Basics of Baseball


Baseball is a sport played on a diamond-shaped field between two teams of nine players each. The goal is to score runs by advancing counter-clockwise around a series of bases positioned at the corners of the field. After a team gets three outs, its turn batting is over; the fielding team then takes over and attempts to get the batting team’s runners out in various ways. The team with the most points at the end of nine innings wins. If there is a tie, extra innings are played until one team gains a lead.

The game uses a bat and ball, which are both made of wood or aluminium. The batter wears a helmet with a face mask and gloves, while the catcher and other members of the fielding team wear a glove, arm protectors, leg guards, and a body pad. Pitchers throw the ball from a raised trough on the ground, called the pitcher’s mound, and each player on the fielding team stands in a designated position, identified by a number painted on the back of their uniform. The first baseman, shortstop, third baseman, and left fielder stand in the infield; the center fielder and right fielder stand in the outfield.

During each at-bat, the batter can take first base by hitting the ball, by being awarded a free advance (called a walk) after receiving four “balls” called by the umpire, or by getting three strikes. Strikes are either a missed swing that could have scored a hit or a ball that is caught by the defensive team before it touches the ground. A runner can also be called out if the ball is in fair territory but is caught by a fielder before it hits the ground or if the ball is caught in foul territory.

When a runner is safe, they try to make it to the next base before the fielding team can get them out. Runners can be tagged out when the ball is in fair territory but is not caught, or if they are ahead of the throw to the next base and the fielder successfully tags them out.

A team can change its lineup during a game, but the new hitter must replace the player whose spot in the batting order they replaced. In addition, there are restrictions on the number of times a player can be removed from or added to a lineup. These restrictions are known as the rules of baseball and govern how the batting lineup is determined, how changes to the batting lineup are announced, and how the players move around on the field during certain plays.