Living here in the UK, I get a lot of shit from a lot of Brits about American sports. Not all, but too many of them. Mostly baseball and football. They're doing the best they can to put down our sports and try and advance their own, such as soccer and rugby. I actually like rugby, but could care less about soccer. I'll watch it at the pub, but not at home. The main way they attack baseball is to compare it to Rounders, and call it a little girls game.
It doesn't really bother me. Girls do play rounders, and so do boys and adults. Just like softball. And lots of other activities. I don't mind the insults, but what I do mind is the need to put down American sports so they can - what? I don't know why they feel the need to do it. I don't care for soccer really, but I don't go out of my way to put it down. Or darts. Or snooker. Which are all popular over here. But any chance most Brits get, they will put down baseball, football, NASCAR, processed cheese, anything remotely American.
So, you've all heard all the arguments and the insults on lots of different web sites. But in the effort to inform, lets find out what the differences really are. Here are the rules and layout of rounders, and the rules of play (abbreviated for the purpose of me not having to type so much) and you decide.
Is baseball the same as rounders and silly little girls game?
Or is it loosely based on the game and completely different, like football is to rugby?
Rounders (Irish: cluiche corr) is a sport played between two teams, each alternating between batting and fielding
Okay so far:
Game-play centres around innings where teams alternate at batting and fielding. A maximum of nine players are allowed to field at one time. Points ("rounders") are scored by the batting team by completing a circuit around the field through four bases or posts without being put 'out'.Seems fairly easy to follow at this point:
Although rounders is assumed to be older than baseball, literary references to early forms of "base-ball" in England pre-date use of the term "rounders". Rounders is now played from school-level to internationalI've lost the little girls game thread now, but I want to be fair:
In many respects, identical to Baseball. It is, however, considered a school game, very popular among primary school children, particularly girls.Okay, back to the start point, I guess. So lets get to the heart of the matter:
EquipmentStill somewhat close:
The ball is hard with a cork centre, covered in white leather and comparable in size to a tennis ball (a standard tennis ball or "soft" rounders ball is often substituted in school games). In Ireland, a hurling ball called a sliotar is used. Bats are used, usually 7-10 cm wide and 40-50cm long
PlayersOkay, rounders/baseball. Not seeing too many fundamental differences yet:
A team can have a maximum of 15 players and a minimum of 6. No more than 9 players can be on the field at one time. The fielding team must include one bowler and one backstop. Other outfield players take positions at each of the bases or elsewhere on the field.
BowlingGoing back to the roots of baseball. This is pre-1893 stuff:
The bowler bowls the ball with an underarm pendulum action to the batter. It is deemed a "good" ball if it passes within reach on the striking side between the batter's knees and the top of the head (NRA). Otherwise, it is called a "no-ball" or "bad" ball. The ball is also "bad" if it is thrown into the batter's body or wide of the batting box. A batter may try to hit a bad ball but is not required to. A player is not out if a "no-ball" is caught.
ScoringWhile some statheads would love to see this type of scoring added to the game (more formulas for them to masturbate over), this is the first large difference in the games:
A rounder is scored if a member of the batting team completes a circuit without being out. In NRA, a half rounder is scored if half a circuit is completed without being 'out' or if a batter has not hit the ball but makes it all the way to the fourth base.
Batter is out ifThat's a little cricket there to me. That's obviously not baseball. Fundamentally, yes, but in the way that you score runs and make outs, but the play isn't the same. This is a big difference. Here are the National Rounders Association-specific rules:
a ball hit is caught.
running to (NRA) or touching (GAA) a base that had been 'stumped' by a fielder.
they drop the bat while running.
PlayersBig difference here. Even in little league, you have to have 8 players at a minimum:
The fielding team must field at a minimum six players. The total number of players on a team is limited to fifteen
EquipmentOkay, now we begin to digress. The field of play is not the same:
The ball circumference must be 190 mm (7.5 inches) and the bat no more than 460 mm (18") in length and 170 mm (6.75" ) in diameter. The NRA places a weight-limit of 370g (13 ounces) on the bat. The bases are laid out in a manner similar to a baseball diamond, except that home base is a separate base, at right-angles to third base and the batsman's base. Each base is marked with poles, which must be able to support themselves and stand at a minimum of 1m (3 feet).
BattingBack to cricket again:
If a ball is good, batters must try to hit the ball and must run regardless of whether the ball is hit. If the ball is hit into the backward area, the batsman may not pass first post until the ball is returned to the forward area. A batter that hits a no-ball may not be caught-out or stumped at the first post. Batters may run on 'no-balls', but do not have to. Each batter except the last in each inning is entitled to receive one good ball; the last batsman is entitled to receive three unless caught out.
A half-rounder is scored ifThat's not even cricket. I don't know what the hell that is:
fourth post is reached and touched before the next ball is bowled without hitting the ball second post is reached and touched before next ball is bowled after hitting the ball obstruction by a fielder/batter two consecutive no-balls to the same batter
A batter is out ifOld town ball rules, at best. Some familiar things, but not modern baseball, at least in my opinion:
running inside the posts
no contact with a post is made (using either hand or stick) while the bowler is preparing to bowl
no contact with a post is made and the next post is stumped
a foot is placed outside the front or back of the batting square before swinging
at a good ball
they are overtaken by another runner
Two innings constitute a game. Each batting team's inning continues until nine outs are made or the numbered innings is over.Okay, back to cricket again:
Comparison with softball and baseball
The GAA version of the game is very similar to softball.
The main difference is that the game is played with baseball-sized bats, balls and field. However, baseball-style gloves are not allowed.
The main differences between baseball and the NRA version of the game are that: the bat is much shorter and is usually swung one-handed
misses/strikes aren't called, so there are no walks or strike-outs
each batter receives only one good ball and must run whether they hit it or not
posts (which should be wooden, preferably encased in plastic sheaths) mark the bases
the lay-out of the pitch is different, especially the location of home base
In rounders, bowlers pitch with an underarm pendulum action as in softball, as distinct from baseball.
So what's the conclusion here?
Baseball is indeed very similar to rounders, and therefore, a little girls game. You know what? So is cricket. Deal with it, Nigel. You can blast baseball all you want, but people who live in glass houses...
Insult our game, put it down, ridicule it all you want. But if you want to put down baseball, you need to call out cricket also. That's the way it is. I don't think too many major leaguer's are worried about it. Not with their million dollar payouts and merchandising deals. If you don't like our game, don't watch it. Don't play it. Don't talk about it.
Just get a life. And stop putting down everything American to feel better about yourself.
We're the same.
And that's what you hate about it.