Debate is a process that involves formal discussion on a particular topic. In a debate, opposing arguments are put forward to argue for opposing viewpoints. Debate occurs in public meetings, academic institutions, legislative assemblies, it is a formal type of discussion with a moderator and an audience, in addition to the debate participants. Logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are elements in debating, where one side prevails over the other party by presenting a superior "context" or framework of the issue. In a formal debating contest, there are rules for participants to discuss and decide on differences, within a framework defining how they will do it. Debating is carried out in debating chambers and assemblies of various types to discuss matters and to make resolutions about action to be taken by voting. Deliberative bodies such as parliaments, legislative assemblies, meetings of all sorts engage in debates. In particular, in parliamentary democracies a legislature decides on new laws.
Formal debates between candidates for elected office, such as the leaders debates, are sometimes held in democracies. Debating is carried out for educational and recreational purposes associated with educational establishments and debating societies. Informal and forum debate is common, shown by TV shows such as the Australian talk show, Q&A; the outcome of a contest may be decided by audience vote, by judges, or by some combination of the two. Although debating in various forms has a long history and can be traced back to the philosophical and political debates of Ancient Greece, such as Athenian democracy, Shastrartha in Ancient India, modern forms of debating and the establishment of debating societies occurred during the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. Debating societies emerged in London in the early eighteenth century, soon became a prominent fixture of national life; the origins of these societies are not certain in many cases, although by the mid-18th century, London fostered an active debating society culture.
Debating topics covered a broad spectrum of topics while the debating societies allowed participants from both genders and all social backgrounds, making them an excellent example of the enlarged public sphere of the Age of Enlightenment. Debating societies were a phenomenon associated with the simultaneous rise of the public sphere, a sphere of discussion separate from traditional authorities and accessible to all people that acted as a platform for criticism and the development of new ideas and philosophy. John Henley, a clergyman, founded an Oratory in 1726 with the principal purpose of "reforming the manner in which such public presentations should be performed." He made extensive use of the print industry to advertise the events of his Oratory, making it an omnipresent part of the London public sphere. Henley was instrumental in constructing the space of the debating club: he added two platforms to his room in the Newport district of London to allow for the staging of debates, structured the entrances to allow for the collection of admission.
These changes were further implemented. The public was now willing to pay to be entertained, Henley exploited this increasing commercialization of British society. By the 1770s, debating societies were established in London society; the year 1785 was pivotal: The Morning Chronicle announced on March 27: The Rage for publick debate now shews itself in all quarters of the metropolis. Exclusive of the oratorical assemblies at Carlisle House, Free-mason's Hall, the Forum, Spring Gardens, the Cassino, the Mitre Tavern and other polite places of debating rendezvous, we hear that new Schools of Eloquence are preparing to be opened in St. Giles, Clare-Market, Hockley in the Hole, Rag-Fair, Duke's Place and the Back of the Borough. In 1780, 35 differently named societies advertised and hosted debates for anywhere between 650 and 1200 people; the question for debate was introduced by a president or moderator who proceeded to regulate the discussion. Speakers were given set amounts of time to argue their point of view, and, at the end of the debate, a vote was taken to determine a decision or adjourn the question for further debate.
Speakers were not permitted to slander or insult other speakers, or diverge from the topic at hand, again illustrating the value placed on politeness by late 18th century debaters. Princeton University in the future United States was home to a number of short-lived student debating societies throughout the mid-1700s, its influential American Whig Society was co-founded in 1769 by future revolutionary James Madison; the first of the post-revolutionary debating societies, the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies, were formed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1795 and are still active. The first student debating society in Great Britain was the St Andrews Debating Society, formed in 1794 as the Literary Society; the Cambridge Union Society was founded in 1815, claims to be the oldest continually operating debating society in the World. This claim is arguably valid because Princeton's societies had been shut down during the American Revolutionary War, while the UNC societies' operations were suspended during the American Civil War.
Over the next few decades, similar societies emerged at several other prominent universities. Examples include the Yale Political Union and the Conférence Olivaint. Submitted by IIIT NUZVID In parliaments and other legislatures, members debate proposals regarding legislation, before voting on resolutions which become laws. Debates are conducted by proposing a law, or changes to a l
Swimming is an individual or team sport that requires the use of one's entire body to move through water. The sport takes place in open water. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, breaststroke and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay consists of four swimmers; the order for a medley relay is: backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. Swimming each stroke requires a set of specific techniques. There are regulations on what types of swimsuits, caps and injury tape that are allowed at competitions. Although it is possible for competitive swimmers to incur several injuries from the sport, such as tendinitis in the shoulders or knees, there are multiple health benefits associated with the sport. Evidence of recreational swimming in prehistoric times has been found, with the earliest evidence dating to Stone Age paintings from around 10,000 years ago.
