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Baseball Rules for Beginners

Learn how to play the basic rules of baseball game in a simplified guide for beginners. There is extra information on team tactics and scoring strategies.

Basic Rules of Baseball: Some formats of baseball rules differ from league to league. The British Baseball Federation rules in the UK.

Baseball is a team sport with one basic format dating back as far as 1744.

Even so, it has many similarities to the popular game of rounders rules and regulations.

Its fans and followers display immense passion and excitement for the game. They wait ‘impatiently’ for the sport’s pinnacle each year – the World Series of Baseball.

The game is huge in Canada, North America, and Japan. Baseball is also growing in popularity on United Kingdom side of the Atlantic too.

Yet, only North American teams compete in this prestigious event. So where can you start playing baseball around the United Kingdom?

The British Baseball Federation is a terrific place to start. They will help you find a club near you no matter where you live in Britain.

Rules and Regulations of Baseball


Object of Playing Baseball Game

In simple terms, the object of baseball is to have scored more runs than your opponent at the end of play. You achieve this by hitting the ball – which gets thrown towards you – as far as you can.

After striking the ball, you should be running quickly around 4 bases to complete one ‘run‘. As you make your way around the four bases (without getting tagged) another batter comes in to play.

Rules for Baseball Players

  • Baseball is a game played out between two teams and there are 9 players in each team – like the rounders game.
  • There is a total of 9 innings in a game where each team has one spell of batting and fielding in each innings.
  • Each team will have three ‘outs‘ per innings and then they swap roles.
  • Baseball rules and regulations for the player positions of the fielding team are:
    • A pitcher.
    • A catcher.
    • Four infielders at first baseman, second baseman, shortstop, and third baseman.
    • Three outfielders at left field, center field, and right field.

Basic Baseball Rules on Equipment

  • The baseball field gets split into two sections; called the infield and the outfield.
  • A diamond shaped area with four bases spaced at 90 feet apart separates the infield from the outfield.
  • A pitching mound gets located in the center of the infield. This is where the pitcher stands to throw the ball ‘overhand‘ towards the batter.
  • The distance from the pitcher on the raised mound to the batter on the home plate is 60.5 feet (18.4 meters).
  • The batter will take his position at home plate.
  • The other three bases are first base, second base, and third base.
  • A run does not score points unless the batter touches all bases when he makes a run.
  • Baseball bats are traditionally made out of wood or aluminium (or other metal materials).
  • The baseball ball measures close to 3 inches in diameter. It is white in colour with red stitching.
  • The fielding team players wear an oversized glove called ‘mits‘ to help them catch and pick up the ball.
  • The catcher stands behind the batter to catch any missed balls.
  • Baseball catchers wear extra padding in their glove as well as a helmet, leg guards, and a body pad.

Scoring in Baseball

  • A batter scores after striking the ball and then completing a circuit around all four bases.
  • The fielding team try to collect the ball and throw it to the nearest base that the batter is running to. The aim is to achieve this before he gets to the base position.
  • Hitting a home run is a mandatory point and occurs when the ball leaves the playing area (often landing in the crowd).
  • Players can stop at any base if they fear they will get tagged out before making it to the next base.
  • Players can score multiple points from one hit if more than one player is already on one of the bases.
  • In baseball terms a-zbases are loaded‘ means there is a player on every base.
  • General scoring gets determined by how many players make it to home plate before they get tagged.
  • One hit scores a maximum of four (4) points.

General Baseball Rules and Regulations

  • Baseball games last for 9 innings where both teams get to bat once. The home team will bat second in order of play.
  • The team batting second in the bottom of the 9th innings does not need to complete their batting innings if they are already ahead on points.
  • Batting orders cannot get changed after the order gets picked.
  • An innings consists of batters from each team taking their turn to bat until three batters are out.
  • Baseball regulations allow for substitutions. But, substitutes must bat from the position where the previous player was batting.
  • Each batter must make an effort to at least get to the first base if he manages to hit the ball from the pitcher.
  • A runner can run to as many bases as they wish before getting tagged out. But, each base must get touched with some part of the batters body when running past it.
  • A batter receives up to three strikes before they get given ‘out‘.
  • A strike occurs when a batter swings for a ball and completely misses it.
  • If the ball gets delivered within a certain area, called the strike zone, a strike will also get given if the batter chooses not to attempt hitting the ball.
  • Four consecutive balls missing the strike zone allows the batter to walk to first base. This baseball regulation applies even if they do not swing their bat.
  • A batter can run from base to the next base at any point.
  • Player dismissals in the basic baseball rules include:
    • A ‘strike out‘ (batsmen missing the ball three times).
    • A ‘force out‘ (when a player fails to make the base before the defensive player).
    • A ‘fly out‘ (when the ball gets hit in the air and caught without it bouncing).
    • A ‘tag out‘ (where a defensive player with the ball tags the batsmen with the ball whilst they are running).
  • They take turns fielding and batting, with the home team batting second.
  • Each innings gets broken down into the ‘top‘ (where the away team bats) and the ‘bottom‘ (where the home team bats).

Officials in Baseball

The PDF Baseball Rule Book covers the officiating role and responsibilities of officials. Umpires may call a strike if a batter misses three legitimate pitches or fails to swing at 3 pitches judged ‘hittable‘.

Winning a Game of Baseball

Winning a game means you have outscored your opposition through the 9 innings played. Scores get added to a cumulative score at the end of each innings.

The team with the most points after 9 innings wins. The basic rules of baseball call it as an ‘equal number of turns at bat‘. Extra innings get played in the event of a tie to determine a winner.

Advanced Baseball Regulations


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Baseball Rule Book PDF: [Download Option]

Baseball Rules and Regulations for Beginners in the United Kingdom