Common Baseball Terms and Rules of the Game

Learning a new sport can be particularly confusing to individuals who don't consider themselves athletic. Baseball is considered an American past time. Hundreds of fans continue to fill stadiums across the United States, rooting for their favorite baseball teams. Just as the case is with any sport, there are certain terms, rules, and guidelines behind the game of baseball.


The pitcher of a baseball team is the person who throws the ball for the batter to hit. Major League Baseball (MLB) rules require the pitcher's mound to be 60 feet and 6 inches away from the back corner of home plate. Baseball terms can be confusing, but it's important to understand the most important players on the field. The pitcher of each team throws the ball to catcher of his team, located behind home plate. The pitcher is considered the centerpiece of the field, both physically and mentally.


The game of baseball would be non-existent if it weren't for the batter. The rules of baseball require each of the nine starting lineup team members hit, except pitchers in the American League. Instead of hitting, American League pitchers have a designated hitter, called the DH. The batter is charged with hitting the ball once it crosses the plate. If the batter deems a pitch not close enough to the strike zone, he has the choice to hold his swing. If the batter chooses to hold his swing, the result is a ball or a strike, which is determined by the home plate umpire. If the batter is issued four balls, he is automatically granted first base, called a walk.


There are four bases in baseball, including home plate. One of the most important rules in baseball is following the route of bases. First base is the initial base that the batter runs to after hitting the ball or after being walked. It is located on the right side of the field. Bases work their way counterclockwise. Second base is located in the center of the infield, parallel to the pitcher's mound and home plate. Third base is located on the left side of the field, from the batter and catcher's view. Runners from third base are charged with getting to home plate, the final base, in order to score a run.


Baseball scores are identified by runs. A batter must cross home plate and be deemed safe by the home plate umpire in order to score a run. If a batter hits a home run and there are already players on all three bases, this is called a grand slam. Every player on base has the ability to score a run, whether it's through his own hit, an RBI, or in rare cases, stealing home.

Other Common Terms

A foul ball is another important baseball term. A ball hit by the batter but lands out of play is identified as a foul ball. Foul balls are sometimes tricky to understand. If the ball is hit out of play and no player catches it from the opposing team, this is considered a foul ball. A foul ball is counted as a strike against the batter. The batter can only get ywo foul balls counted toward their strikes. If the batter hits a ball out of play and a player on the opposing team catches it, the batter is out.

Understanding the rules and baseball terms can be overwhelming for people who are new to the game. These are a handful of some of the most important terms. Understanding these baseball terms and rules gives new players a better grasp of the overall game. Whether you're a fan of the game or want to pick up a new sport, your knowledge of baseball terms begins here.

Rate This Article
Thanks For Rating!
Help us Improve.
Did You Find This Helpful?
Yes Somewhat No

Recent Comments & Questions

Loading comments...

What does DPS mean in baseball terms?

Double Plays
Thanks for the feedback!

Helpful Swimming Tips for Dogs

Swimming, for dogs, is a natural ability, and most dogs are ready to jump right in the pool with the rest of the family and dog paddle around the pool easily. Some dogs may ha (MORE)