What are some of the subtleties of baseball

Baseball beginners guide - what you need to know to start with

American sports are increasingly finding their way across the pond to us in Europe. While hockey and American football are relatively popular, baseball is still a little behind. The exact reasons for this are unclear. The fact is, however, that baseball looks like a very boring game to the ignorant viewer, in which there is little movement and in which something exciting rarely happens. In truth it is not true. Baseball is a complex and exciting sport for which we would like to provide a baseball beginner's guide.

The basic rules

Baseball is played by two teams of nine players each. A game lasts nine innings, with an inning always being divided into two halves. In the course of an inning, the two teams take on the role of attacker (offense) and defender (defense) and try to score as many points (runs) as possible as an offense by circling the bases to the home plate. In our baseball beginner's guide, we explain some of the most basic rules.

The offense

The offense is the team whose players hit the ball into the field. You are trying to score as many points as possible in an inning. To do this, the batter has to hit the ball into the field and then run the three bases back to the home plate. This makes him a runner. If a defense player catches the ball before the ball has hit the ground, the runner is “out”. The runner can also be out in other ways. For example, if a part of his body is not on one of the bases and is touched with the ball by a defense player, he is also out.

If a batter manages to knock the baseball out of the field, then one speaks of a home run and he can automatically run all bases. Of course, there is a lot more to say about the offense, but that would be beyond a baseball beginner's guide.

The defense

The defense is the team whose players are on the field during the innings. Your job is to prevent the offense runs from scoring. This is done by trying to get three players to the offense out as quickly as possible. Then the inning change takes place and the teams switch roles. The pitcher plays an important role in defense. He throws (pitches) the balls to the catcher who is standing behind the batter. While the batter tries to hit these balls in the field, the pitcher tries to throw his pitches in such a way that they get past the batter to the catcher. If that happens, the batter receives a strike.

However, the pitcher has to throw into the so-called strike zone. This is a designated area that is between the batter's knees and elbows. After three strikes there is a batter out.

Defense in particular is much more complex than we are presenting here. The individual positions on the field have different tasks that we cannot fully discuss in our baseball beginners guide.

Defense positions

The positions in the offense are relatively clear. One after the other, the players go to the home base and try to hit the ball as cheaply as possible into the field. The defense, however, has players in the field who are in fixed positions.

So there are the aforementioned pitchers and catchers. The first baseman is at the first base, the second baseman at the second base and the third baseman at the third base. While the second baseman is between first and second base, the shortstop is between second and third base.

Further back in the field there is also the Left Fielder, in the left part of the field, the Center Fielder in the middle and the Right Fielder in the right part of the field.

What should I put attention on?

Those are just the very rough rules of baseball. The official Major League Baseball rules are approximately 180 pages long. With the knowledge from this article it is much easier to get into the sport. Those who watch games regularly will understand the intricacies of the sport bit by bit and dive deeper and deeper into it. Now a few more game situations and incidents that are particularly worthwhile to be considered.

The duel between batter and pitcher

This duel is actually the most important part of baseball. The pitcher tries to throw past the batter in such a way that he cannot hit the ball. To do this, the pitcher uses various throwing techniques and pitches. A fastball, for example, as the name suggests, is designed to be as fast as possible. A curve ball, on the other hand, is supposed to describe a curve.

However, if the pitcher fails to throw into the strike zone, the batter receives a "ball". After four balls he can automatically run to first base. The same applies if the batter is hit by the pitcher's throw.

This situation is extremely exciting because entire games can be decided here. Really good pitchers manage not to allow a single run over several innings.

Scoring position

On the field it only gets really exciting for the offense when a runner is in scoring position and thus on second or third base. From here the runner has the opportunity to run to the home base with a simple hit from the next battery and score a point.

Stay tuned!

Baseball really has a ton of complex mechanics, and game situations keep coming up that are new and unfamiliar. But it pays to stay tuned and follow the sport. We explain how you can do this here. You can also find a variety of information on the Major League Baseball website. From the individual positions to scoring (recording of game situations) to team or player statistics.


Teaser image by Jose Morales via unsplash
Image by KieVinay via Pixabay

Tags: American Sports, Baseball, Major Baseball LeagueMoritz Stoll