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PostSubject: History of Rounders   5th March 2008, 5:58 pm



Rounders

Rounders is a sport which originated in Great Britain and Ireland. The game is regulated by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Ireland and the National Rounders Association (NRA) in the UK. Both have different, although broadly similar, game-play and culture. Competitions are held between teams from both traditions with games alternating between codes, often with one version being played in the morning and the other being played in the afternoon.
Game-play centers around innings where teams alternate at turns being batters and fielders. A maximum of nine players are allowed to play in fielding positions at one time. Points ("rounders") are scored by the batting team by completing a circuit around the field through four bases/posts without being put 'out' - for example, by a ball they batted being 'caught-out' or touching a tagged base/post.
The earliest nationally formalised rules of play were devised by the GAA in Ireland in 1884. Liverpudlian and Scottish associations were formed in 1889. The NRA were not formed until 1943. Baseball (both the "New York game" and the now-defunct "Massachusetts game") as well as softball evolved from rounders (see origins of baseball) and bears a striking resemblance to the GAA version of the game. Rounders is closely linked to British Baseball, which is still played in Liverpool, Cardiff and Newport. In fact, literary mention of "base-ball" pre-date those of rounders. Rounders is now played on all levels from school-level to internationals.

Overview
Although it is generally considered a school game, rounders is played at international level. Currently, teams from Canada, England, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales compete against each other. However, recent international developments include the establishment of a Pakistan Rounders Association. Early in 2006, they held their first national competition. There are plans to develop the game in other Asian countries and it is understood that Zimbabwe also has a national body responsible for rounders.
In 2008, the Rounders World Cup will be held in Sheffield, England. The final will be played on Sunday 29 June 2008 at the Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield.The matches will be played to NRA Rules. Further details from the NRA.
Current All-Ireland Men's Senior champions are Erne Eagles (Cavan) and Senior Women's champions are Erne Eagles (Cavan). Earne Eagles (Cavan) are Minor Men's champions. Castlebar (Mayo) are Minor Women's champions. Limekiln (Dublin) are Senior Mixed champions and Cuchulainns (Carlow) are Minor Mixed champions.

Common rules
Equipment: The ball is hard with a cork centre and covered in white leather and is comparable in size to a tennis ball (a standard tennis ball or "soft" rounders ball is often substituted in school games). Bats are similar in shape to baseball bats and can be made from wood or aluminum. Four bases are laid-out in a diamond shape and a fifth marker is placed in-line between 'home' and second base indicating where the bowler stands.
Players: The fielding team is allowed to field up to nine players. These need to include one bowler and one backstop. Other outfield players take positions at each of the bases or elsewhere on the field.

Bowling: The bowler bowls the ball with an underarm pendulum action to the batter. It is a "good" ball if it passes within reach on the striking side between the batter's knees and shoulder (GAA)/top of the head (NRA). Otherwise, it is called a "no-ball" or "bad" ball. The ball is also "bad" if it is thrown into the batter's body or wide of the batting box. A batter may try to hit a bad ball but is not required to.
Bases: Bases are safe areas where a batter may not be sent out. Only one batter at a time may occupy a base. A batter may run between bases when a batter receives a good ball to advance further around the circuit.
Scoring: A rounder is scored if a member of the batting team completes a circuit of the bases without being 'out.'
A batter is out if:
a ball hit is caught
running to (NRA) or touching (GAA) a base that had been 'stumped' by a fielder.

GAA-specific rules
The rules of rounders (Irish: cluiche corr, "game of [the] round") are laid-down by the Gaelic Athletic Association in Ireland[4]. GAA rules are the earliest nationally organised rules of play, being formalised in 1884. This version of the game is most like baseball. It is played on a larger pitch compared to the NRA game and consequently uses larger bats and slightly larger balls. A GAA rounders pitch is a 70-metre (77-yard) square field and bases are 25 m (82') apart, compared to 12 m (39.5') for the NRA game. Foul ground runs along two adjacent sides of the pitch with home base at the intersection of these sides.
Players: Three substitutes may be made during play to the list of field players. There is no limit for the number of batters a team may list.
Equipment: The ball (sliotar) circumference is 22.7-25.5 cm (9"-10") and bats may be 70-110 cm (27"-43") long and up to 22 cm (8.6") in diameter. There is no limit on bat-weight for the GAA game. Bases are normally marked with temporary square mats 64 cm (28") wide for home-base and the pitchers stand and 46 cm (18") wide for all others.
Batting: Each batter is entitled to three good balls. A batter must try to hit good balls bowled but need not run on a hit. If he hits a ball that would otherwise be considered 'bad', the ball is then considered to be 'good.' If, on the first or second good ball, a ball is hit into the foul ground or the ball is hit but no running occurs it is considered a 'dead' ball and other batter men may not advance. If a batter receives three bad balls then a 'walk-on' is called and all batters advance one base. The batter may run on any ball except a 'dead' ball.
A batter is out if:
a third good ball is caught and held on a third good ball
striking of a good ball in to the foul area occurs on a third good ball
the bowler or catchers view is obstructed for a second time (a warning will be issued on the first instance)
deliberate contact is made with a fielder carrying the ball
touching of a base that has been 'tagged' by another fielder carrying the ball (return to the previous base is allowed before touching it, if the previous base is still unoccupied)
an attempt to occupy a base occupied by another batter (with the exception of 1st base, which another batter must vacate to make way for the current batter)
Batters must run in straight lines between bases and fielders must not obstruct their way or stand on bases. Not obeying this rule is considered unsporting behavior and may result in up to two bases being awarded to the batting team or a batter being sent out. Normally, one batter may not overtake another while running between bases, although there are exceptions to this rule.
Five to seven innings constitute a game, depending on the level of the match. Each batting team's inning continues until three outs are made.

NRA-specific rules
The rules of rounders are regulated by the National Rounders Association in England[5]. Games played under these rules use smaller bats, balls and are played on a smaller pitch (see diagram) compared to GAA games. The NRA rules also differ most from baseball or softball: bases are marked with long poles, which batters must keep in contact with and fielders must 'stump,' and only one 'good' ball need normally be thrown before a batter must run. 'Half-rounders' are also counted in scoring.
Players: The fielding team must field at a minimum six players. The total number of players on a team is limited to fifteen.
Equipment: The ball circumference must be 190 mm (7.5 inches) and the bat no more than 460 mm (18") in length and 170 mm (6.75" ) in diameter. The NRA places a weight-limit of 370g (13 ounces) on the bat. Bases are marked with poles, which must be able to support themselves and stand at a minimum on 1m (3 feet)
Batting: If a ball is good, batters' must try to hit the ball and must run regardless of whether the ball is hit, the batter must run on a good ball. If the ball is hit into the backward area, the batsman may not pass first post until the ball is returned to the forward area. If the batter hits a no-ball, he may not be caught-out or stumped at the first post. batters' may run on 'no-balls, but do not have to.' Each batter except the last in each inning is entitled to receive one good ball; the last batsman is entitled to receive three unless caught out.
A half-rounder is scored if:
fourth post is reached and touched before the next ball is bowled without hitting the ball
second post is reached and touched before next ball is bowled after hitting the ball
obstruction by a fielder/batter
two consecutive no-balls to the same batter
A batter is out if:
running inside the posts
no contact with a post is made (using his hand or stick) while the bowler is preparing to bowl
no contact with a post is made and the next post is stumped
a foot is placed outside the front or back of the batting square before swinging at a good ball
another runner is overtaken
Two innings constitute a game. Each batting team's inning continues until nine outs are made or the numbered innings is over.

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