Baseball is an extremely popular team sport that the majority of us have engaged with at some point or another – whether we have played it ourselves, or have watched professional games on the television. However, if you are unfamiliar with the sports, it can feel a little difficult to understand and keep up with. So, here are a few of the basics that will help you to get to grips with it!
The majority of team sports are played against the clock. Matches tend to take place within a set period of time. A soccer game, for example, take place over the course of ninety minutes (plus half time and extra time for fouls or other interruptions), while a basketball game spans forty-eight minutes (plus a half time break, and extra time for ball out-of-bounds, timeouts, and fouls). However, baseball conversely takes place over a period of innings. Professional and college games tend to be around nine innings long.
Before the game commences, a batting lineup is produced by each team’s manager. As there are nine innings, there are generally nine batters. These batters appear in a particular order to help propel their team forward in the best way possible. The first batter is generally chosen for their speed (increasing chances of securing bases early in the game), while the fourth batter tends to be the strongest hitter (giving the previous three a chance to clear their bases at once). The order of batters is listed on a lineup card.
Setting the Game In Motion
Baseball games tend to centre around the pitcher and the batter. Each will be on a different team from one another. The pitcher throws the ball towards the batter and it is the batter’s role to hit the ball out into an area that will be difficult for their opposition to catch it or retrieve it. The pitcher wants to throw a hard, fastball that the batter will find difficult to hit. The batter will want to be strong and make contact with the ball, sending it far and wide (or relatively close if they want to call the opposition’s bluff).
Once the Ball Has Been Hit
Once the batter has made contact with the ball, they need to run to the next base along to them. When they reach the base, they score a point. If they have hit the ball far enough or in an obscure enough direction, they can progress through more than one base. However, they have to be careful. Once the ball has been retrieved, it can be returned to an individual of the opposite team waiting at each base. If the batter has left one base and the ball reaches the next base before they do, they will be “out”.
These, of course, are just the basics of baseball. There are other rules and regulations, as well as tactics, that can be employed. So, if you’re interested in baseball, this should get you off to a good start, but you will have to conduct a little further research to really shine on the subject!