Home > Uncategorized > A Difference Between Baseball in the U.S. vs. Baseball in Australia

A Difference Between Baseball in the U.S. vs. Baseball in Australia

Now I know I have already discussed some of the issues I have come across over the past week since arriving in Sydney, but most of these have nothing to do with Baseball.  Since my blog is titled baseballdownunder i reckon I should share a bit about that.

Well one of the biggest differences I find is that there are a whole lot of levels of amateur baseball here in Australia as compared to the U.S.  For the most part in the U.S. baseball is a participatory sport through High School (and that is if you are good enough to play at the high school level).  But then a small percentage of guys play baseball and an even smaller percentage of girls play softball at a college level.  If you don’t play baseball in college you are pretty much done with your baseball playing days and some people will turn to Softball as it is “slower-paced” (yes i take offense to this altho arc pitch is), then baseball.   And even after college only the lucky/talented ones get signed to a contract for a major league club, some go to play independent leagues but even those guys need to give it up after a couple of years.

However here in Australia a lot of adults play recreation Baseball every weekend for a club that also has 12 and unders, 14U’s, 16U’s and 18U’s.  There are 3 “grades” of adult league baseball, First Grade being the best with some professional baseball guys coming to play on the weekends if they come back home in the offseason from the minors.  Third Grade is for all those over 18 who still want to swing a bat but even those games are competitive.  There are also state teams and then national teams at these levels as well.  The Australians will travel everywhere to play too, they call the tournaments “overseas tours.”

There are even some “sporting” high schools here where kids can go if they know they want to focus on a sport and breeze by in academics.  I have been asked why the U.S. doesn’t have the same system and I say it’s because academics is stressed in the U.S. which is very true. There are 4,352 colleges, universities, and junior colleges in the U.S. of A – population 307 million, but only 42 in Australia- population 21 million (according to the trusty wikipedia) .  Therefore the U.S. has over 103x as many colleges as Australia with just 14x as many people.  The Americans see a graduate degree as their chance to move up in the world while the Aussies see sport as there.

Australia has had over 330 guys signed to a major league contract, more than any other foreign nation.  But does this stat really help the 27-year old guy playing ‘3rd grade’ on Sunday at Manly beach?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Bridget E.
    September 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    haha – love this one! some interesting stats too – think my saturday softball would make 3rd grade??

    • September 21, 2011 at 2:58 am

      haha, no the girls even play baseball here. I mean I could probably hold my own after a few rounds of batting cages, but I’d rather run 60 feet then 90 feet to first base

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