Rounders vs North American baseball/softball

In the last post, we 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.

2 Comments on “Rounders vs North American baseball/softball

  1. Welsh is British !
    Three separate countries make up Great Britain, England Scotland & Wales.
    The United Kingdom is made up of the same three above plus Northern Ireland.
    Using the term Welsh/British is like saying Alaska/United States.

    • Hi William. Thank you for your comment! Yes. You are correct about the countries belonging to the United Kingdom. We weren’t discussing that. We were discussing the game of baseball, which is referred to as both British Baseball and Welsh Baseball. The author shortened that to “British/Welsh” because she was too lazy to type out “British Baseball, or Welsh Baseball.” She is well aware of the geography.

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