Baseball Field Components

What are the bases? What is the dugout? What and the foul poles? Get ready to learn about the major components that make up a baseball field.

Baseball Field Components

There are several major components of a baseball field that every fan and player must know. You may hear these components be called by multiple names:

Grandstand and Bleacher Seats

Spectators can sit in either the grandstand or in the bleacher seats. The grandstand consists of fold-out chairs, can have a partial roof covering, and can be arranged in multiple open-faced tiers. Depending on the stadium, the grandstand usually wraps around home plate and extends from foul pole to foul pole.

The bleacher seats consist of multiple rows of long benches. There is only one tier of bleacher seats, and they typically do not have a roof covering. They are usually situated behind the outfield, though not all stadiums have a bleacher section.

Baseball Grandstand

Batter's Box, Catcher's Box, Coach's Box

There are three (3) types of boxes on the field:

They are all marked off with white lines.

Batter's Box

The batter's box is where the batter stands during his at-bat, or turn to hit. There are two batter's boxes, one on either side of home plate, to accommodate both left-handed and right-handed hitters.

Baseball Batter's Box

Catcher's Box

The catcher's box is where the catcher on defense squats to receive the pitcher's pitch. It is located behind home plate.

Baseball Catcher's Box

Coach's Box

The coach's boxes are positioned at 1st base and 3rd base and are used for the team on offense. Acting as an extra set of eyes, coaches stand in the coaches' boxes to direct their players when to stay on base and when to run to the next base.

Baseball Coaches Box

Dugout and Player Benches

The dugout is a slightly underground, bunker-like space that contains the player benches, which is where players and coaches sit during the game. There are two dugouts, one for the home team and one for the visiting team. They are located along the base lines on opposite sides of the field.

Baseball Dugout

On-Deck Circle

Just outside the entrance to the dugout is the on-deck circle. Players who are on-deck, or whose turn to bat is next, perform their practice swings on the on-deck circle.

Baseball On-Deck Circle

Home Plate

Home plate is one of the most integral components of the field. When looking at a baseball diamond from above, it is located at the bottom-most corner, marked with a five-sided piece of white rubber. It is where batters take their turn to hit, and where runners must safely return in order to score. We will learn more about batters, runners, and scoring in future chapters.

Baseball Home Plate

Bases/Bags

Bases, also called bags, are 15-inch white squares of rubber or canvas that mark the three (3) corners of the infield (the fourth corner is home plate). In order to score, runners must advance bases until they eventually reach home plate. We will learn more about baserunners in future chapters.

Baseball Base

1st Base

When running the bases, runners start from home plate and always go counter-clockwise to reach each base. The order of bases goes 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, and home plate. 1st base is located here:

Baseball First Base

2nd Base

The second base that a runner must touch is called 2nd base. It is located here:

Baseball Second Base

3rd Base

The third base that a runner must touch is called 3rd base. It is located here:

Baseball Third Base

Running Lane

The running lane is a three-foot (3ft) wide lane that begins halfway between home plate and first base, and ends at first base. We will learn more about the importance of the running lane in Chapter 7: Baseball Baserunning.

Baseball Running Lane

Pitcher's Mound

The pitcher's mound is a circle of dirt in the center of the infield where the pitcher stands to deliver his pitches. It is called a mound because it is slightly sloped, like a small hill.

Baseball Pitcher's Mound

Pitcher's Plate/Rubber

The pitcher's plate/pitcher's rubber is located on the pitcher's mound, exactly 60.5 feet away from the rear, pointed end of home plate. When beginning the delivery of a pitch, the pitcher's back foot must be in contact with the pitcher's plate.

Baseball Pitcher's Plate

Batting Cage

Often located near the stadium's clubhouse (a restricted, underground locker room), the batting cages are where players go to warm up, practice their swing, and/or make alterations to their swing with a coach's help. They often consist of narrow enclosures with a home plate, pitching machine or pitcher's mound, and walls of netting.

Black Seats

The black seats is an area located right behind centerfield that provides a background, free of distractions, to help the batter see the pitched ball more clearly. Typically colored black or dark green, it acts as a contrast to the white ball. The visibility provided by the black seats not only helps batters hit the ball, but it is also important in keeping the batter safe, allowing him to react in case the pitch comes close to hitting him.

Bullpen

The bullpen is a designated area somewhere slightly off the field where relief pitchers warm up. It consists of two sets of a pitcher's mound and an accompanying home plate (for the catcher), as well as benches and a telephone connecting to the dugout. There are two (2) bullpens in each stadium, one for the home team and one for the visiting team. We will learn more about relief pitchers in future chapters.

Baseball Bullpen

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