Youth Baseball Glossary

 

  • At Bat – The term or statistic used to denote a batter’s full time spent at the plate.  An at-bat results in either an out or a successfully hit, fair ball.  A walk or hit-by-pitch does not count as an at-bat.  Sacrifice bunts and flies also do not count as an at-bat.
  • Balk – A judgement call by the umpire when he deems the pitcher has illegally deceived the base-runner(s).  When the infraction occurs, the umpire verbally declares it (“that’s a balk” , “Balk!”)  At this point, if a pitch has not been thrown, the play is dead and all runners advance one base.
  • Ball – A pitch that is not swung at and does not pass through the strike zone.
  • Base – Refers to the four bases that an offense must advance around to score a run: First base, Second Base, Third Base, and Home.  (Some will argue that home is not a base).  Except for home (which is a five sided, flat, rubber slab), bases are square, often padded and elevated.
  • Base Hit – A hit that results with the batter reaching a base safely without the defense making an error.
  • Base on Balls (BB) – When the batter collects 4 balls before striking out or hitting a fair ball.  He is awarded first base freely.  Also called a Walk.
  • Baseball Affiliate – An organization that runs leagues and /or tournaments.
  • Baseball Complex – A place with one or more baseball fields.  Often baseball complexes have restrooms and/or concession stands to host baseball leagues or tournaments.
  • Bases Loaded – This is a term used when all bases (1st, 2nd, 3rd) are occupied by runners for the offensive team.
  • Batter – The player who’s turn to bat it is.
  • Batting Average – A statistic that is measured by dividing a player’s at-bats by his successful base hits.
  • Bean Ball – A pitch that hits the batter.  The batter is then awarded first base safely.  Also see: Hit by Pitch.
  • Bleachers – The seats, usually multiple metal benches that elevate like stairs, in which the spectators sit.
  • Bracket – A system used to pit teams against each other where loser’s are eliminated or sent to a different bracket, and winners advance to the next round.  A bracket has rounds until all but one team is eliminated.
  • Bracket Play – A term used in tournaments or playoffs that denotes the elimination round that determines a tournament champion.
  • Bunt – When a batter holds the bat out over the plate and lets the ball hit / catches the ball / taps the ball as it is pitched.  A bunt is usually a ball hit softly in the infield for the purpose of trying to reach first base or to advance a runner to another base.  See: Sacrifice Bunt.
  • Catch – The term used for a ball that is successful caught in a glove or it is a term that defines the action of throwing the ball back and forth between two players (play catch).
  • Catcher – The player who squats behind home plate and catches the pitches thrown by the pitcher.
  • Center Field – The area in the outfield directly behind 2nd base all the way to the outfield fence.
  • Center Fielder – The player who defends the center field area.
  • Cut-Off – When a throw is stopped short of its target in order to change directions, or get to its destination quicker.
  • Cut-Off Man – The player assigned with splitting the difference between the fielder with the ball and the destination in which the team wants the ball to go.  This defensive player can help with a throw that is too long for the player to make successfully and quick enough.
  • Double – A successful base hit in which the batter reaches second base safely without an error from the other team.
  • Double Elimination – A tournament or bracket in which teams are not eliminated until they lose two games.
  • Double Play – When the defense records two outs in one play.
  • Double Steal – When the offense attempts to steal two bases with two different players on one play.
  • Dugout – The area where the players sit and congregate when they aren’t playing defense in the field or actively on offense.  This is usually a closed off area with a bench where the team’s equipment is kept.
  • Error – The term and statistic used when a fielder unsuccessfully makes a play that an average player should often make.
  • Fair Ball – A ball hit by the batter that successfully stays or lands in the area between the 1st and 3rd base lines that extend all the way out to the foul poles.
  • Fair Territory – The area in between the two lines that advance from from home to first base and third base all the way out to the foul poll respectively.
  • Field Umpire – Depending on the level of play, there could be 1 or more umpires in the field.  This official in in charge of judgement plays in the field and on the bases among other things.  They position themselves behind a base or in the infield depending on the situation.
  • Fielder – A player on defense.
  • First Base (1B) – The first base that the batter must advance to, if standing on home plate and looking out at the field, it is the base to the right.
  • First Baseman (1B) – The fielder that is playing defense at first base.  He will often stand a few feet inside of fair territory.
  • Fly Ball – A ball hit by the batter that goes up in the air.
