British baseball


British baseball

The origins of the sport known as British baseball, or sometimes as Welsh baseball, date to 1892 when the governing bodies of England and Wales agreed to change the name of their sport from rounders to baseball. The roots of the game date back much further and literary references to baseball and rounders date back many centuries.

Differences between the British and American games

The sport differs in a number of ways from the internationally known game of baseball.
* Delivery of the ball - The ball is thrown underarm and known (as in cricket) as bowling, while in baseball it is delivered overhand or sidearm and called pitching.
* Number of players - There are 11 players in a team with no substitutions allowed. Baseball is played by nine players at a time, and while substitutions are allowed, a player who leaves the game may not re-enter it.
* Number of innings - Each team has 2 innings. An innings ends when all 11 players are either dismissed or stranded on base.
* Bases – the bases are poles rather than cushions.
* Bat – the bat has a flat striking surface, where in baseball it is entirely round.
* The Scoring System - In British baseball a player scores a run for every base he reaches after hitting the ball. He or she will not subsequently score when moving around the bases on another player's hit. The equivalent of a home run scores four runs. As in cricket a bonus run can be awarded for excessively-wide deliveries. In baseball, a player scores a run only on a successful circuit of all four bases, whether on his own or another player's hit.

Despite these similarities with cricket, the game is much more like baseball in style and operates on a near identical, but smaller, diamond. There are also many similarities to rounders, which is often considered a transitional game between cricket and baseball. The basic concepts of British baseball cross-blend the basic concepts of cricket and the more standard versions of rounders.

International Baseball Board

The International Baseball Board was founded in 1927 and is the international governing body. The only members are the English Baseball Association and the Welsh Baseball Union.

Men's representative teams from England and Wales meet annually in an international match. The first such international game was held in Cardiff in 1908 and the centenary international was also held in Cardiff in 2008. Wales won on both occasions. As well as the full international, a similar game is held for 'B' teams and for juniors.

Popularity

The game has maintained a strong following only in two areas - Merseyside in Northwest England and South Wales, especially Cardiff and Newport.

By 2006 participation levels in Liverpool had slumped considerably to a point where only four clubs remained active - All Saints, Anfield, Breckside and Townsend. The game in Wales is in a much healthier state and playing participation in the women's game has actually grown in recent years.

Local league and cup competitions have been organised in both countries for many years and an annual international match between England and Wales has been held since 1908. A crowd of 10,000 watched the 1948 match played at the Cardiff Castle grounds. Internationals were also held at Cardiff Arms Park and Goodison Park, Liverpool. Crowds have declined in the last quarter of a century but the England-Wales match can still draw 1,000-2,000 spectators.

Welsh Baseball Union League

Premier Division teams for the 2008 season

Men

*Grange Catholics
*Grange Albion
*St. Michael's Old Boys
*ISTL Llanrumney
*Gower Sports
*St. Albans
*Ely Social

Women

*Fairwater Ladies
*Fairwater Social Ladies
*Gower Sports
*Llandaff Ladies
*Newport Ladies
*St. Joseph's
*Whitchurch Ladies

ee also

*Rounders
*Baseball

References

John Arlott, ed. (1975). "The Oxford Companion to Sports and Games". Oxford University Press

External links

British Baseball

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southeast/sites/sport/pages/baseball.shtml BBC Southest Wales: Baseball]
* [http://www.wlbu.co.uk/ Welsh Ladies Baseball Union]
* [http://www.weltchmedia.com/baseball.html Welsh Baseball Union]
* [http://www.welshbaseball.co.uk Welsh Baseball on the Web]

Club websites

* [http://www.grangealbionbaseball.co.uk/ Grange Albion baseball club]
* [http://www.stmichaelsbaseball.com/ St. Micheal's Old Boys]

International form of game in Britain

* [http://www.bbfbaseball.com/ BBF Baseball]
* [http://www.gbbaseball.com/ Great Britain National Baseball Team]
* [http://www.sabruk.org/history/uk.html SABR UK: A brief history of UK baseball]


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