Baseball is one of the favorite sports in both the USA and Canada. If we look at average match attendance, its the 2nd most watched sport, right after American Football. The best league in the world of baseball is known as the MLB (Major League Baseball) and its filled with teams from the USA and one Canadian team. Internationally, baseball is not really popular; however, in recent years it’s popularity has grown immensely in several cities in Japan and Central America.
Baseball is a sport played by two teams, each featuring nine players. The game consists of both teams taking turns with batting and fielding. The main objective is to have more runs, thus score more points than the opponents team. Keep reading to learn more about Baseball and its origins.
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Unlike many other sports, baseball’s history is hard to trace back. Many people believe that it was developed in North America, based on the old game known as “rounders”. Nevertheless, recent history research revealed some new information about the beginnings of the sport. David Block, the head researcher on this matter claims that baseball first originated in the United Kingdom.
According to the evidence the common ancestor of both rounders and baseball was a game known as “stoolball” or “lut-ball”. Block also discovered that the first game of a sport called Bass-ball was in 1749. The game was played in Surrey and the prince of Wales was one of the players. Later, British immigrants brought the game to the USA and Canada. However, it wasn’t until the 1850’s until the sport finally caught on overseas.
Baseball’s popularity rose in the New York metropolitan area. Just one year later, the first governing body was formed known as the National Association of Base Ball Players. The first league was formed in 1876 and it was called the National League. By 1893 the American League rose in popularity as well. All the rules of modern baseball were already in place by then. With time, its popularity rose and by the 1970’s it became one of the most popular sports in the world. Below we will explain more about the modern rules of the game.
The main baseball rules were invented pretty early in the creation of the game. With time they were improved but no serious changes were made. Nevertheless, the sport is quite complicated and there are many rules and regulations. For a first time watcher, it can be quite overwhelming. Here are the most important rules:
- Baseball has two teams of 9 players.
- The fielding team’s positions are made up of a pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, shortstop, third baseman, and three outfielders at left field, center field, and right field.
- Games last for 9 innings of which both teams get to bat once. If the game is tied after 9 innings then an extra inning will be added until a winner is found. If the team batting second in the bottom of the 9th inning are already ahead in points, then they do not need to complete their batting innings.
- Once a baseball batting order is picked, then it cannot be changed throughout the game. Substitutes are permitted, however, they must bat in the order of the previous player whom they replaced.
- If the batter manages to hit the ball from the pitcher, they must make an effort to at least get to first base. They can then run to as many bases as they wish before being tagged out. Each base must be touched with some part of the batters body when running past.
Strikes & Strikeouts
- A baseball batter gets up to three strikes before getting out. A strike is deemed when a batter swings for a ball and misses it. The batter can leave the ball but, if it’s within a certain area (called the ‘strike zone’), then a strike will also be given. If four balls miss the strike zone and the batter does not swing their bat, they can walk to first base.
- When on base, the batter can run to the next base at any point.
- Players can be dismissed by either a ‘strike out’ (referring to a batsman missing the ball three times), ‘force out’ (when a player fails to make the base before the defensive player), ‘fly out’ (when the ball is hit in the air and caught without it bouncing), and ‘tag outs’ (where a defensive player with the ball tags the batsman with the ball all whilst they are running).
How To Play
The main goal of baseball is very similar to other sports where points are counted, like ice hockey, American football, basketball, etc. If we look at it, pretty much all USA sports follow a similar philosophy. The aim of the game is to score as many runs as possible and force the opponent to strike out. To score a point the batter needs to hit the ball into the designated fielding area and then run across the four bases. This needs to be done before the opponents catch the ball and throw it to the base the batter is running to.
A mandatory point is scored if the batter hits the ball outside of the playing area. If the ball lands in the stands then the defense can’t pick it up and throw it to a base before the batter gets there. One hit can count for more points if a player is already on the base. That’s where the term “the bases are loaded” comes from. If there is a player on each base when the hit occurs, four points will be awarded to the team.
Pitch Rules, Players, and Equipment
The baseball field is in a form of a square and the positions in it look like a diamond. The field is divided into two parts – infield and outfield. The infield has the four bases to which the players run to. The outfield on the other hand is made up of a grass field. There is a circle of land where the pitcher throws the ball, known as the “hill”. The radios of it is 2.4 meters while the distance between all the bases is 120 meters.
Even though there is only 9 players at a time on the pitch, a single baseball team has 25 players. They are divided in the following categories:
8 defense players (receiver, internal and external defenders), the initial pitcher, 6 relief pitchers, one being a closer (extremely effective pitcher who plays at the end of the game when it is necessary to secure victory) , 1 reserve shooter, 2 defensive backs reserves, 2 defensive backs reserves, a hitter, receiver or extra relief and a HP (player who rebuffs by pitcher).
The players all wear a jersey with the colors and symbols of their team. Additionally, depending on the position, the players have different equipment. There are bats made of wood, aluminum or other metal materials. The ball is white with red stitching and has a diameter of around 3 inches. Fielded players also have gloves to catch the ball. Last but not least, the catchers wear extra padding to protect them from possibly getting hit by the ball.
The referees in baseball are called umpires and they are in charge of controlling the game. Depending on the game and league, different number of umpires are assigned. The main umpire is known as the head ump and he makes all the final decisions. For instance, in major league baseball there can be up to 6 umpires. One head ump and 5 others who work as his assistants.
Organisations and Tournaments
Even though baseball is well established in several countries around the world, none of them have a high popularity or a strong league as the USA has. When it comes to baseball the MLB (Major League Baseball) is the only league that’s worth mentioning.
Major League Baseball (MLB)
The MLB is the oldest organisation among the four major professional sports leagues in the USA and Canada. The league is divided into two parts, the National League and the American League. Both leagues have 15 teams that play in them. Every team plays 162 games each year in the regular season. After that, there are tournaments that lead to the World Series where the best teams play. The winner is the champions of the MLB for that year.
With so many games played every year, baseball is very popular when it comes to sports betting. This is especially true for over/under betting markets. Bettors can place their stakes on over/under for the whole game or over/under for each team in a game separately.
Head over to our Bitcoin Sportsbook and check the odds in our Baseball markets.