Once you have an understanding of hitting the ball and running, it is helpful to know all the rules of the baseball game. To fully understand the game of baseball you need to know about more than ‘peanuts and Cracker Jacks’ as the song implies. There are many rules for baseball to be sure that it is played fairly. It is just as important to understand the rules of baseball as it is to understand the hitting the ball and running basics. You will play the game better and become a better fan, if you understand how the baseball game is actually played.
Make sure you understand how a baseball field is designed for play. The shape of a baseball field is that of a diamond with an area extending beyond it which is known as the outfield. The top of the baseball diamond is home plate. When the players need to hit the baseball they stand right here. In order to score a run the player has to touch this base. “Fair ground” includes all that is within the shape of the diamond and the outfield. All that is not inside this shape is said to be ‘out of bounds’. You get to first base by going diagonally to the right from home plate, and then second and third delineate the remainder of the diamond. It is the same distance between each base (however age and skill do determine how far between each.)
Understand the objective and rules. You need to consider why baseball is played before understanding its rules. The object of the game of baseball is to score a number of runs which determines the winner. The more runs that are scored, the better the game is to watch. One point in a baseball game is known as a ‘run’, and it happens when a player makes it to the home plate after running past the first, second and third base. The team who finishes the game with the most runs is the winner.
Get to know the team positions. There are at least nine players on each team. Each baseball player has a position on the team and each position has a different job. It is the pitcher’s job to throw the ball to a batter from the opposite team who is waiting with a bat to hit the ball. The catcher, who is positioned behind the opposite team’s batter, catches the ball if the batter doesn’t hit it and also catches any baseballs thrown from the field. The goal of the fielding team is to get the ball to the bases before the runners get to them. It is the job of the shortstop to position himself between second and third base and assist all of the infield players. The number of outfield players is three (to the left, in the middle and on the right field), who have to catch the ball and then throw it back to their own player as quick as they can. Not one of these positions is an offensive position. The team that is out in the field is playing defense and is not able to make any scores. Instead, the goal is to try to prevent the opposing team from scoring runs. Baseball players who are playing defense are the only ones who should be wearing gloves.
Pitching. A pitcher’s goal is to throw the ball is such a way that it will be difficult for the opposition to successfully hit. The pitcher can fling a ‘ball’, which indicates that the baseball wasn’t pass the plate and aiming in the middle of the player’s neck and knees, and cause the batter to miss the swing. Or the pitcher can throw a strike, which means the ball travels over the plate and is between the batter’s neck and knees, and the batter did not hit it or the batter did hit it and it was a foul. Up to four balls are thrown to each batter (then he is given a walk to first base without penalty). Once a player has three strikes he loses his turn at bat. When a player strikes out he will go back to sitting on the bench with the rest of his team. The batter cannot strike out if the ball he hits on the third strike travels outside the field boundaries and so is a foul (a ball that goes outside of the baseball diamond shape is called a foul ball). The batter has to hit the ball before he gets three strikes or 4 balls.
Discover how a team can keep the other team from scoring. According to baseball rules, after a team has had three outs, they have to change from the batting to playing in the field and the other team has a chance to hit. The batting team sends up one player at a time to bat. After the ball is hit by the batter, he needs to get to a base without getting thrown out. There are a number of ways for him to get out. If the batter hits the ball and someone on the opposing team catches it without it hitting the ground, the batter has to go back to the bench. A batter strikes out if he fails to hit the ball after three attempts. A strike is called when a player at bat misses hitting a pitch with his bat. After the batter has missed hitting three pitches he has struck out. That player is also out if the ball gets to the base before he touches it. As soon as the team at bat has three out, the opposing team will come to bat and attempt to score some runs.
How does a team run around the baseball diamond? The player may run to first base immediately after hitting the baseball. According to the rule book, it is legal for only one offensive player to occupy a base at any time in the game of baseball. When a player runs to first base, the offensive player that had been on that base must run to the second base, etc. If a player hits the ball far enough, he may be able to run more than one base on the single hit. This is perfect. The goal is to hit a home run, meaning the player can run around all four bases before the baseball gets thrown to a base where he is and before another player gets a chance to bat. Someone can make a home run also if he bats the ball out of the park. It must pass over fair ground and go past outskirts of the baseball field to qualify as a home run. If there was a runner on each base when that happens (when each base has a player on it when the home run was hit), this is what is known as a ‘grand slam’.
Knowing how innings function. In the rules of baseball, each team is given a chance in batting nine times and nine chances to be playing defense (or fielding). Each part is known as an ‘inning’. When the game begins, it is known as the ‘top of the first’ inning, because there are two parts to an inning (since in every inning both teams take turns hitting.) The bottom of the first is when the batting and fielding team switch. The start of a new inning is marked by the other team taking to the field while the opposition takes a turn at bat. Until the bottom of the ninth inning this will continue. After that the game is over. Scores are added up, and the winner is chosen.
By chabotphoto from Pixabay