The rules of baseball

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Martí Micolau

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Baseball is a very popular team sport in the United States of America, Canada, Latin America, Japan and East Asia, developed from a late 800th century game called rounders.

Baseball is played on a quarter-circle field, divided into fair and foul territory. In the good territory they are placed, on a square of mt. 27,43 on the side, the "bases": the cushions of 1st, 2nd and 3rd base and a rubber pentagon called "home base" or "flat". At mt. 18,44 from home plate, on the diagonal of 2nd base, the pitcher's plate is placed.

A game normally consists of 9 rounds or "innings". Each round is divided into two phases, “serve” or attack and “defense”. A half-time ends when a team has alternated both serving and defending. A phase ends when three offense players are eliminated. Each team is made up of 9 players plus the substitutes who assume, when the team is in defense, the positions of: pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder and right fielder.

Only the team that is at bat can score points and its players appear at bat one at a time, according to a predetermined order, taking the name of "batters". The batter must attempt to hit balls thrown to him (by the pitcher) that cross the "strike area" or "batting area", ie the space above home plate between the knee line and the armpit line. If he lets them pass or tries to beat them without success, the referee will call him a strike. After three strikes the batter is out.

He will also be eliminated if the ball he serves is caught on the fly or if it is thrown by a fielder on 1st base before the same batter reaches that goal. If the ball thrown at him does not cross the strike area, the referee will call a ball in his favor; after 4 balls the batter acquires first base by right.

In summary, the pitcher's job is to get either with three strikes or by conceding bad beats, the elimination of the opponent. The batter's job is to safely reach first base, either with a good serve or a base per ball.

The batter, as soon as he hits the ball, or as soon as he gains the 1st base per ball, becomes a "runner" and from this moment constitutes, for the defending team, the main danger, since he can score a run. In fact, taking advantage of either a joke of some of his team mates, or the mistakes of the defenders, or "stealing" the subsequent bases, he will try to reach (after having touched all the bases in order), the home plate where he will score. a point.

The defense may eliminate a runner if he manages to touch him, while he is not in contact with a base, with the hand holding the ball firmly, or by eliminating him by making the ball reach the defender in contact with the base towards which said runner is heading. when the latter is forced to go there to free the base he is on (forced play).

If a batter hits the ball in such a way as to send it beyond the outer fence of the field corresponding to the fair territory, he gets an "out of bounds": in this case he has the right to complete the entire round of the bases, winning a point plus any possible points. points of teammates who were on the bases (the defense being unable to retrieve the ball to try to eliminate them). The team that scores the most points in nine rounds wins.

There is no tie in baseball. If after nine rounds the score is tied, it continues indefinitely, until a complete inning is finished with one of the two teams in the lead. Aside from youth team games, there is no time limit in baseball. On average, a game lasts from two to three hours, even reaching four and a half hours.

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