Baseball is undoubtedly a complex sport that requires great practice and experience to polish your playing skills. Even though it is possible to learn some playing skills about the game by watching others play, much of the success and progress in understanding the game comes about through practice and understanding the rules of the game.
Read my article “5 Basic Rules Of Baseball For Beginners” below for more information.
Before stepping into the field to play baseball, each player should ensure that he/she has the right equipment and has worn the required safety gear. It is important to note that the likelihood of injuries and accidents occurring in baseball are very high. As such, it is necessary to wear the right protective gear while in the field playing baseball.
In baseball, the defense puts on baseball gloves and a leather contraption (worn in the hand) for catching the ball. The baseball is simply a white ball with a red stitching and a three inches diameter. The bat (used by the offenses) is commonly made using wood or composite material. However, wood bats are the commonly used in professional competitions while composite bats are used in amateur practice sessions.
Like in other sports, a baseball field is divided into different sections. The infield is the part of the field that is next to the bases while the outfield refers to the grassy farther part. In children leagues, the bases are closer while in professional leagues; the bases are set at 90 feet apart (on the diamond). Other fields have variable measurements. The outfield fences also referred to as the foul territory refers to the ground bordering the field between the white lines that connect the first base-home plate and home-plate to third base.
Players are required to stay on their specific positions while playing. The offenses and defenses stay on opposite respective sides. When batting, the offense has the freedom of choosing the side of home plate to bat from. The offense should ensure that both feet are inside the batting box while hitting the ball.
In baseball, the striking zone is described as the area between the shoulders and knees of the batter. A strike is termed as an umpire if the batter:
1. Fails to make a swing at a pitch crossing the plate within the striking zone;
2. Misses a swing at the pitch
3. Hits the ball beyond the bounds with less than 2 strikes against him/her.
After getting 3 strikes, the batter is out and another player (batter) enters the plate for his/her turn at striking the ball. According to the rules, the batter is not allowed to strike a foul ball. However, if the batter has two strikes, there is no limit or restriction to the total number of foul ball that the batter can hit. A �ball’ is used to describe a pitch that gets across the plate beyond the bounds of the strike zone and the batter fails to swing at. When playing and the batter gets 4 balls, he/she walks to the first base.
The batter is referred to as a runner if:
1. He/she walks after four balls
2. He/she hits a ball (in fair territory) and proceeds to first base
3. A pitch hits him/her
4. The third strike is dropped by the catcher
Duration of play
A standard baseball game lasts for a total of 9 innings. Each of these innings is divided into two halves; top & bottom half. Each team has a turn at batting. These halves are arranged in a way such that the visiting team makes the first bats during the first half/top of each inning while the home team (hosts) bats during the second half/bottom of the inning.
A half is only complete after the batting team makes 3 outs. If by any chance the two teams tie their scores after the 9th inning, extra innings are added into the game until the tie is broken and a winner emerges. The game proceeds until a definite and undisputed winner is realized.
The best thing about baseball is that the game is played progressively in an entertaining manner. For instance, during force play, the batter runs to first base after hitting the ball thereby forcing the runner in the first base to run to the next base (third base) and the runner on the 3rd base runs home. For highly skilled and experienced players, this cycle flows smoothly and without any hitches whatever thereby making the game very captivating.
Scoring in game
The winning team is the team that makes the most runs. These runs are scored when the base runner moves round all the bases from the first base to the third base and makes the final run to cross the home plate. A home run is when the ball is hit beyond the outfield fence in a fair territory. When the batter makes such a strike, he/she earns a free trip round all the bases till he/she crosses the home plate.
A grand slam is a home run made when the bases are loaded in that every base is occupied by a runner. All these runners round the bases and make a run for the home plate winning 4 points at once. However, this is not always a common occurrence and only happens once in every few games. It is a popular winning tactic used by pro baseball players.
When playing baseball, it is important to follow all the rules without fail or any compromise whatsoever. In addition to this, it is also necessary to consider the safety of the other players by ensuring that you play within the set rules. The right safety gear (including helmets and knee guards) should be worn while playing. Metallic face masks should also be put on before playing the game. Protective gear ensures that there are no accidents or injuries likely to occur while playing the game.