Baseball is the American pastime. And its popularity has spread across the Atlantic and reached the shores of the UK, where it has proven to be a success throughout the country.
Baseball is a sport played between two teams usually with nine players in each. It is played with a baseball bat and a hard baseball, on a pitch called a diamond (which is a 90 foot square).
The rules of the game are quite straightforward. The pitcher throws the ball towards the batter, who then hits the ball and players run past the four bases on the corners of the diamond. Teams play nine innings and there is no set time period for each game. Both teams bat and score runs; a team's half-inning ends when three of their team are out.
For more information on how to get involved in baseball in your area, visit the British Baseball Federation website at www.britishbaseball.org
Similar to Baseball, Softball is a team sport. There are between 9 and 12 players on a team. The ball (softer than that used in baseball) is thrown underhand by a player called a pitcher and hit by a batter with a round, smooth bat. Teams score by the batter running and touching a series of three raised markers on the ground called bases, and then touching the final base, called 'home plate'.
The British Softball Federation (BSF) governs softball in this country. The vast majority of UK softball is mixed gender slowpitch but there are also single-sex teams and a growing fastpitch community. There are local, regional and national tournaments throughout the year. For more information on Softball and the BSF visit www.britishsoftball.org
To find local baseball and softball opportunities visit www.baseballsoftballuk.com/finder