Baseball is probably the most popular sport in the United States. There are hundreds of baseball stadiums and grounds that are seen in the States. Baseball is also extremely popular in many European nations, South American nations, and Asian nations such as Japan. There are many different variations of the baseball field and their dimensions that are used throughout the world.
However, international baseball matches, league matches, and Olympic matches are played on standardized baseball fields, that are often termed as the professional dimensions. One must note that the size of the outfield may vary, but the dimensions that are seen within the infield are same for all stadiums and venues. Dimensions for Pony, Bronco, little league, Pinto and softball are however different.
The Knickerbocker Rules are probably the earliest baseball rules that were devised by Alexander Cartwright and Daniel Adams, who headed the Knickerbocker Baseball Club. The Knickerbocker rules are largely considered to be the basis of the modern baseball game that we play today.
One of the most significant aspect of the Knickerbocker rules was that these dimensions were synchronized, perfected, and successfully tested by the Club. The official field dimensions that we see today are evolved and upgraded versions of the original Knickerbocker rules. One unique fact about the outfield dimensions is that they are never the same for all stadiums. Essentially, the outfield is also unique for every stadium.
Baseball Field Dimensions
A baseball field is principally divided into two parts, namely the infield and outfield (which is sometimes also known as the baseball diamond). The bases, pitchers mound and home plate, are all constituents of the infield. The outfield is a huge grass plain, that lies beyond the infield. The outfield and its dimensions often differ from ground to ground. Let us have a look at the dimensions and constituents of the infield.
- Home Plate: The home plate is a 17 sq. inch rubber plate that is used to identify the batter's position. The home plate is surrounded by 2 batter's boxes on either sides. A catcher's box lies directly behind the home plate. Directly in front of the home plate is the pitcher's mound. The distance between the pitcher's mound and home plate is exactly 60' and 6".
- Pitcher's Mound: The pitcher's mound, which is also known as the bowler's mound, is the place where the bowler stands to pitch the ball.
- Base: A base is a corner of the enormous square that is found in the infield. The total surface area of the square that is formed by the 3 bases and home plate is about 90 square feet. The distance between the home plate and first base is 88 feet and same goes for the remaining bases. It must be noted that the distance between the bases is exactly equal. Three rubber plates or sand bags are used in order to denote the bases. The distance within 2 base points, not counting the sand bags, is 90 feet. In short, though the distance is 90 feet, the player has to run 88 feet.
- Base Lines: The base lines are drawn in between the bases and indicate the boundary of the strike area. Two of the base lines, the one running from home plate to base one and one running from home plate to base three, are extended till the end of the ground. These lines are known as the foul lines and the batsman is not allowed to hit the ball beyond these lines.
- Infield Boundary: The infield is denoted with the help of a curve that extends between the enormous 'V', that is created by the base lines. The center point of the curve is the pitcher's mound and measures 95 feet of radius.