To learn how to play baseball, you must first learn the basics of baseball.
First off, there are nine players allowed on a team at one time.
There are nine innings in a Major League Baseball and college baseball game (seven in the Major League Baseball World Series Championship), in which each baseball team has to try and score as many runs as possible in only three outs per inning.
The team with the most runs at the end of the game is the winner. If the teams have the same number of runs, they play more innings until one team wins.
When playing baseball, at the start of the game, the home team pitches, while the visiting team bats. Only one player can bat at a time.
The team that is batting (offense) is the team trying to score the runs, and the team that pitching, catching and playing in the field (defense) is the team trying to get those three outs so the batting team doesn’t score anymore runs.
How To Play Baseball – PLAYING THE OFFENSIVE
To learn how to play baseball properly you must learn how to play offense correctly. The goal of the offensive team (or batting team) is to get runs. In order to get a run, a player must first bat, and if bat successful, run to the bases becoming a base-runner. Once a base-runner, the aim is to touch all the bases in order, and back to the home plate. Behind the home plate is an umpire that lets everyone know if the pitch thrown was in the strike zone or not.
If the pitch was in the strike zone, then the pitch is a “strike”. If it wasn’t in the strike zone, then the pitch was a “ball”.
When batting you get three strikes and four balls.
If you get four balls before you get three strikes, then that is called a “walk”. A walk means that you get to go to first base, no questions asked.
If you get three strikes before you get four balls, then that is a “strikeout”, in which the defensive team gets an out and your turn batting is over.
When playing baseball, the order in which the team sends its players up to home plate is chosen before the start of the game, this is called the “lineup”. Once the game has started, the order of the lineup can’t be changed, but the team are allowed to use a player who was not part of the original lineup chosen at the start of the game. The new player brought into the lineup has to take the place of an original lineup player.
After the ninth player of the lineup has batted, the first player in the lineup starts again. If a batter/runner makes it to the home plate, he scores a run for his team. The player must then leave the field until it is his turn to bat again. This means that a player can only score a maximum of one run each time he bats.
How To Play Baseball – PLAYING THE DEFENSIVE
Learning how to play defense in baseball is an important step in learning how to play baseball. The team playing defense consists of the pitcher, the catcher and the fielders. Their job is to try and stop the batting team getting any runs.
When playing baseball, the pitcher and the catcher together are often called the battery. The remaining seven fielders may stand anywhere in the field. But there are usually four infielders that stand in the infield close to the bases and three outfielders who spread out and stand around the outfield.
The four infielders consist of the first baseman, second baseman, third baseman and shortstop. The first baseman and third baseman stand close to first base and third base, as it would suggest in the name! The second baseman and the shortstop stand on either side of second base.
How To Play Baseball – THE FIRST BASEMAN
The first baseman’s job is to make force plays at first base. A force play is made when another infielder catches a ball that has touched the ground, and throws it to the first baseman.
The first baseman must then touch the batter or the base with the ball before the batter can touch first base. Then that batter is out. First basemen need to be quick as 90% of the plays in the game are there.
How To Play Baseball – THE SECOND BASEMAN
The second baseman’s job is to cover the surrounding area just to the right of second base and to back up the first baseman.
How To Play Baseball – THE THIRD BASEMAN
The third baseman usually attracts a lot of hit baseballs, due to the location he is in. This means that he must have a very strong throwing arm to throw the baseball quickly to the first baseman, in order to get the runner out, and be quick.
How To Play Baseball – THE SHORTSTOP
The shortstop’s job is to cover the stretch between second and third bases, including the bases themselves and the near part of left field. The shortstop is usually the best fielder on the team.
How To Play Baseball – THE OUTFIELDERS
The three outfielders are called the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder. As the name suggests, they all stand in their designated areas on the field. The directions are based on the angle looking from the home plate onwards. The center fielder is usually the fastest in the outfield, since it covers a wider area. The center fielder usually decides who catches fly balls.
The team can decide what positions the baseball players play, but usually, the players change their positions dependent on how the game is going. This is perfectly legal in the rules.
How To Play Baseball – THE PITCHER
The pitcher must throw the baseball close enough for the batter to hit. This means that the pitcher must throw the ball over home plate and between the hitter’s knee and chest.
A pitch that does this is called a “strike”, unless the batter hits the ball. It is always a strike if the batter swings the bat and misses the ball. A pitch that the batter does not swing at and is not close enough to be a strike is a called a “ball.”On the fourth “ball” thrown by a pitcher, the batter “walks” to first base, so it is very important to pitch balls well.
Teams can change pitchers during a game, and can use as many pitchers as they want to, but it is extremely uncommon to use more than eight pitchers in a game.
The many different ways that a pitcher can throw a ball are called pitches. Most pitchers use two or more different pitches. The reason why pitchers change their pitches is to try and decrease the chances of the batter hitting the baseball.
Pitches change by either going faster, slower, higher, lower, closer or further from the batter, some even making the ball curve. Baseball pitches usually fall into three different categories. These categories are; fastballs, change-ups (which are known as “off speed pitches”), and breaking (or curving) balls.
There are many different types of breaking and change-up pitches, such as; the curve ball, the screw ball, the sinker, the slider, the splitter, the palm ball and many, many others.
When pitching, the pitcher must have his foot touching something called “the rubber”. The rubber is located on top of the mound. This means that the pitcher can’t take more than one step forward when he pitches the ball. This restricts the speed at which the baseball can travel, but still causes some serious injuries to the pitcher.Being a pitcher can be a very dangerous, with many Major League Baseball pitchers walking away with injuries to their hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders…not surprising when speeds have been recorded of reaching up to 90 mph!
How To Play Baseball – THE CATCHER
The catcher’s job in baseball is to catch any ball that the batter does not hit. He does this by waiting behind the batter, catching any balls the batter doesn’t hit.
The catcher uses hand signals to tell the pitcher where to throw the ball. If the pitcher thinks the catcher has a bad idea, he will shake his head, signaling a no. If he thinks the catcher has a good idea, he will nod his head, signaling a yes.
How To Play Baseball – GETTING RUNNERS/BATTERS OUT
To learn how to play baseball efficiently is to learn how to get batters/runners out. There are many ways to do this.
- Catching a batted ball in the air (only when in the foul area)
- Causing a force out (that’s when the base is touched before a hitter/runner can get there)
- Causing a strikeout (that’s when a batter has received three strikes)
- Tagging a runner with the ball
When the fielding team has put out three of the batting team’s players, the half-inning is over and the teams switch places.
How To Play Baseball – THE BASEBALL FIELD
Learning baseball basics isn’t all that is needed when wanting to know how to play baseball properly. The baseball field is an important aspect of baseball to learn. The baseball field has two main parts, the infield and the outfield.
The infield consists of the first, second, third and home plate. The home plate has five sides and the first second and third bases have four, measuring 15 inches (38 cm) wide. The bases that make up the infield are higher than the ground, shaped like a diamond with 90 feet between bases. The home plate is made of a piece of hard rubber and the other three bases are made of cloth.
The outfield is the area of the field past the bases, between first and third base.
The lines from the home plate to the first base and home plate to third base make the “foul lines”. The ground outside of these lines is “foul territory”.
A ball that is hit with a bat and flies in between the foul lines is a called a “fair ball”. Once a fair ball has been hit, the hitter can then run towards first base, and maybe the other three if there is time.
A ball that is outside the foul lines is called a “foul ball”, and may be caught in the air by the team on defense for an out, unless it hits the ground. If the ball bounces in foul territory, the batter can’t start running around the bases.
So now you know how to play baseball, take what you have learned here and join the 12 million other people in the United States who play baseball!