In baseball, the dugout is a team's bench and is located in foul territory between home plate and either first or third base. There are two dugouts, one for the home team and one for the visiting team. In general, the dugout is occupied by all players not prescribed to be on the field at that particular time, as well as coaches and other personnel authorized by the league. The players' equipment (gloves, bats, batting helmets, catcher's equipment, etc.) are usually stored in the dugout.
In baseball, the manager, with the help of his assistants, will dictate offensive strategy from the dugout by sending hand signals to the first and third base coaches. To avoid detection, the first and third base coaches will then translate those hand signals into their own set of hand signals and then send them on to the batter and runners.
The term dugout refers to the area being slightly depressed below field level, as is common in professional baseball. The prevailing theory of the origin of locating the dugouts below field level is that it allowed spectators seated behind the dugouts to see the field, specifically the home plate area. Unlike most other sports, the primary action in baseball is centered on one area – home plate – and obstructing this area from fans' view, even if by players on the bench, would not be popular with fans.
Not all dugouts are located below the field level. At the major league level, the few dugouts that are located at the field level are in multi-purpose stadiums to simplify the conversion from baseball configuration to another sports field configuration. At such ballparks, the seating area is raised such that the dugouts do not obstruct the spectators' view. Dugouts are also at field level at most amateur ballparks, where locating them below field level would be cost prohibitive or otherwise not beneficial. In these cases, the term "dugout" still applies, as does "bench." In the early days of professional baseball, the seating areas were often constructed high enough that the bench was at field level.
Most professional and collegiate ballparks feature dugouts that are below the field level, with concrete steps along the entire length of the dugout. Some feature a railing along the top step, or "lip", while others are open.
In most Major League Baseball ballparks, as well as many minor league ballparks, the dugout is directly connected to the clubhouse by a tunnel.
Most high school, Little League, and recreational ballparks feature dugouts that are at the field level, usually separated from the playing field by chain-link fencing.
Historic Cardines Field in Newport, Rhode Island, home of the Newport Gulls, features both dugouts on the first base side.
MLB rule 3.17specifies that "no one except players, substitutes, managers, coaches, athletic trainers and batboys shall occupy a bench during a game." The rule also stipulates that players on the disabled list are allowed in the dugout, but may not enter the field of play at any time during the game. Players and coaches who have been ejected from the game may not remain in the dugout per Rule 4.07.
Unlike most other sports, where a ball or puck entering a team's bench area has already passed out of bounds and is thus dead before it reaches the bench, it is possible in baseball for a dugout to be a factor in play. MLB rule 6.05(a) states that a fielder may reach into a dugout to catch a fly ball as long as one or both feet is on or over the playing field, and does not have a foot on the ground in the dugout when making the catch. MLB universal ground rules state that the player may subsequently enter the dugout after making the catch if his momentum is carrying him that way, but if he falls in the dugout as a result, the catch is allowed but baserunners advance in accordance with Rule 7.04(c).
A live ball entering a dugout becomes dead and the batter-runner and any base runners advance in accordance with Rule 7.04(c). However, a live ball bouncing off a dugout railing, if present, is still in play (unless a foul ball). Due to the dugouts' location in foul territory, live balls entering dugouts usually only occur after an errant throw by the defensive team.
Which team occupies the dugout on the first-base side or the third-base side is purely arbitrary. The Major League Baseball Rulebook is silent on the subject. There are many anecdotal reasons why one dugout is chosen over the other.[ citation needed ] In the past, the manager also served as the third base coach, so occupying the third base dugout meant less walking for the manager between innings. Contrarily, the thought is that since more close plays occur at first base than third, the first base dugout is preferred. For a pre-existing facility, the home team might choose the better clubhouse and the dugout on that side of the field. (For example, prior to their 2008 move to Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals occupied the third-base dugout at RFK Stadium because it was the larger and newer of the two dugouts.[ citation needed ]) Another factor can be the sun angle during day games. In ballparks where one of the dugouts faces direct sunlight for much of the game, which can be problematic on hot summer days, the home club might choose the dugout that is better shaded.
In both the National League and American League, more home team dugouts are on the first-base side (9 to 6 each). Even the two oldest parks still in use differ on this point: the Cubs sit on the third-base side at Wrigley while the Red Sox inhabit the first-base dugout at Fenway. Due to the ballpark's orientation, at Wrigley the third-base dugout faces away from the sun from noon onward, whereas the first base dugout faces sunlight in the late innings. At Fenway, the third-base dugout faces the sun for part of a day game, while the first-base dugout remains shaded.
First base side
Third base side
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each, taking turns batting and fielding. The game is live when the umpire signals to the pitcher either verbally or by pointing, indicating that the ball is now in play. A player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball that 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, away from the other team's players, 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.
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle the bases and reach home plate safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team. A home run is usually achieved by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles without the ball touching the field. Far less common is the "inside-the-park" home run where the batter reaches home safely while the baseball is in play on the field.
Softball is a game similar to baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. 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.
Catcher is a position in baseball and softball. 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 baseball, the bullpen is the area where relief pitchers warm up before entering a game. A team's roster of relief pitchers is also metonymically referred to as "the bullpen". These pitchers usually wait in the bullpen if they have not yet played in a game, rather than in the dugout with the rest of the team. The starting pitcher also makes their final pregame warm-up throws in the bullpen. Managers can call coaches in the bullpen on an in-house telephone from the dugout to tell a certain pitcher to begin their warm-up tosses.
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.
In baseball, a foul ball is a batted ball that:
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 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.
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 the sports of baseball and softball, a batted ball is a pitch that has been contacted by the batter's bat. Batted balls are either fair or foul, and can be characterized as a fly ball, pop-up, line drive, or ground ball.
In baseball, ground rules are special rules particular to each baseball park (grounds) in which the game is played. Unlike the well-defined playing field of most other sports, the playing area of a baseball field extends to an outfield fence in fair territory and the stadium seating in foul territory. The unique design of each ballpark, including fences, dugouts, bullpens, railings, stadium domes, photographer's wells and TV camera booths, requires that rules be defined to handle situations in which these objects may interact or interfere with the ball in play or with the players.
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.
In baseball, a number of coaches assist in the smooth functioning of a team. They are assistants to the manager, who determines the starting lineup and batting order, decides how to substitute players during the game, and makes strategy decisions. Beyond the manager, more than a half dozen coaches may assist the manager in running the team. Essentially, baseball coaches are analogous to assistant coaches in other sports, as the baseball manager is to the head coach.
In sports, out of bounds refers to being outside the playing boundaries of the field. Due to the chaotic nature of play, it is normal in many sports for players and/or the ball to go out of bounds frequently during a game. The legality of going out of bounds, and the ease of prevention, vary by sport. In some cases, players may intentionally go or send the ball out of bounds when it is to their advantage.
Major League Baseball (MLB) uses instant replay review to allow league officials to review certain types of plays in order to determine the accuracy of the initial call of the umpires on the field. Reviews may be initiated either by a team's manager with limitations or by the umpires themselves. All instant replay reviews are examined by umpires at the Replay Command Center in New York City, who have the final decision as to whether to uphold or overturn the initial call.