Basic Baseball Rules: All You Need to Know

19th February 2020
Many people around the world love baseball. Do you know anything about it? For the newbies out there, here are the basic baseball rules you need to know. You’ll blend right in the next time you’re invited to a match!

Baseball has many fans around the world. If you’d like to become one of them, get to know some baseball rules so you ace your next game!

Although in some western countries such as Spain this sport isn’t widely played, baseball is a favorite among many people. Even though it may not seem like it, the basic baseball rules are some of the more diverse in existence.

As you probably already know, we’re talking about a sport that requires significant infrastructure: stadiums, benches, etc.

For starters, the field measurements must be exact, and there are plenty of those to follow! Of course, this ensures it’s a fair game.

In addition, pitches, game positions and bats have their own names. In countries where lots of people play this sport, such as the United States, most fans know this information. Nevertheless, if you’re a newbie looking to get into baseball, this large amount of information can be daunting to understand.

But fear no more! In today’s article, we’ll cover some of the main baseball rules so you understand everything that’s happening at your next game.

The basic baseball rules

For starters, it’s important to understand the basic mechanics of the game.

Baseball is a sport in which two teams of nine players face each other with the intention of making as many points as possible. Teams get these points by batting the ball. Once the ball hits the bat, the player runs through four bases. Once the running player reaches the last safe base (home), the team scores and it counts as a point.

Both teams take turns to attack and defend. On the offense, players try to hit the ball to occupy bases, cross them and score. In a defensive position, the team must prevent their opponent from running and scoring. To achieve this, the defensive team performs an “out”, which halts the run of the opposing player and prevents them from scoring.

According to the rules, a regular baseball game has at least nine innings. In an inning, each team has a turn to bat and another to defend.

As a defensive team, there are several ways to get a player off the road through the “out”. Baseball is a game with a lot of strategies, both in offensive and defensive work.

The Busch Stadium is one of the most impressive in the world.

Pitcher, catcher, and pitching rules

The pitcher is the player throwing the ball towards the batter in order to make it out. Opposing them is the batter, in an offensive position. The batter must try to move the ball by batting. Their objective is to get the ball out of reach of the opposing team to be able to run and propel their teammates in further bases.

Each batter has three opportunities to hit the ball and, if they miss one chance, it’s called a “strike”. If they can’t hit the ball after the three times, the batter is out. Because of this, pitchers try to throw the ball to ensure a strike, preventing the batter from running.

Of course, there are pitching rules that a player has to follow. The pitcher has to throw centered shots, and an inability to follow the rules allow the batter to pass to first base. If the pitcher throws four lousy shots (“balls”) outside the strike zone, the batter can move to first base without hitting the ball.

The quality of the pitch is determined by the main umpire (referee), located behind the defensive catcher. According to the basic baseball rules, this figure is the highest authority in each game and has assistants. The International Federation regulates baseball through these referees!

Basic baseball rules: the “out”

As we’ve already mentioned, an out is a move that takes the batter out of the field. In turn, this prevents the opposing team from scoring a point.

There are three ways to do an out in baseball. The first is that a pitcher manages to make three-strike throws at a batter. The second opportunity is when the batting player hits the ball and an opponent catches it without the ball ever touching the ground.

Finally, the third possibility is for the player to hit the ball, then, an opponent runner catches it and runs towards the batter to touch them while in possession of the ball. For this strategy to be effective, the running batter has to be in-between bases. The player is safe as soon as they step on a base, as long as an opposing player doesn’t touch them before getting to it.

Of course, a runner can get “outed” even during the duel between pitcher and batter. Similarly, offensive runners can ‘steal bases’ during pitches. First and third base coaches advise these kinds of runners throughout their careers.

The basic regulation of baseball makes it clear which pitches are valid and which are not.

Some of the complex rules of baseball

If a batter manages to get the ball out of the stands with a single hit, it’s called a home run. This batting technique allows all runners who are on any base to arrive at the home base safely. When this happens and each base is full, this is a Grand Slam and involves four races for the team that gets it.

A manager and a series of coaches lead each team. This coach directs the training and establishes the strategies to follow during each match. In addition, this figure may authorize changes in the player lineup and add in substitutes. In the case of pitchers, coaches can substitute them at any time during the game.

As you get to know the sport, the many baseball rules make a lot more sense. Field measures are fundamental, especially when it comes to professional practice.  Beyond its complex requirements, there’s no doubt that this sport is fun and entertaining.

  • Real Federación Española de Béisbol y Sóftbol (RFEBS). Extraído de: https://www.laligasports.es/federacion/beisbol-sofbol
  • Real Federación Española de Béisbol y Sófbol (RFEBS). Reglas oficiales béisbol. 2019. Extraído de: https://www.rfebs.es/wp-content/uploads/Reglas-Oficiales-de-B%C3%A9isbol-Edici%C3%B3n-2019.pdf