Written references date from 2000 BC, with some of the earliest references to swimming including the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible, the Quran and others. In 1538, Nikolaus Wynmann, a Swiss professor of languages, wrote the first book about swimming, The Swimmer or A Dialogue on the Art of Swimming. Swimming emerged as a competitive recreational activity in the 1830s in England. In 1828, the first indoor swimming pool, St George's Baths was opened to the public. By 1837, the National Swimming Society was holding regular swimming competitions in six artificial swimming pools, built around London; the recreational activity grew in popularity and by 1880, when the first national governing body, the Amateur Swimming Association was formed, there were over 300 regional clubs in operation across the country. In 1844 two Native American participants at a swimming competition in London introduced the front crawl to a European audience. Sir John Arthur Trudgen picked up the hand-over stroke from some South American natives and debuted the new stroke in 1873, winning a local competition in England.
His stroke is still regarded as the most powerful to use today. Captain Matthew Webb was the first man to swim the English Channel, in 1875. Using the breaststroke technique, he swam the channel 21.26 miles in 45 minutes. His feat was not replicated or surpassed for the next 36 years, until T. W. Burgess made the crossing in 1911. Other European countries established swimming federations; the first European amateur swimming competitions were in 1889 in Vienna. The world's first women's swimming championship was held in Scotland in 1892. Men's swimming became part of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. In 1902, the Australian Richmond Cavill introduced freestyle to the Western world. In 1908, the world swimming association, Fédération Internationale de Natation, was formed. Women's swimming was introduced into the Olympics in 1912. Butterfly was developed in the 1930s and was at first a variant of breaststroke, until it was accepted as a separate style in 1952. Competitive swimming became popular in the 19th century.
The goal of high level competitive swimming is to break personal or world records while beating competitors in any given event. Swimming in competition should create the least resistance in order to obtain maximum speed. However, some professional swimmers who do not hold a national or world ranking are considered the best in regard to their technical skills. An athlete goes through a cycle of training in which the body is overloaded with work in the beginning and middle segments of the cycle, the workload is decreased in the final stage as the swimmer approaches competition; the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition is called tapering. Tapering is used to give the swimmer's body some rest without stopping exercise completely. A final stage is referred to as "shave and taper": the swimmer shaves off all exposed hair for the sake of reducing drag and having a sleeker and more hydrodynamic feel in the water. Additionally, the "shave and taper" method refers to the removal of the top layer of "dead skin", which exposes the newer and richer skin underneath.
This helps to "shave" off mere milliseconds on your time. Swimming is an event at the Summer Olympic Games, where male and female athletes compete in 16 of the recognized events each. Olympic events are held in a 50-meter pool, called a long course pool. There are forty recognized individual swimming events in the pool; the international governing body for competitive swimming is the Fédération Internationale de Natation, better known as FINA. In open water swimming, where the events are swum in a body of open water, there are 5 km, 10 km and 25 km events for men and women. However, only the 10 km event is included in the Olympic schedule, again for both women. Open-water competitions are separate to other swimming competitions with the exception of the World Championships and the Olympics. In competitive swimming, four major styles have been established; these have been stable over the last 30–40 years with minor improvements. They are: Butterfly Backstroke
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original
A lancer was a type of cavalryman who fought with a lance. Lances were used in mounted warfare by the Assyrians as early as 700 BC and subsequently by Greek, Gallic and Roman horsemen; the weapon was used in Asia and Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by armoured cavalry, before being adopted by light cavalry in Eastern Europe. In a modern context, a lancer regiment denotes an armoured unit; the lancer had become a common sight in every European and Indian army during this time, with the exception of the Ottoman troops, they discarded the heavy armour to give greater freedom of movement in combat. The Polish "winged" lancers were amongst the last to abandon the armour in Europe. There was debate over the value of the lance in mounted combat during the 18th century and most armies had few lancer units by the beginning of the 1800s. However, during the Napoleonic Wars, lancers were to be seen in many of the combatant nations as their value in shock tactics became clear. During the wars, the Poles became a ready source of recruitment for several armies, willingly or unwillingly.
