A center fielder, abbreviated CF, is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in center field – the baseball and softball fielding position between left field and right field. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the center fielder is assigned the number 8.
Outfielders must cover large distances, so speed, instincts and quickness to react to the ball are key. They must be able to catch fly balls above their heads and on the run. They must be able to throw the ball accurately over a long distance to be effective.
As well as the requirements above, the center fielder must be the outfielder who has the best combination of speed and throwing distance. The center fielder "covers more 'grass' than any other player" (see photo) and, most likely, will catch the most fly balls. The position also has the greatest responsibility among the three outfielders for coordinating their play to prevent collisions when converging on a fly ball, and on plays where the center fielder does not make the catch, he must position himself behind the corner outfielder as backup. The center outfielder is the captain of the outfield and has the authority to call off the corner fielders when he has a better chance to catch the ball. Aside from requiring more speed and range, the center field position is slightly easier to field because balls tend to fly on a straight path, rather than curving as they do for the other outfield positions. A center fielder's vision and depth perception is a coveted skill and must be above average. Because the position requires a good arm and fast legs, center field is generally where the team puts its best all-around athletes; as a result, center fielders are often fine hitters as well. Many center fielders are renowned as excellent batters and base runners.
When a base runner is trying to steal second base the center fielder must back up second base on throws from the catcher to second base in case the second baseman misses the catch or it is a bad throw.
In the sport of baseball, each of the nine players on a team is assigned a particular fielding position when it is their turn to play defense. Each position conventionally has an associated number, for use in scorekeeping by the official scorer: 1 (pitcher), 2 (catcher), 3, 4, 5, 6 (shortstop), 7, 8, and 9. Collectively, these positions are usually grouped into three groups: the outfield, the infield, and the battery. Traditionally, players within each group will often be more able to exchange positions easily ; however, the pitcher and catcher are highly specialized positions and rarely will play at other positions.
Softball is a game similar to baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field, with only underhand pitches permitted. Softball is played competitively at club levels, the college level, and the professional level. The game was first created in 1887 in Chicago by George Hancock.
An outfielder is a person playing in one of the three defensive positions in baseball or softball, farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder. As an outfielder, their duty is to catch fly balls and ground balls then to return them to the infield for the out or before the runner advances, if there are any runners on the bases. As an outfielder, they normally play behind the six players located in the field. By convention, each of the nine defensive positions in baseball is numbered. The outfield positions are 7, 8 and 9. These numbers are shorthand designations useful in baseball scorekeeping and are not necessarily the same as the squad numbers worn on player uniforms.
The infield fly rule is a rule of baseball and softball that treats certain fly balls as though caught, before the ball is caught, even if the infielder fails to catch it or drops it on purpose. The umpire's declaration of an infield fly means that the batter is out regardless of whether the ball is caught. The rule exists solely to prevent the defense from executing a double play or triple play by deliberately failing to catch a ball that an infielder could catch with ordinary effort.
A first baseman, abbreviated 1B, is the player on a baseball or softball team who fields the area nearest first base, the first of four bases a baserunner must touch in succession to score a run. The first baseman is responsible for the majority of plays made at that base. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the first baseman is assigned the number 3.
An infielder is a baseball player stationed at one of four defensive "infield" positions on the baseball field, between first base and third base.
The outfield, in cricket, baseball and softball is the area of the field of play further from the batsman or batter than the infield. In association football, the outfield players are positioned outside the goal area.
Throughout the history of baseball, the rules have frequently changed as the game has continued to evolve. The rules of baseball can vary slightly from league to league, with there being dozens of leagues worldwide. A few common rules most professional leagues have in common is that four balls is a base on balls, three strikes is a strikeout, and three outs end a half-inning. One example of differing rules in professional leagues is the use of a pitch clock, which in Major League Baseball (MLB) is in place to speed up the pace of the game by forcing pitchers to pitch in a 15–20 second window, while in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) no such rule exists.
A baseball field, also called a ball field or baseball diamond, is the field upon which the game of baseball is played. The term can also be used as a metonym for a baseball park. The term sandlot is sometimes used, although this usually refers to less organized venues for activities like sandlot ball.
A right fielder, abbreviated RF, is the outfielder in baseball or softball who plays defense in right field. Right field is the area of the outfield to the right of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the right fielder is assigned the number 9.