Baseball is a little-publicized sport and, consequently, little practiced in other countries. Unfortunately, many people think the game boils down to “bouncing a ball”. However, this is a big mistake. Through this guide, the Baseball Blog aims to explain the baseball rules and the basics of this fascinating sport. Mattinglybaseball gives you more tips and tricks on baseball.
In general, sports have their duration defined by time (as in soccer, basketball, and handball) or score achieved (volleyball and tennis). In baseball, however, games are defined by reaching a number of eliminations (27). Thus, matches do not have a predefined average duration, ranging from one and a half hours, when one team is far superior to the other, to true six-hour marathons when balance prevails!
Teams take turns in attack and defense turns. While one defends itself, the other attacks. When a turn is over, teams switch positions: the attacker defends and the defender defends. Every two turns, an inning is completed. The game ends with nine entries. If at the end of these nine innings the teams are tied, extra innings are played until some team takes advantage and emerges victorious.
The first inning of an entry is called the “high end” and is characterized by the home team pitching while the visiting team rebounds. The second round of this same entry is called the “low end”, with the teams reversing their roles and the home team attacking, while the visitor defends. This is because the home team always has the advantage of attacking last in the 9th inning and can win the game on the last play (Walk-Off).
ATTACK X DEFENSE
During an attacking turn, the team is represented by only one player at a time to attempt a hit. The defending team has nine players distributed on the field:
P = Pitcher or Thrower (responsible for making the team’s throws in search of an opponent’s elimination)
C = Catcher or Receiver (responsible for receiving the pitcher’s thrown balls)
1B = First Baseman or 1st Base (responsible for defending the right side of the infield and performing eliminations in first base)
2B = Second Baseman or 2nd Base (responsible for defending the right-center side of the infield and performing eliminations in second base)
SS= Shortstop (responsible for defending the middle left side of the infield and performing eliminations on second base)
3B = Third Baseman or 3rd Base (responsible for defending the left side of the infield and performing eliminations on third base)
RF = Right Fielder (responsible for defending the right side of the outfield)
CF = Center Fielder (responsible for defending the central portion of the outfield)
LF = Left Fielder (responsible for defending the left side of the outfield)
It can be said that the prominent figure in the defense is the pitcher. Its function is to throw the ball to the catcher, who performs the receptions. The goal of the shot is to reach the “strike zone”, an imaginary area determined by the main Umpire (referee just behind the catcher), which is located between the batter’s shoulders and knees (player represented by the red dots in the figure).
From the pitch, three situations can occur:
It is the goal of the pitcher. There are three ways to strike:
- Throw the ball into the strike zone and the batter does not attempt the strike;
- Throw the ball into any area and, when attempting to hit, the hitter does not hit the ball (swinging strike);
- The batter sends the ball to an area considered to be “off the field” (foul).
In the event that the pitcher’s pitch does not reach the strike zone and the hitter does not attempt the kick, the referee calls the ball. Every four balls against the same opponent, the pitcher yield a Walk, which consists of the batter’s automatic passage to 1st base. If there is already a player on the 1st base team, he will advance to 2nd base and the batter, who received the Walk, goes to 1st base.
BALL IN PLAY
If the offensive player succeeds in bouncing the ball to the “fair” part, it is considered to be the ball in play. From there, he can reach base, jot down / boost races or be eliminated.
When a team is in defense, their goal is to eliminate three opponents so that turns and turns change. Basically, eliminations can occur in five ways (illustrated through GIFs for ease of understanding):
When the pitcher hits three strikes against the same batter it is considered strikeout and the player is eliminated. An important detail is that the 3rd strike cannot be a foul ball unless the batter attempts a bunt (see below) and it becomes foul.
If, after a hit, a defensive player catches the ball without it touching the ground, the batter is automatically eliminated.
If, after hitting, a defensive player catches the ball after it hits the ground and throws it to 1st base, where there is another defender stepping on it and grabs the ball, the hitter is eliminated as long as he still has not touched 1st base itself.
