Rounders

Rounders (Irish: cluiche corr) is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams. Rounders is a striking and fielding team game that involves hitting a small, hard, leather-cased ball with a rounded end wooden, plastic or metal bat. The players score by running around the four bases on the field.[1][2]

Played in England since Tudor times, it is referenced in 1744 in the children's book A Little Pretty Pocket-Book where it was called Base-Ball.[3] The game is popular among British and Irish school children, particularly among girls.[4][5][6] As of 2015 it is played by seven million children in the UK.[7]

Gameplay centres on a number of innings, in which teams alternate at batting and fielding. Points (known as 'rounders') are scored by the batting team when one of their players completes a circuit past four bases without being put 'out'. The batter must strike at a good ball and attempt to run a rounder in an anti-clockwise direction around the first, second, and third base and home to the fourth, though they may stay at any of the first three.[4] A batter is out if the ball is caught; if the base to which they are running to is touched with the ball; or if, while running, they are touched with the ball by a fielder.[4]

Rounders
Game of rounders on Christmas Day at Baroona, Glamorgan Vale, 1913
A game of rounders on Christmas Day at Baroona, Glamorgan Vale, Australia in 1913.
Highest governing bodyRounders England /
Gaelic Athletic Association
First playedEngland, 1500s (unified rules 1884)
Characteristics
Team members2 teams of 6-15

History

Aprettylittlepocketbook
A Little Pretty Pocket-Book (1744), included an illustration of base-ball, depicting a batter, a bowler, and several rounders posts. The rhyme refers to the ball being hit, the boy running to the next post, and then home to score.

The game of rounders has been played in England since Tudor times,[1] with the earliest reference[1][8] being in 1744 in A Little Pretty Pocket-Book where it was called base-ball.[9] In 1828, William Clarke in London published the second edition of The Boy's Own Book, which included the rules of rounders and also the first printed description in English of a bat and ball base-running game played on a diamond.[10] The following year, the book was published in Boston, Massachusetts.[11]

The first nationally formalised rules were drawn up by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Ireland in 1884. The game is still regulated in Ireland by the GAA, through the GAA Rounders National Council (Irish: Comhairle Cluiche Corr na hÉireann). In Great Britain it is regulated by Rounders England, which was formed in 1943. While the two associations are distinct, they share similar elements of game play and culture. Competitions are held between teams from both traditions.

After the rules of rounders were formalised in Ireland, associations were established in Liverpool, England; and Scotland in 1889. Both the 'New York game' and the now-defunct 'Massachusetts game' versions of baseball, as well as softball, share the same historical roots as rounders and bear a resemblance to the GAA version of the game. Rounders is linked to British baseball, which is still played in Liverpool, Cardiff and Newport. 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. A popular game among British and Irish school children, and especially among girls, the game is now played up to international level.[4][5][6] It is played by seven million children in the UK, with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge playing it as a young girl.[7]

Rules

Gameplay comprises a number of innings, in which teams alternate at batting and fielding. Nine players constitute a team, with the fielding side consisting of the bowler, the catcher, a player on each of the four bases, and three deep fielders.[12][4] Points (known as 'rounders') are scored by the batting team when one of their players completes a circuit past four bases without being put 'out'. The batter must strike at a good ball and attempt to run a rounder in an anti-clockwise direction around the first, second, and third base and home to the fourth, though they may rest at any of the first three.[4]

While Rounders England[13] and GAA[12] codes differ, they share much in common.

The bowler, or 'feeder', bowls the ball with an underarm pendulum action to the batter. According to Rounders England rules, the ball 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. Otherwise, it is called a 'no-ball' or 'bad' ball. The ball is also regarded as 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 do so. A player is not out if a no-ball is caught and cannot be called out on first base.

When a batter leaves the post, each runner on a base may run to the next and succeeding base. A post runner cannot be declared out when standing at a base. The batter must keep in contact with the base to avoid being declared out. A rounder is scored if one of the batting team completes a circuit without being out. The Rounders England rules state that a half rounder is scored if half a circuit is completed by a player without being put out, or if the batter has not hit the ball but makes it all the way to the fourth base. A batter is out if a fielder catches the ball cleanly; the batter reaches a base that had been 'stumped' (touched while holding the ball) by a fielder; the bat is dropped whilst the batter is running; the batter leaves the base before the bowler has bowled the ball; or the batter is 'run out' (overtaken) by the next batter.

Rounders England-specific rules

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A game of rounders being played in Indonesia.

In the United Kingdom, the rules of rounders are regulated by Rounders England.[14] Games played under these rules use smaller bats and balls and are played on a smaller pitch compared to GAA games. The bases are marked with posts, which batters must keep in contact with and fielders must 'stump', and only one 'good' ball needs to be thrown before a batter must run. 'Half-rounders' are also counted in scoring.

The fielding team must field a minimum of six players (one on each base plus bowler and catcher). The total number of players on a team is limited to nine.

