Basic Baseball Rules

Baseball is played between two teams: the batting (offensive) team and the fielding (defensive) team. A team consists of nine players. The offensive or batting team try to score as many runs (points) as possible. A run is scored when a player of the batting team has progressed in a counter-clockwise fashion around the three bases and retumed to the become base (the point from which he bats, or hits the ball). The defensive team try to hinder the batting team from scoring runs by catching a hit ball in the air (before it touches the ground), by delivering a hit ball to the destination base of the runner before the runner gets to the base in question, or by striking out* the batter. Accomplishing any of the above three constitutes an 'out'.

When the defensive team accumulates three outs the sides change positions and the defensive team becomes the batting team and vice versa. This change constitutes an 'inning'. In Little League there are six such innings, whereas in big league or the majors nine such innings make up a game. There is no time limit to a game and each game must have a winner and a loser. There are no ties in baseball. into the strike zone. Any ball thrown into the strike zone must be swung at; if not, a 'strike' is called by the umpire. Should the pitcher fail to throw the ball into the strike zone, the batter is not obliged to swing and the umpire calls a 'ball'. Three strikes or batter's errors equals an out. Four balls or pitcher's errors allows the batter to go to the first base automatically.

*Striking out the batter is the most difficult aspect of the game to understand.