Baseball is a sport that uses a bat, ball and a glove played by two teams of nine that take turns during batting and fielding, in a wide diamond-shaped area with four bases. The objective of the game is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent. This game requires fit and strong physique as player fundamentals involve running, fielding, catching and batting balls, sometimes with occasional slides and strides on the bases. This sport is widely popular in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and East Asia.
Parts of the Baseball Field
Before we go to dimensions of the baseball field across different leagues, let us be familiar with the parts of the baseball field. The basic appearance of the baseball field is a wide area in which the diamond-shaped circuit of four bases are enclosed, like the illustrated image.
The first base is the first of all the bases that much be touch by the player on the batting to score a run. On the defensive end, this base is guarded by a first baseman.
The second base is the second of the bases within the diamond that must be touch by the base runner to score a run. On defense, it was guarded by the second baseman and the short stop. This base is also termed as the keystone sack. The runner in the second base is often regarded as it has entered the “scoring position” because of high likelihood of reaching the home plate from this base on most hits.
The third base is the third of the bases that runner must touch in succession to the second to score a run, at the runner on this base is very valuable to the batting team because of high percentage of scoring a run to the home plate.
Lastly, the home plate, formally known also as the home base is the final base to be touched to score.
Meanwhile, the pitcher’s mound is the place where the pitcher stands and throws the ball to the batter. It was roughly at the middle of the infield but technically it is near to second base than to home plate.
Catcher’s box is the place in the middle of these two batter’s boxes and have a direct sight to the pitcher’s mound.
Field Dimensions and Measurements Across Popular Leagues
The World Baseball Softball Confederation is the world governing body of baseball and softball. This body is the result of the merger of International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF) last 2013. The two former governing body are now “divisions” under the WBSC structure.
Headquartered in the Olympic Capital city of Lausanne, Switzerland, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) governs all international competitions involving any of the National Teams of its 141 National Federation members in territories across Asia, Africa, Americas (Caribbean, Central-, North- and South-America), Europe and Oceania. They also oversees the Softball World Championships, The Premier 12, the World Baseball Classic, and the U12, U15, U18 and U21 Baseball World Cups.
Some of the following popular leagues are listed below together with their respective court dimensions.
Major League Baseball is a professional baseball organization in the United States and Canada. It constitutes as one of the four highest professional competitions of team sports in the said region and oldest of the four based on history.
Today, the league is composed of 30 teams, mostly from vastly populous city across the US and Canada (1 of those teams is from Canada). Each teams play 162 games a season, followed by post-season tournament that culminates in the World Series, a best of seven game series between the two emerging best teams.
League headquarters is at 245 Park Avenue, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, USA.
Diagrams of the Field with Dimensions
- The infield shall be a 90-foot square and shall be graded so that the base lines and home plate are level.
- The outfield shall be the area between two foul lines formed by extending two sides of the square
- The distance from home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on fair territory shall be 250 feet or more.
- The pitcher’s plate shall be 10 inches above the level of home plate. The degree of slope from a point 6 inches in front of the pitcher’s plate to a point 6 feet toward home plate shall be 1 inch to 1 foot, and such degree of slope shall be uniform.
- It is recommended that the distance from home base to the backstop, and from the base lines to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on foul territory shall be 60 feet or more.
- When location of home base is determined, with a steel tape measure 127 feet, 33 /8 inches in desired direction to establish second base.
- From home base, measure 90 feet toward first base; from second base, measure 90 feet toward first base; the intersection of these lines establishes first base. From home base, measure 90 feet toward third base; from second base, measure 90 feet toward third base; the intersection of these lines establishes third base.
- The distance between first base and third base is 127 feet, 33 /8 inches.
- Home base shall be a 17- inch square with two of the corners removed so that one edge is 17 inches long, two adjacent sides are 81 /2 inches and the remaining two sides are 12 inches and set at an angle to make a point.
- It shall be set in the ground with the point at the intersection of the lines extending from home base to first base and to third base; with the 17-inch edge facing the pitcher’s plate, and the two 12-inch edges coinciding with the first and third base lines.
- The top edges of home base shall be beveled and the base shall be fixed in the ground level with the ground surface.
- The first and third base bags shall be entirely within the infield. The second base bag shall be centered on second base. The bags shall be 15 inches square, not less than three nor more than five inches thick, and filled with soft material.
- The pitching mound is an 18′ diameter circle, center of which is 59′ from back of home plate.
- Front edge of rubber is located 18 inches behind center of mound. Front edge of rubber to back point of home plate is 60 feet 6 inches.
- Slope starts 6 inches from front edge of rubber.
- Level area surrounding rubber should be 6 inches in front of rubber, 18 inches to each side and 22 inches to rear of rubber. Total level area 5 feet x 34 inches.
- The dimensions described above are the standard field size of all professional baseball leagues in the world. This field sizes and dimensions also applies to WBSC’s World Classic Baseball, Minor League Baseball (MiLB), and other known world leagues such as Australian Baseball League, Chinese Professional League, Cuban National Series, Korea Baseball Organization, Italian Baseball League, Mexican Baseball League, Nippon Professional Baseball, Netherland Hoofdklasse, and Liga de Beisbol Professional Roberto Clemente.
- Baseball field for college and high school also shares the same dimensions stated above.
Minor League Baseball is also another league in the Americas competing at a lower level than the MLB. It is referred as a developmental league for those players wanting to join and to prepare for MLB. Unlike the MLB, the teams under this league operates as independent businesses and thus independently owned.
Today, 19 affiliated minor baseball leagues operate with 246 member clubs in large, medium, and small towns, as well as the suburbs of major cities, across the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Several more independent leagues operate in the United States and Canada.
MiLB is headquartered at 9550 16th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33716, USA
It is important to note here that while MiLB is a separate league from MLB, the court dimensions are virtually the same as those of MLB. For more details about court dimension, please refer to Major League Baseball (MLB) section of this page.
Little League Baseball, LLB, is a non-profit baseball organization aiming to develop talented young individuals who have talent in baseball. This set of body organizes local youth baseball throughout the US and in other nations namely Israel, Jordan, Russia, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, Poland, Mexico, China, Venezuela, South Africa.
The organization’s administrative office is located in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA.
Please see the diagram for complete details of the dimensions.
- Generally, the distance between base paths on fields for 12-year-olds and below in baseball and in all divisions of softball is 60 feet but local Little League board of directors may opt to use a 50-foot diamond in the Tee Ball divisions. The distance in all divisions of baseball for 13-year-olds, is up to 90 feet, with a local league option to shorten the distance to 75 feet for Junior League Baseball and 70 feet for Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division for regular season play.
- Pitching distance for divisions of baseball for Junior, Senior and Big League Divisions is 60 feet, 6 inches, with a local league option to shorten the distance to 54 feet for Junior League Baseball and 50 feet for Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division for regular season play.
- Distance from the back of home plate to the outfield fence is a local league option, but the following distances are recommended: baseball, Major Division and below, 200 feet; Intermediate (50/70) Baseball is 200 feet and Junior, Senior and Big League Divisions, is 300 feet. See playing rules for tournament distances. For girls softball, all divisions, 200 feet.