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Rules

  • Balls and strikes

    • Each batter has three chances to hit a ball that’s pitched to them. If they swing and miss, or they don’t swing on a pitch that’s ruled fair by the umpire, it’s called a strike. After three strikes, the team receives an out.

    • If a pitcher throws an unfair pitch (not in the strike zone), it’s called a ball. If the pitcher throws four balls, then the batter is allowed to walk to first base.

  • An out is when an offensive player must leave the field after:

    • Being tagged by a ball in play

    • Not making it to the base or home plate before a member of the opposing team with the ball in their glove does

    • Getting three strikes before hitting the ball in play.

  • Foul balls: There are lines drawn on the field that connect the bases. The lines leading from home plate to first base, and from home plate to third base are used to determine whether a ball is in play. If the ball is hit between the base lines, it’s in play. If a ball is hit outside of the base lines, it’s called a foul.

    • If a batter hits a foul on the first or second pitch, it counts as a strike. If a batter hits a foul on the third pitch, it counts as a foul, and the batter is allowed another pitch.

  • Once a batter has hit the ball, then they are referred to as a runner.

    • Runners try to reach the bases, and can remain safe on a base until the next hitter comes.

  • If the ball is caught directly from the batter’s hit, then that batter is out. The same applies if the ball is thrown to first base before the batter arrives at the base.

  • A batter is out if they fail to connect with the ball three times after three good pitches — which is often referred to as being out on strikes.

  • The offensive player can also be out by a tagout when a defensive player touches the runner with the ball or a glove with the ball in.

  • After the batting team has three players out, the teams switch so that the other side does the fielding while the other bats.

  • The defensive team positions the catcher directly behind the batter who catches the ball if it is not hit.

  • The defensive team also positions infielders on first, second and third base basemen and also will have a shortstop to cover the area between second and third base.

  • There will also be three outfielders or the defensive team - the center fielder and the right and left fielders.

  • When the teams are on offense, they have nine players in batting order- this cannot change during the game although players may be substituted in for one another.

Scoring

  • Tally runs each time the individual players on base legally advance counter-clockwise to touch all four bases, finally arriving safely at home plate to score a run, with the total number of runs by both teams added up at the end of the nine innings to determine the winner and loser.

Positions

  • Pitcher: The pitcher stands on the pitcher’s mound and throws pitches to the catcher standing at home plate. The batter attempts to hit those pitches.

  • Catcher: Catchers stand behind home plate and catch pitches thrown by the pitcher. 

  • First Baseman: This position is right next to first base. Their job is to catch balls thrown to them by other infielders to get runners out at first.

  • Second Baseman: This player stands between first and second base. They field ground balls, get runners out at second, and cover second base on steal attempts.

  • Third Baseman: This position is called the “hot corner” because they stand the closest to the batter. Third basemen cover third base and field ground balls.

  • Shortstop: The shortstop is usually the captain of the infield. They typically stand between second and third base. They field ground balls, catch relays from the outfield, and sometimes cover second base.

  • Left Fielder: Left fielders stand in left field, in the outfield between second and third base. They catch fly balls and are the last line of defense.

  • Center Fielder: They stand in the center and are the most important outfielder. They stand behind second base and catch fly balls and ground balls.

  • Right Fielder: Usually, the right fielder has the strongest arm in the outfield. They usually stand between first and second base in the outfield to catch fly balls.

Baseball Positions

Timing

  • The game is divided into nine innings, each divided into two halves. In the top half of the inning, the players of one team successively come to bat and attempt to score runs, while the other team plays in the field and attempts to stop the offensive team from scoring. In the bottom half, the teams swap places.

  • If the score is tied at the end of regulation, then extra innings are played.  In all regular-season extra-inning games, a runner will be placed on second base to begin the 10th inning, and in every subsequent extra inning after that, until a winner is determined,

Field (Diamond) Overview

Baseball Field
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