Polish lancers served with distinction in the Austrian, Prussian and French armies, most famously in Napoleon's French Imperial Guard as the 1er Regiment de Chevau-Legers-Lanciers de la Garde Impériale. At the Battle of Waterloo, French lances were "nearly three meters long, weighed three kilograms, had a steel point on a wooden staff," according to historian Alessandro Barbero, he adds that they were "terrifyingly efficient." Commander of the French 1st Corps, 4th Division General Durutte, who saw the battle from the high ground in front of Papelotte, would write "I had never before realized the great superiority of the lance over the sword."In the Siege of Los Angeles, during the war between Mexico and the United States, a company of Californio lancers temporarily recaptured the town, expelling a company of U. S. Marines. Although having substantial impact in the charge lancers could be vulnerable to other cavalry at close quarters, where the lance proved a clumsy and deflected weapon when employed against sabres.
By the late 19th century, many cavalry regiments in the British and other European armies were composed of troopers with lances, as primary weapons, in the front rank and horsemen with sabres only in the second: the lances for the initial shock and sabres for the subsequent mêlée. Lancers wore a double-breasted jacket with a coloured panel at the front, a coloured sash, a square-topped Polish cap, their lances had small swallow-tailed flags just below the spearhead. The pennons were removed or wrapped in a canvas cover on active service. With the improved range and accuracy of infantry rifles, the high-profile presented by lancers with their conspicuous weapons became a problem; the ułans or uhlans, as lancers are known in the Polish and German languages were trained to lower their lances when scouting on hill-tops. In 1914, lances were still being carried by regiments in the British, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Belgian and Russian armies, amongst others. All German cavalry retained a steel lance as their primary weapon.
As late as 1914, half of the troopers in each Russian regular cavalry regiment carried lances on active service, as did all cossacks. The British lancer regiments lost this weapon for all but ceremonial use following the Boer War, but a conservative backlash led to its reintroduction for active service from 1908 to 1928; the French army did not have lancer regiments as such, but steel lances 2.97 metres in length were carried by the twenty-six dragoon regiments and some light cavalry units in 1914. The French had earlier tested the Indian bamboo lances used by the British cavalry, but had rated them as being too fragile for the shock of encounter. Prior to the outbreak of World War I, there had been controversy as to whether lances or sabres were the more effective "armes blanches" for cavalry, but neither proved a match for modern firearms; some armies continued to use lances throughout this war, but they saw use on the Western Front after initial clashes in France and Belgium in 1914. On the Eastern Front, mounted cavalry still had a role and lances saw limited use by the Russian and Austrian armies.
During the 1920s, the use of lances ceased for active service in most armies. British and Indian lancer regiments continued to carry lances on mounted parades, until mechanization took place in the late 1930s; some other armies retained lance armed ceremonial units. The Polish cavalry did not discard the lance as a weapon until 1934 and continued to train with lances until the outbreak of World War II; some modern armored cavalry units are still designated as lancer regiments for historical reasons. There are examples in the armies of Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium, Pakistan and Australia, Argentina and Chile; the elite troops of the Colombian National Army are called "lanceros". The
Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a field that has base lengths of 60 feet, a pitcher's mound that ranges from 35-43 feet away from home plate, a homerun fence, 220 feet away from home plate. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago, United States as an indoor game; the game moves at a faster pace than traditional baseball. There is less time for the base runner to get to first; the name softball was given to the game in 1926, because the ball used to be soft, however in modern day usage, the balls are hard. A tournament held in 1933 at the Chicago World's Fair spurred interest in the game; the Amateur Softball Association of America governs the game in the United States and sponsors annual sectional and World Series championships. The World Baseball Softball Confederation regulates rules of play in more than 110 countries, including the United States and Canada. Women's fast pitch softball became a Summer Olympic sport in 1996, but it and baseball were dropped from the 2012 Games.
There are three types of softball. In the most common type, slow-pitch softball, the ball, which can measure either 11 or 12 inches in circumference depending on gender and league, must arch on its path to the batter, there are 10 players on the field at once. In fastpitch softball, the pitch is fast, there are nine players on the field at one time, bunting and stealing bases are permitted. Modified softball restricts the "windmill" wind-up used by fastpitch pitchers, although the pitcher is allowed to throw as hard as possible with the restricted back swing. Softball rules vary somewhat from those of baseball. Two major differences are that the ball must be pitched underhand—from 46 ft for men or 43 ft for women as compared with 60.5 ft in baseball—and that seven innings instead of nine constitute a regulation game. Despite the name, the ball used in softball is not soft, it is about 12 in in circumference, 3 in larger than a baseball. Softball recreational leagues for children use 11-inch balls until they participate in travel ball around age 12 and adjust to a 12-inch sized ball.
