Learn Baseball Rules: A Baseball Fan Guide

If you love watching baseball games, chances are there are judgments of the umpires that you may see differently. To improve your appreciation of this game, it is good if you learn baseball rules. Baseball is an uneventful game and most of the time scores are calculated based on real life situations. Learning baseball rules lets you know when you should call the attention of an umpire for questions of his judgment. It also enhances your appreciation of this America's all-time favorite ball game. Here are some quick overviews of baseball rules that commonly come up during games:

1. Batting ? The first rule is this: the visiting team bat first and the home team will bat second. In a case where all teams use the same fields, the home team is predetermined by league officials. If the home team has not been predetermined, a coin toss can be used by the umpire in chief to determine the home team.

The coach of each team must submit the batting order to the umpire in chief before the game. An extra copy of the batting order must be given to the scorekeeper and the opposing coach. The batting order is a list of full names of the players, list of available substitutes and the player's corresponding uniform number. The batting order must be strictly followed in the game.

Bunting is not allowed. Players must use a full swing in each attempt of hitting. If the ball swung and missed it is considered strike.

2. Scoring - A base run is scored if an offensive player touches first, second and third bases and home plate to avoid being called out. The batter may be called out because of a strikeout, a ground out, a fly out, a tag out, or a force out. A strikeout happens when three strikes are called on the hitter. Ground out happens when the batted ball touches the ground before being caught by a fielder and is thrown to the first baseman. Fly out, on the other hand, happens when the batted ball is caught by a fielder before it touches the ground. A tag out is when the runner is tagged by an opponent who is in possession of the ball. Force out happens when an opponent who is in possession of the ball touches a base before the runner arrives and the runner cannot retreat to the previous because a teammate is already running towards there. The team with the most runs wins the game.

3. Schedule - All games will be played according to a schedule. Schedule can be cancelled due to extreme circumstances with permission from the Sports Office.

4. Game duration - Game time is forfeit time. The game shall be one hour long. The official time is based on the umpire's watch. Umpires will announce the last batter. No game will last longer than 7 innings or one hour.

5. Base running - The ball becomes dead once the pitcher or catcher has control of the ball inside his or her circle. Runner less than half way to the next base must return to the original base. Runner more than half way to the next base must be entitled to the base. You can also learn baseball rules from books like "The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated" written by David Nemec. Umpire manuals also contain baseball rules.


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