The forceout applies the same logic as the groundout (defender stepping on the base before the runner), but can only occur on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th bases (home plate). For the elimination to take place, it is necessary that the previous bases are occupied:
- To occur in the 2nd base, there must be a corridor in the 1st base;
- To occur in the 3rd, there must be corridors in the 1st and 2nd bases;
- And to occur on the home plate, there must be runners in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd bases.
Thus, if a player is in the 1st base and the batter puts a creeping ball into play, the defender may throw the ball to the defender who is near 2nd base. If it steps on the base before the corridor that was in 1st base, then it will eliminate the corridor.
If a defensive player touches the ball on a runner who is not in contact with a base, it is automatically eliminated.
It is also possible for the defense to combine these types of eliminations in one move. For example, forceout + groundout, ie eliminate the player who was running towards 2nd base (forceout) and quickly throw the ball into the 1st base before the batter reaches it (groundout). In this case, a Double Play is featured, eliminating two players from the attack in a single move.
In attacking turns, team players become hitters. Your goal is to get a valid hit. Basically, there are two types of batting: the normal swing, where the player makes the full movie, and the bunt, where the player just blocks the ball, usually used to propel a teammate already on base. Following. In order for it to become a valid hit, it is necessary for the ball to go to the part considered fair and not to be eliminated in the offense.
After contact between the bat and the ball, the hitter becomes a runner. From then on, your goal is to run to first base without being eliminated and still enable your base mates (if any) to run to the next base (s). When a player arrives at a base and his teammates advance without being eliminated, we say that he is safe and has achieved a valid hit.
A valid hit can be:
SIMPLE: The hitter goes to 1st base with his hit.
DOUBLE: The hitter goes to 2nd base with his hitting.
TRIPLE: The hitter goes to 3rd base with his hitting.
INSIDE THE PARK HOME RUN: The hitter goes to home plate with his hit (very rare to happen).
HOME RUN: The hitter sends the ball out of bounds (usually into the stands) into an area considered valid, and all base players take note of the race (including the hitter). As already mentioned, if he bounces and the ball goes out of bounds in an invalid area, he will be considered foul.
NOTE: If the player makes a hit where the ball touches the floor or the wall and then goes out of bounds, it will be considered an automatic ground-rule hit and all base players will advance two bases as well as the hitter.
ADVANCING BASES AND NOTING RUNS
As stated earlier, once in the base, the player is safe. He will remain on this base until his team’s next hitter comes and faces the opposing pitcher. If your teammate gets a valid hit, the attacking player on the base must run to the next base. In total there are 4 bases, and when the safe home plate is reached, the player notes a race. Races are like points: the team that scores the most races after nine innings played wins the match. There are two other ways you can move forward:
Steal Base The runner may try to steal the next base while his teammate faces the opposing pitcher. For theft to occur, the moment the pitcher makes the throwing motion, the “thief” must run to the next base, getting to it safely. The defender, in turn, noticing the attempted robbery, must touch the runner with the ball (tag out) before it reaches the base. Elimination generally depends on a strong and accurate catcher throw to the defensive player closest to the base the runner is trying to steal.
Should the opposing team make a defensive error, runners may attempt to run and get safely to the next bases.
During the game, defensive errors may occur that favor the opponent’s attack. The most common errors are:
Whenever a defensive player throws the ball to another defender in the wrong way, ie too high / low or in the wrong direction, making it impossible for the teammate to catch the ball, it is considered to be a mistake. If the throw goes off the pitch and ends in the stands, each attacking player automatically advances two bases.
When a defensive player fails to catch the ball in an easy defense, it is considered a mistake. For example, if the offensive player hits a ball towards the Right Fielder below it, it waits for it to fall, but it hits his glove and he cannot fly out, allowing the opponent arriving on base without being eliminated will be considered a mistake.