Baseball looks complex...but it's not really! On this page we will attempt to explain the game and provide you with some basic details on the sport...
The Rules...in a nutshell
Baseball is played by two teams who alternate between offense and defense. There are nine players on each side. The goal is to score more runs than the opponent, which is achieved by completing one circuit of the four bases that are placed on the playing field, often called the diamond.
There are six innings in little league games, and each inning is divided in half to the top of the inning (when the visiting team hits and the home team plays defense) and the bottom of the inning (when the home team hits and the visiting team plays defense).Each team gets three outs in each half of the innings.
Each team has nine players in its batting order, and they must stick to that order throughout the game (players may substitute in for other players). A play begins with a batter waiting to hit a pitch from the pitcher. If the batter hits the ball into the field of play, the batter must run to first base and can run to as many bases as he or she deems fit without getting "out."
A batter gets three strikes (a swing and a miss or a ball over the plate in what's deemed the “strike zone” by an umpire) or he or she is out. If there are four balls (a pitch that is not in the “strike zone”), the batter is automatically allowed to go to first base (a "walk"). When a batter begins running, he or she is then referred to as a "runner". Runners attempt to reach a base, where they are "safe" and can remain on the base until the next hitter comes up. The defensive players attempt to prevent this by putting the runners out using the ball; runners put out must leave the field.
A batter gets a "hit" when he or she reaches a base without getting out, or forcing another runner to get out (and without the defense making an error). Runs are scored when a player completes a circuit of the diamond before there are three outs in the inning. If a players hits the ball over the outfield fence in fair territory (between the foul lines), it's a home run, and the batter can circle all four bases.
There are many ways that the team on defense can get an offensive player out. Four common ways are:
Strikeout (hitter misses three pitches)
Force out (when, after the ball is hit, the defensive player with the ball reaches a base before the runner)
Fly outs (when a player hits the ball in the air and it's caught by a defensive player before the ball hits the ground)
Tag outs (when a runner is touched with the ball in hand, or a glove with the ball in it)