The ball circumference must be between 180 millimetres (7.1 in) and 200 millimetres (7.9 in) and the bat no more than 460 millimetres (18 in) in length and 170 millimetres (6.7 in) in diameter. Rounders England place a weight-limit of 370 grams (13 oz) on the bat. The bases are laid out in a manner similar to a baseball diamond, except that batters run to a separate fourth base, at right-angles to third base and the batsman's base.[15] Each base is marked with poles, which must be able to support themselves and stand at a minimum of 1 metre (3 ft 3 in).

If a ball is delivered well, 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 batter 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 batter is entitled to receive three good balls unless he or she is caught out.

One rounder is gained if the player hits the ball, then reaches the fourth post and touches it before the next ball is bowled and is not caught out and hit by the ball. A half rounder is gained if: the player reaches the fourth post having missed the ball; the player reaches the second post having hit the ball; if a batter is obstructed by a fielder whilst running; or if the same batter has two consecutive no balls.

A batter is out if a fielder catches the ball after it has been hit and before it touches the ground, a fielder touches the post of the base halfway up (or higher) with the ball while the batter is running to it, the batter deliberately drops or throws the bat, or another batter runs to the same base or overtakes a batter, in which case both batters are out.

Two innings constitute a game. Each batting team's innings continues until nine outs are made or the numbered innings is over.

GAA-specific rules

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A batter is attempting to give a good hit

In Ireland, the rules of rounders (Irish: cluiche corr) are laid down by the Gaelic Athletic Association.[12] The GAA rules are the earliest nationally organised rules of play, being formalised in 1884. It is played on a larger pitch compared to the Rounders England game and consequently uses larger bats and slightly larger balls. A GAA rounders pitch is a 70-metre (77 yd) square field and bases are 25 metres (27 yd) apart, compared to 12 metres (13 yd) for the Rounders England game. Foul ground runs along two adjacent sides of the pitch with home base at the intersection of these sides.

Three substitutes may be made to the list of field players during play. A maximum of nine players are allowed to field at one time. There is no limit for the number of batters a team may list.

The ball (or sliotar) circumference is 22.7–25.5 centimetres (8.9–10.0 in) and bats may be 70–110 centimetres (28–43 in) long and up to 7 centimetres (2.8 in) in diameter. There is no limit on bat weight. Bases are normally marked with temporary square mats 64 cm (28") wide for home-base and the pitchers stand and 46 centimetres (18 in) wide for all others.

Each batter is entitled to three good balls. A batter must try to hit any good balls that are bowled, but need not run hitting the ball. If a ball is struck that would otherwise be considered 'bad', the ball is then considered to be 'good'. If, on the first or second good ball, a ball is hit into the foul ground, or the ball is hit but no running occurs, it is considered a 'dead' ball and the batter or runners may not advance. If a batter receives three bad balls then a 'walk-on' is called and all runners advance one base. The batter may run on any ball except a dead ball. The batter is not allowed to drop the bat whilst running or that person is out and no rounders are scored.

A batter is out if:

  • on a third good ball, the batter fails to strike the ball and the catcher holds the ball before it touches the ground;
  • the bat is thrown or tossed in a dangerous way;
  • on a third good ball, the batter strikes the ball in to the foul area;
  • the bowler or catcher's view is obstructed for a second time, after a warning given on the first instance;
  • deliberate contact is made with a fielder carrying the ball;
  • the batter touches a base that has been 'tagged' by another fielder carrying the ball, in which case the batter must return to the previous base if it is still unoccupied;
  • the batter attempts to occupy a base occupied by someone else (with the exception of first base, which must be vacated to make way for the approaching batter.

Batters must run in straight lines between bases and fielders must not obstruct their way or stand on bases. Disobeying this rule is considered unsporting behaviour and may result in up to two bases being awarded to the batting team or a batter being sent out. Normally, one batter may not overtake another while running between bases, although there are exceptions to this rule.

Five innings constitute a game, depending on the level of the match. Each batting team's inning continues until three outs are made.

Comparison with softball and baseball

The GAA version of rounders is very similar to softball, the main difference being 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 Rounders England version of the game are that the rounders bat is much shorter and is usually swung one-handed; misses or strikes are not 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. Other differences include the posts for marking the bases, which should be wooden, and are preferably encased in plastic sheaths, the lay-out of the pitch, especially the location of the last base; and the bowler's arm motion, which is an underarm pendulum action, as in softball.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c National Rounders Association – History of the Game in an Archive.org snapshot from 2007
  2. ^ Alice Bertha Gomme, Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland, Volume 2, 1898
  3. ^ Mike. "Rounders". West Midlands Sports Development. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Rounders (English Game)". Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. ^ a b "Rounders all-round show". Gulf News. 3 March 2011
  6. ^ a b “Fair Play for Girls and Boys”. National Teachers Organisation. Retrieved 9 March 2018
  7. ^ a b c "Save rounders! It's the only sport for people who hate sport". The Telegraph. 8 April 2018.
  8. ^ Lloyd, John; Mitchinson, John (2006). Faber & Faber (ed.). The Book of General Ignorance.
  9. ^ Newbery, John (1767). A Little Pretty Pocket-book. p. 43.
  10. ^ David Block (2006) Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game p.192. University of Nebraska Press. Retrieved 6 May 2011
  11. ^ "The Boys Own Book by William Clarke". Maine Historical Society. Retrieved 7 May 2011
  12. ^ a b c "The Rules of GAA Rounders" (PDF). Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Rounders England - Rules". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Rounders England - Our Journey". Rounders England. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  15. ^ NRA Pitch Diagram SportFocus