The infield in softball is smaller than on an adult or high school baseball diamond but identical to that used by Little League Baseball. In fast pitch softball the entire infield is dirt, whereas the infield in baseball is grass except at the bases and on the pitcher's mound which are dirt. Softball mounds are flat, while baseball mounds are a small hill. Softballs are pitched underhand; this changes the arc of the ball. For example, depending if the pitcher pitches a fastball, in softball the ball would most rise while in baseball because the pitcher is on a hill, the ball would drop; the earliest known softball game was played in Chicago, Illinois on Thanksgiving Day, 1887. It took place at the Farragut Boat Club at a gathering to hear the outcome of the Yale University and Harvard University football game; when the score was announced and bets were settled, a Yale alumnus threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter. The Harvard fan swung at the rolled up glove. George Hancock, a reporter there, called out "Play ball!" and the game began, with the boxing glove tightened into a ball, a broom handle serving as a bat.
This first contest ended with a score of 41–40. The ball, being soft, was fielded barehanded. George Hancock is credited as the game's inventor for his development of a 17" ball and an undersized bat in the next week; the Farragut Club soon set rules for the game, which spread to outsiders. Envisioned as a way for baseball players to maintain their skills during the winter, the sport was called "Indoor Baseball". Under the name of "Indoor-Outdoor", the game moved outside in the next year, the first rules were published in 1889. In 1895 Lewis Rober, Sr. of Minneapolis organized outdoor games as exercise for firefighters. Rober's version of the game used a ball 12 inches in circumference, rather than the 16-inch ball used by the Farragut club, the Minneapolis ball prevailed, although the dimensions of the Minneapolis diamond were passed over in favor of the dimensions of the Chicago one. Rober may not have been familiar with the Farragut Club rules. Fire Station No. 19 in Minneapolis, Rober's post from 1896 to 1906, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in part for its association with the sport's development.
The first softball league outside the United States was organized in Toronto in 1897. The name "softball" dates back to 1926; the name was coined by Walter Hakanson of the YMCA at a meeting of the National Recreation Congress. The name softball had spread across the United States by 1930. By the 1930s, similar sports with different rules and names were being played all over the United States and Canada. By 1936, the Joint Rules Committee on Softball had standardized the rules and naming throughout the United States. Sixteen-inch softball sometimes referred to as "mush ball" or "super-slow pitch", is a direct descendant of Hancock's original game. Defensive players are not allowed to wear fi
Volleyball is a popular team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules, it has been a part of the official program of the Summer Olympic Games since Tokyo 1964. The complete rules are extensive, but play proceeds as follows: a player on one of the teams begins a'rally' by serving the ball, from behind the back boundary line of the court, over the net, into the receiving team's court; the receiving team must not let the ball be grounded within their court. The team may touch the ball up to 3 times, but individual players may not touch the ball twice consecutively; the first two touches are used to set up for an attack, an attempt to direct the ball back over the net in such a way that the serving team is unable to prevent it from being grounded in their court. The rally continues, with each team allowed as many as three consecutive touches, until either: a team makes a kill, grounding the ball on the opponent's court and winning the rally.
The team that wins the rally serves the ball to start the next rally. A few of the most common faults include: causing the ball to touch the ground or floor outside the opponents' court or without first passing over the net; the ball is played with the hands or arms, but players can strike or push the ball with any part of the body. A number of consistent techniques have evolved in volleyball, including spiking and blocking as well as passing and specialized player positions and offensive and defensive structures. In the winter of 1895, in Holyoke, William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education director, created a new game called Mintonette, a name derived from the game of badminton, as a pastime to be played indoors and by any number of players; the game took some of its characteristics from other sports such as handball. Another indoor sport, was catching on in the area, having been invented just ten miles away in the city of Springfield, only four years before. Mintonette was designed to be an indoor sport, less rough than basketball, for older members of the YMCA, while still requiring a bit of athletic effort.
The first rules, written down by William G Morgan, called for a net 6 ft 6 in high, a 25 ft × 50 ft court, any number of players. A match was composed of nine innings with three serves for each team in each inning, no limit to the number of ball contacts for each team before sending the ball to the opponents' court. In case of a serving error, a second try was allowed. Hitting the ball into the net was considered a foul —except in the case of the first-try serve. After an observer, Alfred Halstead, noticed the volleying nature of the game at its first exhibition match in 1896, played at the International YMCA Training School, the game became known as volleyball. Volleyball rules were modified by the International YMCA Training School and the game spread around the country to various YMCAs; the first official ball used in volleyball is disputed. The rules evolved over time: in 1916, in the Philippines, the skill and power of the set and spike had been introduced, four years a "three hits" rule and a rule against hitting from the back row were established.
