Origins of the sport

Traces of a game played with a bat and ball date back to Ancient Egypt and various rudimentary forms of the game took place in Europe through the Middle Ages. However, the genuine creator of the rules of the game that we know today was New York bookseller Alexander Cartwright, who founded a team called The Knickerbockers in 1839 and wrote the rules six years later. The game quickly developed into a professional game in the US and the National League was born in 1876. The game then spread through the Caribbean, Japan, Australasia and Europe. The World Series - the annual championship series of North American-based Major League Baseball -  first took place in 1903. The International Baseball Federation was founded in 1938. Baseball became an official Olympic sport in 1992 but last featured at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

How it works

Baseball is a team game of nine players per side played with a leather-covered hard ball, a wooden or aluminium bat and padded gloves. The aim of the game is to score more runs than the opposition. A run is scored every time a batter becomes a runner and crosses home base in the prescribed order. Teams alternate turns in the field with one turn for each batsman constituting an innings with nine innings comprising a game. The pitcher throws the ball and an opposing batter attempts to hit the ball and safely reach base. The pitcher tries to put the batter out through various plays. When the fielding team puts out three batters (or runners), the teams exchange places. If the score is tied at the end of nine innings, play continues into an extra innings until one team has scored more runs than the other.

Format at World Masters Games 2017

The Baseball competition will be played across two grades A Grade – Competitive and a B Grade – Recreational. The age divisions will be 35+, 45+, 55+ (Open Grade only).

Expected number of competitors: 1000+

Venues

Lloyd Elsmore Park

Mt Roskill War Memorial Park

Crossfield Reserve

McLeod Park

Kiwi Legends

Scott Campbell – The Auckland-born Campbell took up the game aged nine and quickly emerged as a star of the future, playing for the New Zealand national team while at high school. He later attended Gonzaga University in Washington State to further his career. In 2006 he was picked up the tenth round of drafts by the Toronto Blue Jays to become the first New Zealand born and raised player to be drafted for a National Baseball League side. In 2008 he was promoted to the AA Eastern League (two steps below the major league) and he enjoyed a great season making the All-Stars Futures game. Unfortunately, a series of debilitating injury started to take their toll and in 2012 he retired from the sport.

Did you Know?

Each year 21 million hotdogs are eaten at baseball games. If you lined them up end to end they would round the base 29,691 times!

Get Involved

http://www.baseballnewzealand.com