Baseball ( Eng.  Baseball, from the base  – «base, base” and ball  – «Ball”) – a team sport game with a baseball and bat . Two teams of nine players each participate in the competition.

Baseball is most popular in Cuba , the United States , Venezuela , Japan , China and South Korea . Softball  is also common in the USA, Japan, Czech Republic and other countries – a simplified version of baseball – a game that can be played indoors and in small fields. Baseball is currently played in more than 120 countries around the world.

For baseball related sports include cricket in England , pesapallo in Finland , oyna in Romania and rounders in Russia .

The evolution of ancient baseball and bat games is difficult to trace. The French manuscript of 1344 contains an illustration depicting priests playing a certain game – presumably a la soule – much like baseball. Other old French games, such as thèque, la balle au bâton and la balle empoisonnée, also bear some resemblance to baseball. It is generally accepted that modern baseball is a North American development of the older English bast shoe , popular in the UK and Ireland.

In American newspapers of the early 19th century , games were mentioned under the names “baseball” ( Eng.  Base-Ball), “base ball”or “main ball” ( Eng.  Bass-Ball, Base Ball), “base” ( Eng.  Base), “Goalball” ( Eng.  Goalball), “City Ball” ( Eng.  Town Ball). In 1829 came out in the US , “the boy’s own book” ( Eng.  Of The Boy’s Own Book), which is considered the first known printed reference about the game resembling baseball.

For a long time, the author of baseball rules was Ebner Doubleday from the American town of Cooperstown. However, even the fact of a person living with such a surname in Cooperstown is being disputed. In 1845, New Yorker Alexander Cartwright developed baseball rules that were soon adopted by all the city’s baseball clubs. June 19, 1846 hosted the first match according to the rules of Cartwright. In 1869, in the city of Cincinnati, the local team Red Stokings became the first team players started to pay money for participation in matches. And two years later, the first professional baseball league in the United States and the world was created. By the beginning of the 20th centurymost cities on the east coast of the United States had their own professional baseball teams [1] .

The baseball world championship has been held since 1938 among men and since 2004 among women . In September 1986, the IOC included baseball and softball in the Summer Olympics . On July 8, 2005, at the IOC’s 117th session in Singapore, baseball and softball were excluded from the list of Olympic sports, both because of insufficient popularity in most IOC member countries and because of disagreements between the IOC and the US Baseball League, which refused Reschedule your competition for the duration of the Olympic Games. As a result, baseball was introduced at the Beijing Olympicsfor the last time, but in 2020 baseball will again be included in the program of the Olympic Games.

Baseball has certain attributes that distinguish it from other popular team sports in countries where it has such. All of these sports use watches; [2] in all of them the game is less individual and more collective, and also in none of them the differences between the playing fields are not so significant or important. [3] A comparison between cricket and baseball shows that many of the hallmarks of baseball are common with their “cousin” sports. [four]

Individual approach Although baseball is a team sport, individual players are often tested. In 1915, a baseball training manual indicated that each individual serve, of which there are often more than two hundred in a game, includes an individual one-on-one competition. [5] Contrasting the game with football and basketball , scientist Michael Mandelbaum argues that “baseball is the closest evolutionarily to older individual sports.” [6]

In terms of an individual approach, cricket ismore like baseball than in many other team sports: although an individual approach to cricket is mitigated by the importance of partnership and the practicality of running in tandem . [7]

The uniqueness of each baseball park Unlike most sports, baseball fields can vary significantly in size and shape. Although the size of the infield is specifically regulated, the only restriction on the size and shape of the pitch for professional teams following the MLB and Minor League Baseball rules is that fields built or reconstructed from June 1, 1958 must have a minimum distance 325 feet (99 m) from the house to the fence in the left and right fields, and should also be located 400 feet (122 m) to the center. [8] Major league teams often ignore even this rule. For example, in the Minute Maid Park, which became the home of the Houston Astrosin 2000, in the Crawford Boxing Park, the left field is just 315 feet (96 m) from the home stove. [9] There are no rules regarding the height of fences or other structures at the edge of the field. The most famous idiosyncratic field boundary is the left field wall in Boston’s Fenway Park, used since 1912.

