This article needs additional citations for verification . (January 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In many team sports, defense (American spelling) or defence (Commonwealth spelling) is the action of preventing an opponent from scoring. The term may also refer to the tactics involved in defense, or a sub-team whose primary responsibility is defense. Similarly, a defense player or defender is a player who is generally charged with preventing the other team's forwards from being able to bear down directly on their own team's goalkeeper or goaltender. Such positions exist in association football, ice hockey, water polo and many other sports.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(December 2010)
In bat-and-ball sports, the defending team is in the field, while the offensive team sends only a few players into the field to try to score at a time. These sports generally involve a member of the defense throwing the ball to a member of the offensive team, who then tries to hit it and run to various safe areas of the field to score points. Failing to hit the ball properly, or failing to reach the safe areas before the ball is used against the offensive player, can result in that player being left unable to score.
Baseball is unlike most other competitive sports in that the defense is given control of the ball. Additionally, the number of players on the field at any given time is lopsided in favor of the defense which always has nine players on the field; the offense has between one and four.
Historically, each player on the team had a role both on offense and defense. Most amateur and professional leagues have adopted the designated hitter (DH) rule introduced by the American League of Major League Baseball. In leagues that use the DH, pitchers usually do not bat, and the DH bats in lieu of the pitcher and does not play a defensive position. The main leagues that have not adopted the DH rule are the National League of MLB and the Central League of Nippon Professional Baseball.
Each play starts with the ball in the hands of the pitcher, whose job as a member of the defense is to use his skills to somehow prevent the batter from reaching base. The pitcher throws the ball toward the catcher, who must catch the pitched ball if it is not hit by the batter. In each half-inning, the defense attempts to force three outs.
There are three basic ways in which an out can occur: 1.) If three strikes are recorded against the batter, 2.) if a ball hit by a batter is caught by a defensive player before it hits the ground, or 3.) if a runner who is between bases or has not reached a base to which he is forced is put out by a defensive player in possession of the ball.
If the batter manages to hit the ball, all nine defensive players become active and use the ball in attempting to prevent the batter from reaching base and runners already on base from advancing or scoring. while the offense is busy attempting to move runners around the baseball diamond toward home plate, the defense uses the ball in various ways to achieve outs.
If the defense forces three outs, their team is moved into the offensive role. The exception is if it is the ninth or an extra inning and they are ahead, in which case, the game ends and the defensive team wins.
In cricket, the fielding team is the defense, while the batting team is the offense; the batting team can only put two players on the field at a time.By getting the batting team's batsmen out before they can hit the ball to the boundary or run between the two batsmen's grounds, the fielding team can prevent the batting team from scoring points. Players can be gotten out if they hit the ball in the air and it is caught by a defensive player before touching the ground, or if the ball hits a batsman's wicket, either when delivered by the bowler or when the batsman is not in his ground. By getting all but one of the batting team's players out, the fielding team ends their opponent's scoring turn, and may begin its own scoring turn next (though it can choose not to, in the case of the follow-on).
In ice hockey, there are normally two defencemen on the ice. One is usually a more offensive player better known for their ability to glean assists or goals rather than for their strong defensive play. Such players are known as offensive defencemen. The other is usually in a more defensive role and rarely show-up on the score sheet but are important for their defensive prowess; these players are known as stay-at-home defence.
In water polo, if an offensive player, such as the center forward, has the ball in front of the goal, and the defender cannot steal the ball, he may intentionally commit a foul. The forward then has a free throw but must pass the ball off to another offensive player, rather than making a shot at the goal. Defensive perimeter players may also intentionally cause a foul and then move toward the goal, away from their attacker, who must take a free throw. This technique, called 'sloughing', allows the defense an opportunity to double-team the center forward and possibly steal the inbound pass. The water polo referee may refrain from declaring a foul caused by a defensive player, if in his judgment this would give the advantage to the defending team. This is known as the Advantage Rule.
