Why Do Base Runners Round The Bases In Baseball?
Although undervalued, base running is one of the most important aspects of the game of baseball. You don’t necessarily need to be fast to be considered a good base runner. Rounding the bases is one of the most important aspects of base running and can be the difference between being out and safe. Keep reading to learn why players round the bases in baseball.
Why Do Players Round the Bases in Baseball?
Players round the bases in baseball in order to gain an advantage while running the bases. Rounding the bases allows players to form a more efficient route towards the runners desired base. Rounding the bases also allows players to run from base to base without slowing their forward momentum. This is because the runner can push off each base and redirect their momentum towards the next base. According to multiple studies of base running, rounding the bases is about 20% faster than running in a direct pathway towards the next base. This is because running in a direct path from base to base will force the runner to slow down, or even come to a complete stop before changing directions towards the next base.
What Does Rounding the Bases Mean?
Although running in a straight line is the fastest way to get from point A to point B, in baseball, the bases are set up in a diamond. In order to hit more than one base most efficiently, a base runner must round the base.
This means the base runner takes a slight wide turn before touching the base. This is also sometimes called a banana turn. A base runner rounding first base hits the bottom left corner of the base and pushes off with their left foot. This gives the base runner a more efficient route towards second base.
Pushing Off the Base When Rounding
When rounding any of the three bases, base runners should push off the bases. This allows base runners to change their momentum towards the new base they are running toward. Pushing off the base also allows for a quicker route to the new base. Again, the goal is to create the most efficient route to the base the base runner is trying to get to.
A player who just hit a possible double into the outfield would never just run straight through first base, as you would see when a ground ball is hit. The hitter would push off the inside front corner of first base and make a turn towards second base.