In each game, two teams participate, which in turn play in attack and defense.

The goal of the game is to score more points / runs ( English  run) than the opposing team. The point is counted when the player of the attacking team runs in turn all the bases (30 × 30 cm square pads attached to the ground) located in the corners of a square with a side of 90 feet (27.4 meters).

Baseball is usually played with a ball. The top of the ball is covered with white leather and stitched with red stitches. The weight of the ball is not less than 5 and not more than 5.25 ounces (from 141.7 to 148.8 g), circumference from 9 to 9.25 inches (from 22.8 to 23.5 cm). In the game, the defense team has 9 people in the field at the same time. The corners of the game “square” are called (in order, counterclockwise): “house” , “1st base” , “2nd base” and “3rd base” .

Submission of the pitcher from the “Windows” position.

At the beginning of the game, one of the teams (home team) plays in defense. 9 players of the team playing in defense go on the field and try not to let the other team earn points. The guest team was the first to play the attack and try to score points. Points are earned this way: starting from home, each player of the attacking team tries to earn the right to run counterclockwise to the next base (that is, to the corner of the square) and touch the base, continuing to run to each next base and finally returning to the house, earning at this point.

Before the player of the attacking team can start to run, the player of the defending team, called the “pitcher” (from the English  pitch – pitch), gets up in the designated place in the middle of the game square – on the pitcher hill. The remaining 8 players of the defending team are also on the field, each in their own position.

Sideline team playing in the attack, called batteror batter (Engl. Batter), gets close to home, in a circular holding bit section, usually made of wood or aluminum. The batter waits for the pitcher to throw the ball toward the house. The pitcher throws the ball towards the house, and the batter tries to hit the ball with a bat. If the batter managed to hit the ball in the field, he must throw the bat and start to run towards 1st base. There are other ways to reach 1st base.

When the batter begins to run, it’s called beating-running ( Eng.  The batter-runner). If the running has reached base, it is declared safe ( Eng.  Safe), and becomes a running ( Eng. Runner), differently the judge declares out ( Eng.  Out). If a player is declared out, he must leave the field and remain on the bench ( eng. Dugout).

There are many ways in which a defending team can put an attacking player in touch. For simplicity, the following are the five most popular methods:

  • Strike-out : the batter could not earn the right to run to first base, as the pitcher made three strikes in one series of innings.
  • Force-out : the attacker had to run to the base (according to the rules), but the defense player touched that base with the ball in his hand before he could do it.
  • Ground-out  is one of many options for force-out: the batter hit the ball in the field, but the defense player picked up the ball and threw it to the player standing on the base before the batter managed to touch it.
  • Fly-out : a defending player caught a hit ball before the ball touched the ground.
  • Tag-out (salting): the defending player touched the running team with the glove with the ball held in it by the attacking team when the runner was between the bases.