|Positions in American football and Canadian football|
|Offense (Skill position)||Defense||Special teams|
|Linemen||Guard, Tackle, Center||Linemen||Tackle, End, Edge rusher||Kicking players||Placekicker, Punter, Kickoff specialist|
|Quarterback (Dual-threat, Game manager, System)||Linebacker||Snapping||Long snapper, Holder|
|Backs||Halfback/Tailback (Triple-threat, Change of pace), Fullback, H-back, Wingback||Backs||Cornerback, Safety, Halfback, Nickelback, Dimeback||Returning||Punt returner, Kick returner, Jammer, Upman|
|Receivers||Wide receiver (Eligible), Tight end, Slotback, End||Tackling||Gunner, Upback, Utility|
|Formations (List) — Nomenclature — Strategy|
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing its players to run the bases, having them advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
Softball is a game similar to baseball played with a larger ball on a field that has base lengths of 60 feet, a pitcher's mound that ranges from 35–43 feet away from home plate, and a home run fence that is 220–300 feet away from home plate, depending on the type of softball being played. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago, Illinois, United States as an indoor game. The game moves at a faster pace than traditional baseball due to the field being smaller and the bases and the fielders being closer to home plate. There is less time for the base runner to get to first while the opponent fields the ball; yet, the fielder has less time to field the ball while the opponent is running down to first base.
A bunt is a batting technique in baseball or fastpitch softball. To bunt, the batter loosely holds the bat in front of home plate and intentionally taps the ball into play. A properly executed bunt will create weak contact with the ball and/or strategically direct it, forcing the infielders to make a difficult defensive play to record an out.
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes their turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the (home) umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. In addition to this primary duty, the catcher is also called upon to master many other skills in order to field the position well. The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket, but in cricket, wicketkeepers are increasingly known for their batting abilities.
In the game of baseball, the official scorer is a person appointed by the league to record the events on the field, and to send the official scoring record of the game back to the league offices. In addition to recording the events on the field such as the outcome of each plate appearance and the circumstances of any baserunner's advance around the bases, the official scorer is also charged with making judgment calls that do not affect the progress or outcome of the game. Judgment calls are primarily made about errors, unearned runs, fielder's choice, the value of hits in certain situations, and wild pitches, all of which are included in the record compiled. This record is used to compile statistics for each player and team. A box score is a summary of the official scorer's game record.
The rules of baseball differ slightly from league to league, but in general share the same basic game play.
A baseball field, also called a ball field, sandlot or a 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.
In baseball, interference occurs in situations in which a person illegally changes the course of play from what is expected. Interference might be committed by players on the offense, players not currently in the game, catchers, umpires, or spectators. Each type of interference is covered differently by the rules.
In baseball, batting is the act of facing the opposing pitcher and trying to produce offense for one's team. A batter or hitter is a person whose turn it is to face the pitcher. The three main goals of batters are to become a baserunner, to drive runners home or to advance runners along the bases for others to drive home, but the techniques and strategies they use to do so vary. Hitting uses a motion that is virtually unique to baseball, one that is rarely used in other sports. Hitting is unique because it involves rotating in the horizontal plane of movement, unlike most sports movements which occur in the vertical plane.
Pesäpallo is a fast-moving bat-and-ball sport that is often referred to as the national sport of Finland and has some presence in other countries including Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada's northern Ontario. The game is similar to brännboll, rounders, and lapta, as well as baseball.
A hit and run is a high risk, high reward offensive strategy used in baseball. It uses a stolen base attempt to try to place the defending infielders out of position for an attempted base hit.
Bat-and-ball games are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at a dedicated player of the attacking team, who tries to hit it with a bat and run between various safe areas in the field to score points, while the defending team can use the ball in various ways against the attacking team's players to prevent them from scoring when they are not in safe zones. The best known modern bat-and-ball games are baseball and cricket, with common roots in the 18th-century games played in England.
This is an alphabetical list of selected unofficial and specialized terms, phrases, and other jargon used in baseball, along with their definitions, including illustrative examples for many entries.