Baseball is a game of skill that is played with a hard ball and a bat between two teams of nine players each at a time on the playing field at once. Although many different people play Baseball all over the world it is most popular in the United States. It is so popular in fact, it is referred to as the national pastime of the United States because of the tradition and popularity associated with the game. Baseball consists of many complicated rules. It also has a very elaborate history. One can not fully understand the game America has grown to love until learning about not only the rules but also the history.

A popular legend of the history of baseball claims that Abner Doubleday, who was a Union officer during the American Civil War, invented baseball in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839. However, there is little support for this story.
A more accurate response to the question of how baseball originated would be that many scholars believe that baseball was invented long before one would think. For instance there is evidence of games played with a ball and a stick even in the earliest of civilizations such as the ancient cultures or the Persians and Egyptians. Such games continued to be played by civilizations throughout history but it was not until the early 1600s that Europeans first brought games involving a ball and a stick to the Americas. There were various games played with a ball and a stick but the one that most resembled baseball was an English game called Rounders. The rules of Rounders are more primitive than the ones of modern day baseball but it was from this game which baseball as we know it most directly originated from.

The rules of baseball may seem very complicated but they are most easily understood by watching the game itself. First of all a baseball game is divided up into 9 different periods called innings. After nine innings are up the team that scored the most runs wins the game. Play begins when a pitcher throws the ball toward a player on the opposing team. The pitcher tries to throw the ball in the strike zone, which is an imaginary box. If the ball is in the strike zone, it is a strike if not it is a ball. The player whom the ball was thrown at tries to hit the ball onto the playing field. A run is scored when a player hits the ball and runs around a series of bases before a player on the other team can get them out. A player can be put out in many different ways. Each inning is divided into two halves, the bottom, and the top. In each half of an inning one team bats while the other plays the field. If the score is tied after nine innings are over then the game is continued into extra innings and is concluded when one team is winning after an extra inning. These are the basic rules of baseball.
Baseball is played on a field, which usually covers about two acres. The field is divided into an infield and an outfield. These two parts are considered fair territory and the rest of the field is considered foul. The infield is in the shape of a diamond and is 90 ft on each side. One point of the diamond is home plate which batters hit from. The other three points are bases: first, second, and third base. In the middle of the diamond is a pitchers mound which is slightly raised off the ground. The edges of the diamond from home plate to first base and home plate to third base are the foul lines, which extend all the way to the wall in the outfield. Behind first base is right field, behind second base is called center field, and behind third base is called left field. Fences are placed at the farthest limits in the outfield. In foul territory beyond the foul lines in the infield are dugouts where players sit when they are not playing or waiting to bat.
Baseball also consists of many pieces of equipment. Baseball equipment includes the following: a hard ball