We have identified the differences between the British/Welsh version and the North American version of baseball.

 

“But holls!!” you say. “What about rounders?!”

Okay, okay! I’m getting there! Sheesh. Below, for your convenience, is a list of differences between Rounders and North American baseball/softball. Again, colour coded for your convenience. NOTE IT!!! If you want.

Delivery of the ball – The ball is thrown underarm, similar to softball. As in cricket the delivery is known as bowling. In North American baseball it is delivered overhand, sidearm, or underarm (softball) and is called pitching.

Field dimensions / layout – In Rounders, the last base is not where the batter originally started, but nearby. In North American baseball / softball, the last base (“home plate”) is where the batter starts.

Rounders field Baseball / softball diamond

Ball size – for rounders, circumference between 7.1 in and 7.9 in.  Under the current rules, a major league baseball weighs between 5 and 5 14 ounces, and is 9 to 9 14inches in circumference. A softball is 11 or 12 inches in circumference depending on gender and league.

Number of players – both allow 9 players on the field; in coed (both men and women on a team) 10 players may be on the field.

Number of innings – (Note that British/Welsh baseball uses the cricket terminology of “innings” as both singular and plural, while baseball uses “inning” for the singular.) In British/Welsh baseball, each team has two innings. An innings ends when all 9 players are either dismissed or stranded on base. A regulation game of North American baseball consists of nine innings, and each team’s half of an inning ends when three outs (dismissals) are recorded.

Number of pitches – In the Rounders England version of the game, misses or strikes are not called, so there are no walks or strike-outs; each batter receives only one good ball and must run whether they hit it or not. In North American baseball and softball, the pitcher must throw three “strikes” (a good pitch that is either not swung at or swung at and missed) to get the batter out. If four “balls” (a bad pitch that is not swung at) are thrown, the batter gets to go to first base, called a “walk”.

Posts/Bases – Where North American baseball has bases, Roundsers uses posts for marking the bases, which should be wooden, and are preferably encased in plastic sheaths.

Bat – the rounders bat is much shorter (18″ in length and 6.7″ in diameter) max 13 oz and is usually swung one-handed. North American baseball/softball varies greatly in weight and length, but is normally heavier and longer.

Gloves – rounders does not allow gloves and North American baseball / softball requires them.

Scoring system – If the batter hits the ball or is bowled a no ball and then reaches the fourth post, a rounder is scored. If the batter fails to hit the ball and reaches the fourth post, a half-rounder is scored. In North American baseball, a player scores a run only on a successful circuit of all four bases, whether on his own or another player’s hit, or by other means such as a walk or stolen base. 

Field of play – As in cricket, a ball can be legally hit in any direction, where in North American baseball it has to be hit in the zone bounded by the lines to first base and third base.

So there we have it. It seems like Rounders might be a closer match to North American baseball & softball, but the small bat size would be frustrating for those of us used to swinging a very large barrell.

After our day at St Albans, I found myself needing to be completely savvy with all the differences between what they play and what we play. I think I’m shamelessly past the point where I am allowed to say “Good question, I’ll look that up.”

And so! I now give you a quick guide to the differences between the British Welsh version and the North American version of the game. Note the handy colour-coding of the sports, which correspond with the differences below. NOTE THEM!!! If you like.

Delivery of the ball – The ball is thrown underarm, similar to softball. As in cricket the delivery is known as bowling. In North American baseball it is delivered overhand (baseball), sidearm (baseball), or underarm (softball) and is called pitching. There is no run-up during the the bowl like there is in the British/Welsh version.

Field dimensions / layout – the last base in British/Welsh baseball is not where the batter originally started, but nearby. In North American baseball / softball, the last base (“home plate”) is where the batter starts.

British / Welsh Baseball field North American Baseball field

Ball size – for British/Welsh, circumference between 8.5 in and 9 in, weight between 4.5 and 5 oz.  Under the current rules, a major league baseball weighs between 5 and 5 14 ounces, and is 9 to 9 14inches in circumference. A softball is 11 or 12 inches in circumference depending on gender and league.

Number of players – There are 11 players in a British/Welsh team with no substitutions allowed. North American baseball uses 9 players on a team (not counting a “designated hitter“); while substitutions are allowed, a player who leaves the game may not re-enter it. In coed (men and women) games, there are 10 players.

Number of innings – (Note that British/Welsh baseball uses the cricket terminology of “innings” as both singular and plural, while baseball uses “inning” for the singular.) In British/Welsh baseball, each team has two innings. An innings ends when all 11 players are either dismissed or stranded on base. A regulation game of North American baseball consists of nine innings, and each team’s half of an inning ends when three outs (dismissals) are recorded.

Number of pitches – According to the Welsh Baseball Union, two “good balls” not swung at is an out and on the swing, the batter must run whether they hit it or not. In North American baseball and softball, the pitcher must throw three “strikes” (a good pitch that is either not swung at or swung at and missed) to get the batter out. If four “balls” (a bad pitch that is not swung at) are thrown, the batter gets to go to first base, called a “walk”.

Posts/Bases – Where North American baseball has bases the British/Welsh version has ‘posts’ (sometimes referred to as bases). These are designated by poles rather than bags.

Bat – the British/Welsh baseball bat has a flat striking surface, where in North American baseball/softball it is entirely round.

