Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each, taking turns batting and fielding with the goal to score the most runs. If the game is tied at the end of the regulation time, it may go into an “extra innings” until one side scores more runs than the other or other conditions (such as a time restriction) are reached. In baseball, a “run” is scored when a player of one team advances around a series of four stations known as “bases”: first base, second base, third base, and home base (also commonly referred to as home plate).
The goal of the game is to score runs by having a player move from first base to home base. Each time a player completes a full circle of the bases, his or her team receives one run. In baseball, no further scores are attainable until a game is forfeited because one side is unable or unwilling to complete the game. In such a circumstance, the side that did not forfeit is proclaimed the winner with the number of runs equal to the number of innings played. Because professional baseball games are normally nine innings long, such a score would likely be 9-0.
In a baseball game, there are nine defensive positions:
- Pitcher: The person who delivers the baseball to the batter.
- Catcher: The person who stands at home plate behind the batter and who catches any ball not hit by the batter.
- First, second, and third basemen: The three individuals who play at or near each of the three bases.
- Shortstop: The person who plays in a position midway between the second baseman and the third baseman.
- Left, right, and center outfielders: The three individuals who play in the “outfield,” the region outside the baseball diamond, toward the left, right, and center of the playing field, respectively.