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Playing the game No ball rule/field diagram
How can batters be out? Officials
Scoring Equipment/Glossary

The rounders field

The rounders field


Objective: Two teams of nine players must try and score more rounders than the other in an innings.

An innings could be for a certain amount of time, or players out. It is up to the players and organisers of the game. Usually, two innings are played for each team. The fielding team will try and limit the rounders scored, and get players out if they can with bowling and fielding.

There can be up to fifteen players in a squad (team), with no more than nine on the field at any one time.


Playing the game

The order of teams batting and fielding will be decided by the toss of a coin.

The ball will be bowled (thrown) to the batter. If it is a good ball (legal delivery) the batter must try and hit it, and then run to first post, whether they hit the ball or not. If it is a no ball (bad delivery) then they do not have to run, but if they do, they cannot be out at the first post.

If the bowler bowls two no balls in a row, the batting team are awarded half a rounder, called a penalty half rounder. As the batter moves around the posts, the fielding team should be trying to prevent themfrom getting to the fourth post and scoring a rounder, or to the second post and scoring half a rounder.

Batters on posts can stay there as long as they keep in contact with the post with either bat or hand. The player on post can move to the next post once the ball has left the bowlers hand.

Only one player can wait on a post at a time. Once a batter has left a post they are not allowed to go back to it.

How can batters be out?

The batter is out if:

-The ball is caught by the fielding team directly from the batter hitting it.

- Any part of the batters foot is outside the batting square before the ball has passed the square, or they have hit it. This does not apply for no balls.

- The batter runs on the inside of the posts, unless forced to by a fielder causing an obstruction.

- A fielder touches the post with the ball that the batter was running to, before the batter makes contact with the post.

- The batter obstruct a fielder, or deliberately moves the ball, other than at first hitting it with the bat for example, kicking the ball.

- The batter overtakes another batter.

- The batter does not maintain contact with the post while the bowler has the ball.

- The batter drops or throws the bat deliberately.


One rounder
A rounder can be scored from any one hit, whether the batter gets around the posts in one go or not. Players can score rounders if they are on posts from no balls. If a player hits the ball and runs around all four posts before the posts have been touched with the ball, or the bowler has got the ball back.

Half a rounder
This can be scored if a batter runs around all four posts before the posts have been touches with the ball, or the bowler has got the ball back, but does it without having hit the ball.

If the batter has reached second post, and is put out before reaching fourth post, half a rounder is scored. Unless they are put out with the same ball, (before the bowler has received it for the next batter) in which case, there is no score.

Penalty half rounder
If the bowler bowls two no balls in a row, or A fielder obstructs a batter, or the backstop steps over the backstop line before the batter has attempted a hit. Also if a batter obstructs a fielder.

One rounder and one penalty half rounder
If there is a second no ball, which counts for the penalty half rounder, and the batter hits it and scores a rounder, or if the batter is obstructed while scoring a rounder. Two penalty half rounders if both of the above apply.

The no ball rule

- If a ball is not delivered with a smooth underarm action.
- A ball that passes the batter above head height or below the knees.
- A ball that hits the ground before reaching the batter.
- If the bowler steps over the lines of the bowling square while still in possession of the ball.

The rounders field

The rounders field

The rounders field


There are two umpires present at rounders games to ensure that rules are followed. There is a batter's umpire and a bowler's umpire.

The batter's umpire will usually stand back from the field between the batter and first post, and is responsible for the following:

- Call rounder or half a rounder and give the scores of both teams after there has been a score.

- Call no ball where necessary.

- Make decisions concerning the batters square, as the batter cannot step outside this square until after the ball has either been hit or they have missed it. This rule does not apply for no balls.

- Call a backward hit. If the ball is hit beyond the forward/backward line around the pitch, the batter may only progress to first post.

- Make decisions concerning the first and fourth post if either is stumped (touched with the ball) by a fielder. The umpire can also move players on if they have lost contact with the post they were on.

- Make decisions on all catches.

- Call the next player to bat.

- Call 'obstruction' if the backstop steps past the backstop line before the batter has attempted a hit.

The bowler's umpire will usually stand behind second post or between second and third post, making sure that both the view of the bowler and the batter is clear, and is responsible for the following:

- Call play at the beginning of each innings, and restarts play after a dead ball situation.

- Call 'no ball' for wides (if the ball is bowled outside the normal reach of the batter. This also includes bowling to the wrong side of the batter, right side for left-handed batter, left side for right-handed batter.

- Call 'no ball' if the ball hits or would have hit the batter if they moved.

- Call 'no ball' if the bowlers foot or feet step outside the bowlers square.

- Make decisions about the second and third base regarding post contacts by fielders, early release by the batters, or running on the inside of the track.

- Make sure that waiting batters and out batters are away from the field of play. If they are not, a penalty half rounder can be given to the fielding team.

- Call 'half a rounder' if the batter reaches second base. The umpire will also call the player out if that player is put out from the same ball.


The ball
The ball is round, white and has a circumference of 18 to 20 centimetres (7 to 8 inches), and it should weigh between 65 and 85 grammes (2.2 to 3 ounces).

The bat
This may be of any length up to the maximum length of 46 centimetres (18 inches) and it should be a maximum width of 17 centimetres (just over 6 and a half inches). The bats can be made of wood or aluminium. Grips and bindings should be safe and appropriate for play.

The bases
The base is a pole, usually made of wood or metal, attached to the ground with a flat plate with a gap in the top to hold the pole upright.


Backstop - the fielder who stands behind the batter to catch or retrieve the ball

Donkey drop - a ball which goes up and then down at the last moment to fall into the correct area for hitting

Good ball - a legal ball

Obstruction - deliberately slowing down or getting in the way of another player. Verbally distracting a player also counts

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