Baseball Centerfield

Baseball Center Field

The baseball field is known for its many parts, including the infield, the outfield, the bases, and fair and foul territory. In the back of fair territory are the three parts of the outfield: left field, right field, and center field. When it comes to center field, what players are stationed there? How do you play center field? What skills, techniques, and rules are there for center fielders? Read on to find out.

What Is Center Field?

Center field in baseball is one of three areas within the outfield, located directly behind second base and in between the left and right field areas of the field. The area is occupied by the defending team’s center fielder, who is responsible for fielding any baseball that is within reach.

Playing Center Field

Center field is one of the most challenging areas to defend on the field. For starters, center field tends to be the deepest area of the ballpark, spanning all the way from the outfield grass behind second base to a wall about 400 feet from where the ball is hit (home plate).

Skills and Techniques

Center fielders need to have exceptional speed and reaction skills, allowing them to cover the ground required to catch deep, hard-hit baseballs. Any baseball that is hit between left and right field and center is usually the center fielder’s ball to catch.

A strong arm is also a necessity, enabling players to quickly throw the ball to any given base and beat an opposing baserunner to the destination for an out. Any baseball that is hit between left and right field and center is usually the center fielder’s ball to catch.

Playing center field also comes with additional responsibilities. Often labeled “the captain of the outfield” the center fielder must communicate defense alignments and in-game situations (such as how many outs there are in an inning) to the other two outfielders.


Statisticians often utilize a number attached to each defense position in order to keep track of which players make an out on any given batted ball. The center field position is referenced by the number eight (8), meaning if the center fielder catches a fly ball the event would be recorded as an FO (flyout) to 8.

Center Field Rules

  • MLB regulations require that new ballparks be built with the center field fence at least 400 ft from home plate.
  • Existing ballparks cannot be modified to shorten the distance to the center field fence.
  • The entirety of center field is in fair territory.


Where is center field on a baseball diamond?

On a baseball diamond, center field is located in the middle of the outfield, between right field and left field. Center field is located directly opposite home plate and behind second base.

Who plays in center field?

The player in center field is called a center fielder. Other players may run into center field during a play to assist in catching or making outs. Other outfielders may stand in center field, but infielders must start plays in the infield, as a result of the infield defensive shift ban.