Fuzzball is a bat-and-ball street game related to baseball, usually formed as a pick-up game, and played in various areas of the United States (especially St. Louis, but also in Chicago where it is called "strikeout", Florida, and South Carolina). The equipment consists of a bat and a tennis ball that has had its outer layer burned or worn off.The rules come from baseball and are modified to fit the situation, i.e. whether it is played indoors or outside. Fuzzball can be played by as few as two players; outside of leagues in St. Louis, the Bevo Area Fuzzball League and the St. Louis Metro Fuzzball League and the annual Kearns Park Fuzzball Tournament of Champions, it exists as a pickup game, which has been successfully transplanted to "players leagues" which play a quasi-legal, quasi-outlaw version in Philadelphia and Northern California (San Jose and Santa Cruz, specifically). There are also fully official organized leagues for indoor fuzzball in St. Louis. Interest in the game was waning, however, at the turn of the century: by 2004, most serious players were in their 40s, with a decreasing number of new players becoming interested. Many St. Louis locals consider fuzzball to be a minor league training ground for future corkball players.
Fuzzball developed from the forms of bottlecaps and corkball that were played in St. Louis in the 1920s and 1930s.Fuzzball Nation has hosted a tournament in South St. Louis County since 1982 every Labor Day weekend. John Enger serves as the commissioner.
Fuzzball rules follow the same general rule structure as baseball, with the finer details varying considerably by region. The one consistent difference between fuzzball and baseball is the use of a tennis ball instead of a baseball. Players may or may not use a baseball glove while fielding.
Indoor fuzzball is usually played inside of a large net with no base runners. Outdoor fuzzball can be played either on paved school playgrounds (typically marked off for kickball) or on a baseball or softball field. Serious players will also use a cigarette lighter or a blowtorch to burn the felt off of the ball, thereby making it much faster when pitched. Bats may consist of broom handles,baseball bats, corkball bats, or official fuzzball bats, such as those made by Markwort Sporting Goods of St. Louis, Missouri. Markwort also makes an official fuzzball for use in games.
The batter may be out after one, two or three strikes. The batter may also walk after three, four, or five balls. If a batter is hit by a pitch, it can be worth two balls or the strike count may be reset. Once again, this depends on regional rules. If the ball lands behind a fence, on a roof, on a porch, or breaks a window far away it is usually ruled a home run. In some versions of fuzzball where space is a concern, hits are decided by how far the ball travels, in which case there is no running (similar to corkball).
If small teams play, "ghost runners" can take the place of an on-base player who must go back to home plate to bat once more. Ghost runners move the same number of bases as the batter gets on a hit. For example, if a "ghost runner" is on second base and the batter hits a double, the ghost runner passes home plate and scores a run.
Game length (including innings and outs-per-inning) also varies considerably from region to region.
Baseball statistics play an important role in evaluating the progress of a player or team.
In baseball, an at bat (AB) or time at bat is a batter's turn batting against a pitcher. An at bat is different from a plate appearance. A batter is credited with a plate appearance regardless of what happens during their turn at bat, but a batter is credited with an at bat only if that plate appearance does not have one of the results enumerated below. While at bats are used to calculate certain statistics, including batting average and slugging percentage, a player can qualify for the season-ending rankings in these categories only if they accumulate 502 plate appearances during the season.
A base on balls (BB), also known as a walk, occurs in baseball when a batter receives four pitches that the umpire calls balls, and is in turn awarded first base without the possibility of being called out. The base on balls is defined in Section 2.00 of baseball's Official Rules, and further detail is given in 6.08(a). It is considered a faux pas for a professional player to literally walk to first base; the batter-runner and any advancing runners normally jog on such a play.
In baseball statistics, a hit, also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches or passes first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice.
In baseball statistics, a player is credited with a plate appearance each time he completes a turn batting. Under Rule 5.04(c) of the Official Baseball Rules, a player completes a turn batting when he is put out or becomes a runner. This happens when he strikes out or is declared out before reaching first base; or when he reaches first base safely or is awarded first base ; or when he hits a fair ball which causes a preceding runner to be put out for the third out before he himself is put out or reaches first base safely. A very similar statistic, at bats, counts a subset of plate appearances that end under certain circumstances.
