The baseball diamond, or the baseball field or ball field is the field on which baseball games are played.
Like it is with any sport, the field upon which the game is played describes baseball. For a better understanding of the way in which the game works, you first need to understand the field. The baseball diamond or the baseball field is a unique type of field in sports. Most team sports (such as, football, basketball and soccer) play on a rectangular field, unlike baseball, which is played on a field that has a wedge shape and resembles the quarter of a circle. The field is most of the times referred to as a diamond, hence the name for the field – baseball diamond.
The lines, named foul lines define the baseball diamond. These two lines meet at home plate and continue outward, in a perpendicular angle to each other, also creating a border on each side of the field delimiting the foul territory from the fair territory. The foul territory consists of everything that is on the outside of the foul line, as well as the area behind the home plate. The foul territory is nominated as “out of play”, meaning that all baseball hits that in that area do not count as a hit. Yet, ball catches in the foul territory are allowed. The foul territory also encompasses: team dugouts, bullpen, base coach’s boxes, on-deck circles and seats.
The fair territory is the area inside the foul lines. On the fair territory is the area of the baseball diamond where the most part of the action of a baseball game takes place. The subdivisions of a fair territory are: the infield and the outfield. The line that divides the two is, on most fields, where the dirt of the infield meets the grass of the outfield. The infield includes the following parts:
- Bases. These represent the four stations (first base, second base, third base and home plate). After hitting the ball into play, the players must run to all these bases. The distance between each of the bases is of 90 feet or 27 meters, in a Major League Baseball game. When a player reaches home plate the run is scored.
- Base paths. The line between each base that the player must follow when running to each base is named base path. If a player runs outside the path, he can be called out.
- Pitcher’s mound. The raised mound of dirt that is in the center area of the infield on which the pitches stands is named the pitcher’s mound.
- Batter’s box. Two small rectangles nearby home plate mark off the batter’s box. The batter has to stay within the borders of the box in order to hit.