Baseball also known as softball is a game played between 9 players who try to outscore each other by scoring more runs. One of the team acts as the offensive by batting and the other acts as defensive by fielding. To make a score count, the batting team need to make a run in a counter-clockwise direction past three bases and return to the point of batting. It might look easy on paper, by keeping in mind the defensive prevent this from happening by chasing the ball including catching the ball in the air, striking out the batter, and returning the ball back to the base before the batters get back to the base. The game is interesting to watch and play. But to enjoy the game, it has to have rules, right? The following are the rules of baseball.
Game duration – the games have a maximum play of 9 innings of which each team gets a chance to bat once. The game has to have a definite winner after the 9 innings, and if it is a tie, there will be extra innings. However, there isn’t need for extra innings if the team second in the bottom of the 9th inning has more credits.
The number of players and position– Baseball is played by nine players. The players’ positions are; pitcher, shortstop, centerfield fielder, right fielder, left fielder, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, and third baseman.
The number of strikes – A batter is given three chances of strikes before it’s called off. A strike is when the batter misses the ball. The batter has the option of leaving the ball, but it would be classified as a strike if the ball is still on the ‘strike zone.’
Batting order – the batting order has to maintained during the game and cannot be altered. In case of substitutes, the substitute player has to bat for the player he/she has replaced.
Sportsmanship – Just like with the other sports, baseball too requires players to demonstrate discipline and respect. Players playing the major league are supposed to be respectful to the umpire and the decision of the umpire carries the day be it sending off a player or a coach. Players are not supposed to argue about the ball or the strikes.
Helmet rule – Payers are required to be on their helmet when batting or running the bases. Failure to put the helmet on attracts a first warning from the umpire, the second time without the helmet results to be sent off the pitch.
Base running – This is one of the most interesting parts of the game, base running. It is a mandatory requirement for the runner to touch each base (first, second, third, and home plate) before scoring a run. If a runner misses touching any of the bases, the player will be required to go back and touch the base without skipping other runners. When rounding the bases, a base runner isn’t allowed to skip a fellow base runner that is ahead of him/her. The runner also can run over 3feet from his/her baseline unless the runner is avoiding contact with a fielder.
The strike zone
The area of a strike is presumed to be the size of a home plate between the batters shoulders and the height should be approximately the knee length of the batter, assuming the batter is using natural stance. This zone isn’t static is size because it varies with the league and the umpire.
How to get an offensive player out – There are three ways to get an offensive player out.
- Strikeout – occurs when the batsman misses three times.
- Force outs – if a runner fails to reach the base before the defensive player with the ball.
- Fly out – if the ball is caught by the defensive player in the air without bouncing.
- Tag out – occurs when the defensive player tags the batman with the ball or the glove while running.
Pitch rules – the pitcher can’t put his hand on the mouth when he/she is within the pitching circle without the approval of the umpire. The pitcher is also required to keep one foot on the rubber and should halt completely when winding up.
Stealing bases – Stealing bases isn’t allowed for baseball leagues for players below the age of 9. For players in the age group 9-12, stealing is allowed. A steal happens when a runner may run to the next base even if the ball is not hit and arrive at the catcher after the pitch is thrown. When this happens, the pitching team will attempt to tag the runner out resulting to a tag out. Stealing doesn’t apply to foul hits if it happens the player stealing is allowed to return to original base. However, to get be on the right side of the baseball rules, check with your local rules since some leagues allow stealing while some don’t allow.