External links

All-rounder

An all-rounder is a cricketer who regularly performs well at both batting and bowling. Although all bowlers must bat and quite a few batsmen do bowl occasionally, most players are skilled in only one of the two disciplines and are considered specialists. Some wicket-keepers have the skills of a specialist batsman and have been referred to as all-rounders, but the term wicketkeeper-batsman is more commonly applied to them, even if they are substitute wicketkeepers who also bowl.

British baseball

British baseball, or Welsh baseball (Welsh: Pêl Fas Gymreig), is a bat-and-ball game played primarily in Wales, but also with a strong history in Merseyside, England. It is closely related to the game of rounders.

In the tradition of bat-and-ball games, Baseball has roots going back centuries, and there are references to "baseball" and "rounders" from the beginning of the eighteenth century. Baseball emerged as a distinct sport in 1892 when associations in Wales and England renamed the sport in favour of the more traditional rounders.

English cricket team in Australia in 1920–21

An England team toured Australia between November 1920 and March 1921. The tour was organised by the Marylebone Cricket Club and matches outside the Tests were played under the MCC name. The tour itinerary consisted of 13 first-class matches, including a series of 5 Test matches against Australia in which The Ashes were at stake.

Gaelic Athletic Association

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA; Irish: Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, [ˈkʊmˠən̪ˠ ˈl̪ˠuh.xlʲæsˠ ɡeːl̪ˠ] (CLG)) is an Irish international amateur sporting and cultural organisation, focused primarily on promoting indigenous Gaelic games and pastimes, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, Gaelic handball and rounders. The association also promotes Irish music and dance, and the Irish language.

As of 2014, the organisation had over 500,000 members worldwide, and declared total revenues of €65.6 million in 2017.Gaelic football and hurling are the most popular activities promoted by the organisation, and the most popular sports in the Republic of Ireland in terms of attendances. Gaelic football is also the second most popular participation sport in Northern Ireland. The women's version of these games, ladies' Gaelic football and camogie, are organised by the independent but closely linked Ladies' Gaelic Football Association and the Camogie Association of Ireland respectively. GAA Handball is the Irish governing body for the sport of handball, while the other Gaelic sport, rounders, is managed by the GAA Rounders National Council (Irish: Comhairle Cluiche Corr na hÉireann).

Since its foundation in 1884, the association has grown to become a major influence in Irish sporting and cultural life with considerable reach into communities throughout Ireland and among the Irish diaspora.

Gaelic games

Gaelic games are sports played in Ireland under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Gaelic football and hurling are the two main games. Other games organised by the GAA include Gaelic handball (also referred to as GAA Handball or Wallball) and rounders.

Women's versions of hurling and football are also played: camogie, organised by the Camogie Association of Ireland, and ladies' Gaelic football, organised by the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association. While women's versions are not organised by the GAA, they are closely associated with it.Almost a million people (977,723) attended 45 GAA senior championships games in 2017 (up 29% in hurling and 22% in football on 2016 figures) combined with attendances at other championship and league games generating Gate receipts of €34,391,635.

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Inning

An inning in baseball, softball, and similar games is the basic unit of play, consisting of two halves or frames, the "top" (first half) and the "bottom" (second half). In each half, one team bats until three outs are made, with the other team playing defense. A full baseball game typically is scheduled for nine innings, while softball games consist of seven innings; although this may be shortened due to weather or extended if the score is tied at the end of the scheduled innings. Inning, in baseball and softball, is always singular, which contrasts with cricket and rounders in which the singular is "innings".

Innings

An innings is one of the divisions of a cricket match during which one team takes its turn to bat. Innings also means the period in which an individual player bats. Innings, in cricket, and rounders, is both singular and plural; this contrasts with baseball and softball in which the singular is "inning".

Lapta (game)

Lapta (Russian: лапта́) is a Russian bat and ball game first known to be played in the 14th century. Mentions of lapta have been found in medieval manuscripts, and balls and bats were found in the 14th-century layers during excavations in Novgorod. It is similar to cricket, brännboll, Rounders, baseball, oină, it:Tsan (Italy) and pesäpallo.

Leinster GAA

The Leinster Council is a Provincial council of the Gaelic Athletic Association sports of hurling, Gaelic football, camogie, rounders and handball in the province of Leinster. The Leinster Council has been partnered with the European County Board to help develop Gaelic Games in Europe. Leinster Council's main contribution to this goal is the provision of referees.

Munster GAA

The Munster Council is a Provincial Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association sports of hurling, Gaelic football, camogie, rounders and handball in the province of Munster.

Origins of baseball

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The Rounders (1965 film)

The Rounders is a 1965 American western film directed by Burt Kennedy and starring Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda. It is based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Max Evans.

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