Each game is divided into periods – “innings” ( English  inning), in each of which each team plays once in attack and in defense. Each time, when three players of the attack team went out, the teams change places (thus, in each inning there are six outs – three for each team). Usually a game consists of 9 innings. In case of equal score at the end of the last inning, additional innings are assigned. A baseball game cannot end with a draw, additional innings are appointed until the winner is determined (although there are exceptions, for example, in Japan and South Korea).Serving and beating the ball
Each striker exit to the house consists of a series of innings. Every pitcher throws a pitch in the direction of the house, taking care that the ball flew over the house at the height of the knees to the chest hitter, in the so-called strike-zone (for those watching umpire (referee) standing behind the catcher – catcher ). The batter is obliged to repel only balls flying in the strike zone; he has the right to ignore the ball flying outside this zone, but he loses that right as soon as his bat starts moving and crosses the home base. For failure to fulfill these conditions, the pitcher or batter will receive penalty points:
The pitcher receives a ball ( English ball) if the ball thrown by him flies past the strike zone and the striker, noticing this, during the flight of the ball used his right to ignore it (that is, he did not wave the bat);
The batter gets a strike ( English strike) if he ignores a correctly thrown ball (flying in the strike zone);
The striker also receives a strike if he swings the bat (the bat crossed the front line of the house) and does not hit the ball, regardless of whether the ball flew in the strike zone or not.
Thus, the basis of baseball is the confrontation between the pitcher and the batter. The pitcher must serve the ball so that it is difficult for the batter to evaluate his trajectory and, accordingly, hit; however, the pitcher should not be mistaken and send the ball outside the strike zone. In turn, the batter must determine in a split second whether the ball served by the pitcher flies in the strike zone (that is, whether to hit it), and if so, then strike, which will not only hit the ball, but will send it as can be further in the field. The situation can completely turn over in a split second: if the pitcher made a mistake and threw the “wrong” ball, it would seem that he would get a penalty point (bol), but if the batter also made a mistake, he decided that the ball should be “correct” and beat it, waved the bat and missed the ball, then he gets the penalty point (strike).“Steal the base” ). Often teams develop systems of secret signals, with the help of which the catcher tells the pitcher which throw needs to be completed (“orders” the ball).
If the batter hits the ball, but the ball flies out of bounds ( foul line ) or falls into the field, but rolls out beyond it between home and first or third base, then scored a foul-ball ( Eng. Foul ball) (while all attackers must return to the base where they were before the fight). A foul ball is also considered a strike, unless the striker already has two strikes, in which case the score of the strikes and strikes does not change. However, if with two strikes the batter fouls and is immediately caught by the catcher, then the foul type is assigned .(foul-tip), the strike counts, the batter is in touch. In addition, a repulsed foul ball can be caught until it touches the ground (similar to a fly ball). If such a ball is caught, a pop-out is announced, and the batter is out, as if it had been put out by a fly-out. Another nuance is that if with two strikes the batter puts a bow and the ball goes into a foul, an out is automatically announced.
If the striker gains three strikes – this is called the strike-out, then the striker is eliminated from the game. In the case of four balls, the batter will automatically take the first base. This situation is called Walk ( Eng. Walk). At the same time, if a player was already at the first base, then this player moves to the second base, and so on. The batter will automatically occupy the first base also in the event that a serve hits him (hit by pitch). If the judge considers that the pitcher intentionally serves the batter (usually after several innings in the batter in a row), the judge may remove the pitcher.
Separately, it is worth mentioning the authority of the judge. In baseball, no referee decision can be challenged. A dispute with a judge, for example, about strikes / pains, most often ends with the removal of the player from the field. Moreover, the judge can remove not only the players, but also the managers of the team and generally any person in the stadium. If the judge is unsure whether there was a “swing” (batter transferring bits across the line of the house), the decision is made by the judge at first or third base. In this case, in order to get an answer, the judge in the house turns to the judge at the base, who, in turn, shows the answer with a gesture. Often, the catcher asks to ask the side judge, rising and pointing to him.
Judge Gestures
In order for the players and everyone who is present at the stadium to understand and see the progress of the game, the judges with gestures duplicate their decisions.
The referees in the field primarily monitor what happened before – touching the base runner or catching the ball / salting the runner by the defense player. Decisions are indicated as follows:
Safe – the judge spreads his arms to the sides.
Out – the judge first with one hand points to the runner who got the out, and then abruptly throws out his other hand, clenched into a fist (looks like a punch) and shouts out loudly.
The ball in the field (the game continues) – the hand points towards the field
Foul ball – hand points away from the field
Home run – the hand rises and the fist with the outstretched forefinger describes 

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