The rules to the game of baseball were codified during the early days of the game. This has led to a number of purists who believe the rules should not change.

Baseball has a number of specialized rules that make it quite unique from other sports around the world. These rules have generally been in place since the 1800s with very few changes over the years. While some rules very between different types of organizations, most of the different levels of play feature similar concepts. Any changes to baseball rules have been met by opposition from purists of the game. This has resulted in a wide variety of controversies over the years any time a rule change is suggested.

Codification of Baseball Rules

Baseball rules were first established during the late 1800s when the game began to gain traction with the public. Today, the rules of the game of baseball are codified in three different formats, each used for different organizations. Professional baseball uses the Sporting News rules, college-age ball uses the NCAA rulebook, while the majority of other organizations use the International Baseball Federation rules.

Old Format of the Rules of Baseball

Unlike other sports such as football and basketball, the rules of baseball remained generally unchanged as it became modernized. The rulebook used by most leagues contains a number of awkward words and language structure compared to modern speech.

How a Baseball Field is Set Up

The territory for baseball play is comprised of an infield, outfield and foul territory. The infield contains four bases shaped in a diamond. The distance from home plate to second base is 127 feet and 3 3/8 inches. First and third base are both located 90 feet from home and second base. The outfield is usually contained with a wall or fence and varies between 180 and 300 feet from home. The foul area is everything to either side of the first and third bases.

Time Span of a Baseball Game

Baseball is not a timed sport. Professional ball is played with nine innings in which both teams get a turn at bat and playing defense. Each team receives an infinite time until it gets three outs, players who are stopped from offensive play by striking out, having a ball caught or failing to reach a base before the ball. Other styles of game play generally run for seven innings.

Designated Hitter Controversy

One of the most significant rule changes in the history of baseball is the “Designated Hitter” rule established in 1973. This rule allows a team to substitute one field player for another hitter while at bat. This is usually the pitcher, but any member of the offense can be substituted.

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