Simple Baseball Rules for Children
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Baseball is one of the most popular sports for kids, who play it in their backyards, at school, during picnics and in organized leagues. While there can be many rules for games played in official leagues, the basic rules of the game are very simple. Knowing the most common rules of baseball can help you have a fun, fair game and make sure everyone has a good time.
The most basic rule of baseball is that a batter gets three strikes before they are called out at the plate. A strike is considered swinging at the ball and missing, hitting the ball out of play or tipping the ball into the catcher's glove. Hitting the ball out of play is called a foul ball. A foul ball cannot be the third strike, and a batter cannot be called out on strikes if he hits a foul ball. In many leagues, there is no limit on foul balls, and the batter can stay at the plate, hitting foul balls without being called out.
If the batter hits the ball and a player on the other team catches the ball in the air, the batter is out. If the batter hits the ball on the ground, she is out if a member of the other team gets the ball and touches the batter or first base before the batter touches first base. A force out is when a base-runner has to run to the base in front of her because one of her teammates is running to or on the base behind her. If a player on the other team touches the base-runner with the ball while she is running to the base, or they touch the base in front of her before she gets there, the base-runner is out.
A baseball game is made up of nine innings in most adult games.Typically, coach-pitch leagues for six to eight year-olds play six innings, nine and up play seven innings. An inning is over after both teams have a chance to bat, and each team makes three outs.
Players on the defensive team must allow a base-runner to go to a base without getting in her way. Even if they are playing a rolling ball, they cannot touch the base-runner or stand in her way to make the play, unless they have the ball; then, they can try to tag her. A base-runner cannot purposely interfere with a player trying to make a catch or field a ground ball, if the base-runner can easily avoid the defensive player. If the base-runner goes out of her way to get in the way of defensive player, she has interfered. Interference by a defensive players results in the base-runner being safe. Interference by a base-runner results in the base-runner being out.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.