Gloves – British/Welsh baseball does not allow gloves and North American baseball / softball requires them.

Scoring system – In British/Welsh baseball a player scores a run for every base he/she 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 North American baseball, a player scores a run only on a successful circuit of all four bases, whether on his own or another player’s hit, or by other means such as a walk or stolen base.

Field of play – The British/Welsh game has no foul area, a ball can be legally hit (and scored off of) in any direction, where in North American baseball it has to be hit in the zone bounded by the lines to first base and third base.

AND NOW WE KNOW!

Additionally, something I found a little frustrating in the British/Welsh version is that the batter has to have their front foot (the one closest to the bowler) near a peg. That seems to me to be a recipe for injury.

It’s one of the differences between baseball and softball…and it’s a big one.

Unlike in baseball, where the basic pitch is a bigger version of an overhand throw, the fastpitch pitch is unique.

For a starting point, I’ve come across three fairly good references.

First – a great video on how to get started…

This video is also quite informative…

And now, one from one of the best pitchers the sport has seen…

And now, if you want to have a session which just focuses on the above, let me know.

Coach holls

 

 

 

The day finally came for the trip from Cardiff to London for the PLAY BALL event. Coach holly had slept the night before as well as any kid waiting for Christmas does.

The players gathered in the parking lot in anticipation of the bus’ arrival at 7:30. At 7:35, Coach holly started to worry about the lack of bus arrival. At 7:45, Plan B was put in motion. Finally, just after 8am, Ferris Holidays said they could send a coach for 9:20. By 9:40, the trip was underway, and Coach holly had exactly one nerve left. 

After a pickup in Newport, there were 22 kids on the way to London, with 5 volunteers making sure no one was left behind.

The bus arrived at London Stadium at 1:35, and the kids were quickly swept into the PLAY BALL park, and sent to different stations set up for various skill sets. The kids rotated through hitting stations, agility stations, throwing stations, and a game station. The hitting station was by far the most popular, and an immediate contest of “how many balls can we hit on the roof of the bleachers?” kicked off.

Finally, after they’d been around all the stations, the kids were gathered for a photo. After the trouble in getting to London, the PLAY BALL organisers graciously allowed the kids to stay for more. Well, 22 kids is enough for a game, so…

the Wales kids played a game on London Stadium grounds the week of the first London series!

After a full set of hitting by both teams, the bus came back, and the players made their way to the bus, each with a new shirt and a bracelet. But there was more – boxes of bats and balls were waiting for them on the way to the bus!

The journey home was much more on schedule than the morning’s trip.

The new goal, proposed by the kids, is that next year we enter a team on the tournament day. That’s a pretty good aspiration.

Coach holly’s goal is that next year’s bus shows up on time.

UPDATE: you can read what MLB.com wrote here. Yes! We’ve been mentioned on MLB.com!

We are really pleased about the growth of the program this year. We started last year with three kids in a park! In the fall, we had three schools with clubs:

  • Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School
  • Ysgol Plasmawr
  • St Cyres School

This term, we’ve added clubs to the following schools:

  • Ysgol Stanwell School
  • St Cenydd Community School
  • Howell’s School
  • Mary Immaculate High School
  • Cantonian High School

That’s not too shabby for a program that aspires to have a budget! If anyone out there is a secret philanthropist, please do get in touch about helping us grow the program much MUCH BIGGER!

It’s official, we are off to the Play Ball event in London on Monday! We still have a few spaces left on the coach if there are children whose parents are able to return a signed MLB waiver by email before Monday. Additionally, a generic letter regarding the child’s absence is here.

Thanks to all who have responded – this should be an exciting day for the kids!

So far, we’ve achieved a lot on relatively little, athough we’re very thankful to our grant awarders Sport Wales! 

We are now going to kick it up to the next level, with some local fundraising! Localgiving has given us a platform to reach out for more everyday people sponsors.

We hope everyone out there likes what we’re doing enough to give a few quid…for the kids!

We have a general fundraising page:

and an

appeal,

for the upcoming trip to London:

We are really grateful for all the donations! Keep checking the site for updates as to how we’re doing!

We’re ridiculously excited about a lot of the things we’re doing here in Wales. Perhaps the most exciting thing recently is that

we get to take kids to London for baseball!

Yes, we have been offered up to 250 spots for kids from Wales to participate in a day of baseball activities, run by

Major League Baseball!

That’s right – and we just have to get them there – which is going to be expensive. If you can help, head on over to the DONATE page and throw in a couple quid – for the kids!

You can read more about the event here.

Think your school might send some kids? Get in touch!

We’re heading into Summer, and that means more softball and baseball!

We want to get more and more kids in the program so we can have leagues and fixtures and games, oh my!

Monday nights, we’ll have baseball for 7-11s at 6:00pm, at Llandaff fields.

Tuesday nights, we’ll have a baseball session for 12-18s at 6:30pm, Llandaff fields.

Thursday nights, we’ll have a softball session for 12-18s at 6:30pm, Llandaff fields.

Get in the game!

RBI Wales are thrilled to announce sessions at two more schools. In addition to the programs at Bishop of Llandaff, Ysgol Plasmawr and St Cyres, we are now helping students play the game at St Cenydd and Ysgol Stanwell. The program is growing!

Fixtures will be in the works after half term!

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