In 1917, the game was changed from requiring 21 points to win to a smaller 15 points to win. In 1919, about 16,000 volleyballs were distributed by the American Expeditionary Forces to their troops and allies, which sparked the growth of volleyball in new countries; the first country outside the United States to adopt volleyball was Canada in 1900. An international federation, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, was founded in 1947, the first World Championships were held in 1949 for men and 1952 for women; the sport is now popular in Brazil, in Europe, in Russia, in other countries including China and the rest of Asia, as well as in the United States. Beach volleyball, a variation of the game played on sand and with only two players per team, became a FIVB-endorsed variation in 1987 and was added to the Olympic program at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Volleyball is a sport at the Paralympics managed by the World Organization Volleyball for Disabled. Nudists were early adopters of the game with regular organized play in clubs as early as the late 1920s.
By the 1960s, a volleyball court had become standard in all nudist/naturist clubs. Volleyball has been part of the Summer Olympics program for both men and women since 1964. A volleyball court is 9 m × 18 m, divided into equal square halves by a net with a width of one meter; the top of the net is 2.43 m above the center of the court for men's competition, 2.24 m for women's competition, varied for veterans a
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat; the objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner advances around the bases in order and touches home plate; the team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner. The first objective of the batting team is to have a player reach first base safely. A player on the batting team who reaches first base without being called "out" can attempt to advance to subsequent bases as a runner, either or during teammates' turns batting; the fielding team tries to prevent runs by getting batters or runners "out", which forces them out of the field of play.
Both the pitcher and fielders have methods of getting the batting team's players out. The opposing teams switch forth between batting and fielding. One turn batting for each team constitutes an inning. A game is composed of nine innings, the team with the greater number of runs at the end of the game wins. If scores are tied at the end of nine innings, extra innings are played. Baseball has no game clock. Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games being played in England by the mid-18th century; this game was brought by immigrants to North America. By the late 19th century, baseball was recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, East Asia in Japan and South Korea. In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball teams are divided into the National League and American League, each with three divisions: East and Central; the MLB champion is determined by playoffs. The top level of play is split in Japan between the Central and Pacific Leagues and in Cuba between the West League and East League.
The World Baseball Classic, organized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, is the major international competition of the sport and attracts the top national teams from around the world. A baseball game is played between two teams, each composed of nine players, that take turns playing offense and defense. A pair of turns, one at bat and one in the field, by each team constitutes an inning. A game consists of nine innings. One team—customarily the visiting team—bats in the top, or first half, of every inning; the other team -- customarily the home team -- bats in second half, of every inning. The goal of the game is to score more points than the other team; the players on the team at bat attempt to score runs by circling or completing a tour of the four bases set at the corners of the square-shaped baseball diamond. A player bats at home plate and must proceed counterclockwise to first base, second base, third base, back home to score a run; the team in the field attempts to prevent runs from scoring and record outs, which remove opposing players from offensive action until their turn in their team's batting order comes up again.
When three outs are recorded, the teams switch roles for the next half-inning. If the score of the game is tied after nine innings, extra innings are played to resolve the contest. Many amateur games unorganized ones, involve different numbers of players and innings; the game is played on a field whose primary boundaries, the foul lines, extend forward from home plate at 45-degree angles. The 90-degree area within the foul lines is referred to as fair territory; the part of the field enclosed by the bases and several yards beyond them is the infield. In the middle of the infield is a raised pitcher's mound, with a rectangular rubber plate at its center; the outer boundary of the outfield is demarcated by a raised fence, which may be of any material and height. The fair territory between home plate and the outfield boundary is baseball's field of play, though significant events can take place in foul territory, as well. There are three basic tools of baseball: the ball, the bat, the glove or mitt: The baseball is about the size of an adult's fist, around 9 inches in circumference.
It wound in yarn and covered in white cowhide, with red stitching. The bat is a hitting tool, traditionally made of a solid piece of wood. Other materials are now used for nonprofessional games, it is a hard round stick, about 2.5 inches in diameter at the hitting end, tapering to a narrower handle and culminating in a knob. Bats used by adults are around 34 inches long, not longer than 42 inches; the glove or mitt is a fielding tool, made of padded leather with webbing between the fingers. As an aid in catching and holding onto the ball, it takes various shapes to meet the specific needs of differ