Rounders is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams. Rounders is a striking and fielding team game that involves hitting a small, hard, leather-cased ball with a rounded end wooden, plastic, or metal bat. The players score by running around the four bases on the field.
Softball is a game similar to baseball played with a larger ball on a field that has base lengths of 60 feet, a pitcher's mound that ranges from 35 to 43 feet away from home plate, and a home run fence that is 220–300 feet away from home plate, depending on the type of softball being played. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago, Illinois, United States as an indoor game. The game moves at a faster pace than traditional baseball due to the field being smaller and the bases and the fielders being closer to home plate. There is less time for the base runner to get to first while the opponent fields the ball; yet, the fielder has less time to field the ball while the opponent is running down to first base.
In baseball, the batting order or batting lineup is the sequence in which the members of the offense take their turns in batting against the pitcher. The batting order is the main component of a team's offensive strategy. In Major League Baseball, the batting order is set by the manager, who before the game begins must present the home plate umpire with two copies of his team's lineup card, a card on which a team's starting batting order is recorded. The home plate umpire keeps one copy of the lineup card of each team, and gives the second copy to the opposing manager. Once the home plate umpire gives the lineup cards to the opposing managers, the batting lineup is final and a manager can only make changes under the Official Baseball Rules governing substitutions. If a team bats out of order, it is a violation of baseball's rules and subject to penalty.
The rules of baseball differ slightly from league to league, but in general share the same basic game play.
In baseball, batting is the act of facing the opposing pitcher and trying to produce offense for one's team. A batter or hitter is a person whose turn it is to face the pitcher. The three main goals of batters are to become a baserunner, to drive runners home or to advance runners along the bases for others to drive home, but the techniques and strategies they use to do so vary. Hitting uses a motion that is virtually unique to baseball and its fellow bat-and-ball sports, one that is rarely used in other sports. Hitting is unique because it involves rotating in the horizontal plane of movement, unlike most sports movements which occur in the vertical plane.
Pesäpallo is a fast-moving bat-and-ball sport that is often referred to as the national sport of Finland and has some presence in other countries including Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada's northern Ontario. The game is similar to brännboll, rounders, and lapta, as well as baseball.
Baseball scorekeeping is the practice of recording the details of a baseball game as it unfolds. Professional baseball leagues hire official scorers to keep an official record of each game, but many fans keep score as well for their own enjoyment. Scorekeeping is usually done on a printed scorecard and, while official scorers must adhere precisely to one of the few different scorekeeping notations, most fans exercise some amount of creativity and adopt their own symbols and styles.
An invisible runner, or ghost runner, is a device used in baseball-style games, including softball, stickball, and kickball, when a team does not have enough players. Used primarily in schoolyard games, the rule is called into action when a live runner on base is next in line to bat. The specifics of the rule vary regionally, and are often negotiated prior to the start of the game.
Bat-and-ball games are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at a dedicated player of the attacking team, who tries to hit it with a bat and run between various safe areas in the field to score runs (points), while the defending team can use the ball in various ways against the attacking team's players to force them off the field when they are not in safe zones, and thus prevent them from further scoring. The best known modern bat-and-ball games are cricket and baseball, with common roots in the 18th-century games played in England.
This is an alphabetical list of selected unofficial and specialized terms, phrases, and other jargon used in baseball, along with their definitions, including illustrative examples for many entries.
Corkball is a "mini-baseball" game featuring a 1.6-ounce (45 g) ball, which is stitched and resembles a miniature baseball. The bat has a barrel that measures 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter. Originally played on the streets and alleys of St. Louis, Missouri, as early as 1890, today the game has leagues formed around the country as a result of St. Louis servicemen introducing the game to their buddies and comrades during World War II and the Korean War. It has many of the features of baseball, yet can be played in a very small area because there is no base-running.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport that has many recreational variants. Some variations, such as softball, are fully-fledged sports of their own, while other variations significantly change the game. For example, many variations are played informally, with less equipment/space requirements and fewer safety concerns, and certain variations do not feature a pitcher, and/or have the batters hit the ball using their hands or feet. There are also some bat-and-ball sports which are distinct from baseball, such as rounders, that strongly resemble it.