Rounders is the game out of which, according to the legendary 19th-century baseball writer Henry Chadwick, baseball evolved. Chadwick's story has been widely repeated and is widely believed. In fact, recent research by David Block (2005) has shown that the game of baseball (or "base-ball") in Britain pre-dated rounders, the latter being a regional variant played in the part of England in which Chadwick had grown up.
Originating in the British Isles, it is still played under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association and the National Rounders Association.
It is said that baseball bears a striking resemblance to the Gaelic version of rounders.
There is speculation that Americans readily accepted a game based on rounders as a way of distancing themselves from cricket, which was associated with the British upper-crust that had been seen by Americans as the enemy in two wars.
The White House website has a page called "Presidents and Baseball" which states that a soldier's diary from the Revolutionary War exists which describes George Washington and others playing rounders at Valley Forge.
- David Block: Baseball Before We Knew It. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2005.