What is Rounders and How to Play
One of the oldest ‘ball and stick’ sports, rounders is actually considered to be the “father of baseball” because of the noticeable similarities between the two sports. Interestingly enough, while baseball was formed in the U.S., rounders traces its roots back to 16th century England. Throughout time, rounders has lost its touch, but the sport is still a recreational pastime in the U.K.
How to play Rounders
Scoring a run in rounders is very similar to baseball, except rounders uses posts instead of bases that the batter will need to strike with his/her stick before moving onto the next post. The team with the most runs at the end of the game is deemed the winner.
Rounders equipment includes a miniature wooden club that looks like a compressed baseball bat. The ball used in rounders is about the size of a tennis ball and as hard as a baseball. To maintain the recreational aspect of the sport, no mouthguard, helmets, or other protective items are needed.
Rules of Rounders
- Rounders is played between two teams with a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 15 players. Regulation rules state there can only be 9 players on the field at one time -- this includes the bowler and a backstop.
- Regulation rounders fields are almost always on natural grass, but the game can be played on turf. There are four wooden posts to be touched by the batter. The first three are about 40 feet away from each other, with the fourth about 28 feet from the third.
- To score, a batter must reach the last post before the next batter strikes the ball. This will be considered a full rounder. A half rounder can occur by reaching the second or third posts, obstruction from the opposing fielders, or two consecutive “no balls”.
- A “no ball” will happen with the bowler steps over their boundary line, throws the ball overhand, or throws an unhittable pitch.
- An out can occur from your ball being caught, stepping outside the batter’s box, runs inside any of the four posts, overtakes the batsman in front of them, or throws their club.
- In the event of a tie, the winner will be decided by the team with the most full rounders.
Although rounders may not have an established professional league, it is reported that more than 24,000 adults alone compete in rounders tournaments every week in the U.K. Rounders is also popular as a recreational sport because of its accessibility for all players, including wheelchair leagues for those with mobility issues.
Written by: Devin Pickell