Although the exact history is unknown rounders is thought to have originated in Britain. Rounders has been around for many years and it dates back to the Tudor era. The game is first referenced and mentioned in a book from 1744 called A Little Pretty Pocket Book. It was then actually referred to as "Base-ball" by John Newbery. Although references to base-ball in England exist before the term rounders it is thought that rounders is older.
The formal rules of rounders were drawn up in Ireland in 1844. Following these rules being written associations formed for the game in Liverpool and Scotland. In 1943 the National Rounders Association was formed and this was designed to promote the game. This association also created the English set of rules for the game.
Rounders is a game which has been played throughout Britain by people of all ages but it is very popular with children. In early rounder's type games the equipment would have varied and been made using whatever was available. The layout of the pitch, number of players and the scoring system would have been different.
There are two widely regarded systems of rules in modern Rounders: England rules as previously mentioned and in Ireland Gaelic Athletic Association. Games under the English set of rules use smaller balls, bats and pitches. In the English game the ball weights between 71 to 85g with a 19cm circumference. The bat must be no more than 6.75 cm at the thickest part and no more than 18cm in length. It must also weigh no more than 368g. The playing field is an open irregular pentagon which is 12m on three sides and 8ft on the other two. The bowler must deliver the ball bellow head height but above the knee of the batter over the batting square.
Today rounders is a popular summer sport played by many schools and clubs. Rounders competitions are often held between teams with one team batting first and the other fielding and then swapping over. It is popular in the UK and there are more than 40 leagues, each one playing competitively to rules set by the National Rounders Association. As well as being played at a competition level rounder is a firm family favourite. The game rules can be adapted to suit the age and abilities of players meaning that everyone can join in.
By having a pitch which is the standard size players of all ages and abilities can join in with this classic garden game.