Rules of the game Rounders

Updated February 21, 2017

Baseball is America's national sport, but it has its roots in an old English game named Rounders. According to the Trad Games website, Rounders may have been played as early as the 1300s. It has many similarities to baseball, but many of its rules are much different. It is still sometimes played in England and in areas around the United States.

Set up

The field is laid out in a similar fashion to a baseball diamond. The picture's mound is in the centre of the infield and 7.5 meters away from the batter's square. The bowling mound is about 2.5 meters wide while the batter's square is about 2 meters wide. The distance from the back of the batter's square to the second base should be 17 meters, with 12 meters between each base. However, the scoring or "home" base is different than the batter's square. The home base is straight down from the third base at 8.5 meters, which brings it perpendicular to the front of the batter's square. These bases are traditionally posts and not the bases which you see in baseball. Players need a Rounders bat and ball, which can be found in sports stores. Player limits are six at minimum and 15 at maximum. However, the fielding team can only have nine players in the field at a time. There are no set positions, but generally a player guards each post with a few players in the outfield.

Bowling and hitting

There are only two innings in Rounders, where each team gets a chance to bat and field. Each player on the batting team gets a chance to hit the ball. The bowler or bowler throws the ball in an underarm motion. The ball must land within the batter's square without bouncing and must be above the knee, below the head and away from the body. The bowler's feet must be within the bowling mound while bowling. If these conditions are not met, the bowl is called a "no-ball" which is similar to a strike. Throwing two consecutive no-balls earns a half-rounder. Batters can attempt to hit a no-ball if they like. There are no strikes in Rounders. Each batter gets one bowl to hit the ball. He must run if he does not hit the ball. Hitting the ball when it is inside the batting square gives him the chance to run to as many bases as possible. If he hits it when it's behind the square or if he doesn't hit it he must stop at the first base. Players are out if: the ball is caught before it hits the ground; the base he is attempting to touch is touched by the ball first; the player stops touching the post while the bowler has the ball; if he passes a batter in front of him while running bases; for obstructing a fielder; or if a foot is outside the batter's square during a bowl. Innings change when all players have battered or if all players are out.


Players score a rounder each time they hit the ball and reach the fourth base. They also scored a rounder if they hit a no ball and reach the fourth base. Batters score a half rounder if they reach the fourth base having failed to hit the ball. Hitting the ball and making it to the second base also scores a half rounder. If batters are obstructed by a fielder while running to a base, they score a half rounder. Two half rounders can be equated to one rounder. Players who stop at a base must keep contact with the base and stay there until the ball is bowled. There is no stealing. If they move to the fourth base during multiple players at bats, they score a half rounder.

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About the Author

Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.