding team has struck out three hitters.
Players and their Positions-
- The Pitcher – The pitcher stands on the pitcher’s mound
- Catcher – The catcher stands behind the home plate
The Fielding Team-
The fielding team stops the team who’s batting from scoring runs.
There are three Infielders and three outfielders-
- Baseman, No1
In one of the important positions in a baseball, he ensures that he catches the ball given to him by his player and touches the batter.
- Baseman, No2
The second baseman has to ensure he covers the second base and the first baseman.
- Baseman, No3
The third baseman helps in getting the ball back to the first baseman
- Left Fielder – In the outfield behind the 2nd and 3rd base.
- Right Fielder – In the outfield behind 1st and 2nd base
- Centre fielder- behind 2nd base
Baseball Ground –
Because of its form, the playing field is frequently referred to as a baseball diamond. A fence separates the infield and outfield of a baseball field. The diamond is a square space within the infield. There are four bases, one on each of the diamond’s four corners. Home plate is the name given to one of the bases. The others are referred to as a first, second, and third base, respectively. The bases are 90 feet apart (about 27 metres). Beyond the infield is the outfield, which is a grassy area. A wall frequently marks the outer limit of a room. In the centre of the infield diamond is a raised, circular mound. A player known as the pitcher throws the ball toward home plate from a position on the mound.
Types of equipment –
The equipment required to play a baseball game is a baseball bat, a batting helmet, baseball gloves, gloves for all the outfielders, pitching rubber and four bases.
Game Rules and Guide –
The opposing team takes the field first, while the home team begins on defence. Each fielder takes one of the nine fielding positions available. The first batter takes his place in the batter’s box and prepares to strikeout.
A baseball game has nine innings, wherein each being divided into a top and bottom half. Each team gets a turn to bat, but starting with the team that is not from the home base, i.e. the first half, the home team plays the second half.
A half-inning is when either of the team’s batting gets three outs.
The team that manages to get the highest number of runs is the winner.
The batter gets a choice on which side he can hit the ball from when pitched to him. There are also two batters on both sides of the home plate.
The batter attempts to score runs by hitting on the ball. The batter can hit the ball until he gets three strikes, four balls or hits another territory.
A Strike –
Between the batter’s shoulders and knees is the strike zone. The umpire signals a “strike” when the batter-
- swings at a pitch that crosses the plate in the strike zone without swinging.
- Misses a pitch with a swing.
- With fewer than two strikes against him, he smacks the ball out of bounds.
- He’s out after three strikes, and the next batter takes his place at the plate.
Balls and Runner –
A “ball” is a pitch that crosses the plate beyond the strike zone and is not struck by the batter. If four pitches hit a batter, he is entitled to a walk to first base. A batter gets called for a strike if he swings at a ball outside the strike zone and misses.
Sometimes the batter is the runner, i.e. if the ball is hit in fair territory, he has to run to first base, or if a pitch hits the batter, or if the catcher drops the third strike or walks after four balls.