In very simple words, baseball is a game between two teams, where you need to learn how to throw the ball, hit, and catch it. When it comes to executing these tasks, things can become a little bit more challenging. But if you want to learn how to play baseball, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading to learn more about this popular game.
What Do You Need to Play Baseball?
Before diving into the details of this sport, you need to get started with what you need.
- Baseball bat.
- Batting gloves to protect your hands from blisters.
- Batting helmet to protect your head from being accidentally hit by the ball.
- Catcher’s equipment to protect the body and the face.
You can’t play baseball on your own, although you can start practicing. You need to make sure that you have a willing partner ready to practice the game with you. If there’s no baseball ball, you can play using a tennis ball, although this is not recommended because it has a different weight.
The Basic Rules
Every beginner should understand the basic rules of the game, so they can learn how to play it properly. These rules apply to real matches where professional players are practicing baseball.
A time frame does not limit the baseball match, the way it does in football, basketball, and other sports. Each game involves a number of innings, and each inning is divided into halves. In standard baseball, the match will have nine innings, but in some cases, it could have five or seven innings.
This is how the game is played between two big teams, but you can play a miniature version with your family and friends. When two teams are playing, one of them will take the defensive position while the other tries to score points. In the second half, the teams will switch positions.
Each team should have nine players, and the game is played on an open field, with an infield, outfield, and 4 stations. To score a point or a run, a player needs to touch all 4 bases.
The first team will use the bat to score points, while the players of the second team will try to “out” them. After three outs, the teams will switch.
The core of the game revolves around two players, the pitcher and the batter. The pitcher stands on a raised mount of land, trying to throw the ball into the catcher’s glove. The batter stands on either side of the home base holding the bat.
The pitcher belongs to the first team, while the batter belongs to the second one. All the other eight players are standing in predetermined positions.
The pitcher should throw the ball so the batter has a chance to hit it. The batter wants to hit the ball, putting it in play. The eight fielders try to catch the ball, preventing the batter from getting base and scoring a point or a run.
The pitcher wants to throw the ball, so the batter misses it, and in this case, the batter is out. The catcher tries to catch the throw, and if the pitcher fails to throw the ball 4 times where the batter can hit it, the batter becomes a base runner and advances to the first base. In this case, the second team should send a new batter.
When the batter makes a successful hit before the ball reaches the catcher, he must advance to each base, and this is how he scores a run. Each throw or pitch is either a ball or a strike, and the referee will determine this. A throw is a ball if it’s out of the batter’s strike zone, and it’s a strike if it’s in this zone and is missed by the batter.
A team is a winner when the scored runs are counted during the number of specified innings. If the two teams are tied, they can continue to play for more innings, until one of them has scored more runs than the other.
Learning the Technique
This is how the professional game is played, but you can learn the basic techniques to practice it safely on a smaller level with your friends.
How to Throw
Stretch your arms and hands a little to ensure that your muscles are ready for the upcoming effort. Learning overhand is better, especially if you’re a beginner. An underhand or sidearm is not right, and will eventually strain your arm and affect your ability to throw correctly.
Ask your partner to stand at least 10 or 15 feet away and practice throwing the ball to each other. Keep on practicing until you’ve mastered the technique.
How to Catch
If you’re the catcher, you need to catch the ball in the glove’s web, not in the pocket. Use one hand to catch the ball, and the other to cover your hand after you’ve caught it.
Depending on the position and speed of the ball, you will have to move your body, so you’re in a better position. You can move forward, up or down, so you can catch the ball properly. Catching a high fly is difficult because you need to learn how to find the ball in the air.
How to Hit
Batting or hitting the ball is probably the most challenging part, but you can still learn how to do it properly. You can even start by throwing the ball in the air and try to catch it before you start practicing with a partner.
Make sure that your arms are fully extended and in level. Hold the bat with both hands, keeping the non-dominant hand the base of the bat, and the dominant hand near the neck.
There are lots of terminologies and rules involved with baseball. Some of the rules differ according to the league. However, these basic rules explain the core of the game, so you can better understand it if you’re watching a match on TV or trying to play it with some friends.