  • Foul Ball – A ball that is not hit inside of the fair lines (1st and 3rd base lines.  A foul ball is counted as a strike if the batter does not yet have 2 strikes.
  • Foul Poll – A poll that extends up from the fences at the two points where the 1st and 3rd base lines reach the outfield fence.  The poll is often painted a bright color and helps determine if balls hit over the outfield fence are fair or foul.
  • Foul Territory – Any areas that are outside of the first and third base lines away from the field.  The opposite of fair territory.
  • Grand Slam – A home run with the bases loaded that scores 4 runs.
  • Ground Ball – A ball hit by the batter that rolls or slightly bounces on the ground.
  • Hit by Pitch (HBP)- When a batter is hit by a pitch.  The batter is then awarded first base safely.  Also see: Bean Ball.
  • Hitter – The player that is batting.
  • Home – The base where the batter stands next to.  The pitcher must pitch the ball over home to the catcher each play.  It is the base that a player must start and end at to score a run.
  • Home Plate – The slab used for home base.  It is the shape of a square with a triangle attached to it to form five sides.  The sides of the triangle line up with the first and third base lines and the rest of the plate sits in fair territory.  Home plate is often white and barely rises off the ground.
  • Home-Run – A successful base hit in which the batter safely makes it all the way around the bases without an error by the other team.
  • Infield – The area that is usually outlined by dirt or that is outlined by the defensive infielders.  It is the area that is inside and around the bases.
  • Infield Fly Rule – With runners on first and second or bases loaded and 1 out or less, a fly-ball that can be caught by an infielder under ordinary effort is out.  At the umpires judgement, he declares “infield Fly – Batters Out!”.  At that point, runners can advance at their own risk, but there is no batter-runner forcing them off base if the ball is dropped.  This rule prevents cheap double or triple plays.
  • Infielders – The defensive players that are assigned to bases on the infield.  The first baseman, 2nd baseman, shortstop, third baseman, pitcher and catcher are all infielders.
  • Left Field – The area in the outfield behind the 2nd to 3rd base line.  If you are standing on home plate looking out at the field, it is the outfield area to your left.
  • Left Fielder – The defensive player who defends the left field area.
  • Line Drive – A ball hit by the batter that goes straight through the air and does not elevate quickly or much at all.
  • Mound – A small hill in the middle of the infield where the pitcher stands.  The pitching rubber sits on top of the hill.
  • No-Hitter – An event when a team or pitcher prevents the other team from getting any successful hits during the entire games.
  • Out – When a defense successfully disqualifies the batter from running the bases.
  • Outfield – The area outside of the infield, furthest away from the batter.  It is usually grass as opposed to the infield’s dirt.
  • Perfect Game – An event in which a team or pitcher prevents the opposing team from reaching first base in any way.
  • Pick Off – An attempt at throwing to a base to catch the runner when he is leading off.
  • Pickle – A term used for a run down.  It’s when a runner is caught between two bases, the opposing team has that player in a pickle and then tries to get him out.
  • Pitch – The delivery of the ball from the pitcher by throwing it from the pitching rubber to the catcher.
  • PItch Count – The number of pitches that a pitcher has thrown during the game.  This is often recorded so that a pitcher doesn’t get worn out or injured by throwing too many pitches.
  • Pitcher – The player that starts each play by throwing the ball from the pitching rubber to the catcher to try to get the batter out.
  • Pitcher’s Mound – Usually a small hill in the middle of the infield where the pitcher stands.  The pitching rubber sits on top of the hill.
  • Pitcher’s Rubber – The rectangle slab that the pitcher must start his pitch from.
  • Plate Appearance – A batters full time spent at the plate batting.  Any result constitutes a plate appearance once a player is done batting.
  • Plate Umpire – This official wears safety equipment similar to a catcher’s and is in charge calling balls and strikes among other things.  They position themselves in a position behind the catcher to gain a proper view of the pitch.
  • Pool Play – A team usually used in tournaments.  Pool play is when teams play each other in games that determine seedings in a bracket.  Sometimes these are almost used as warm-up games for a tournament, and sometimes these are used to determine which teams advance in the tournament.
  • Pop Fly – A ball hit high up in the air that is usually easily catch-able by a fielder.
  • Rally – A term used by an offense that means to put multiple hits together to earn one or multiple runs.  When a team is losing, they often look to rally.
  • Relay (or Relay Throw) – A throw – usually from the outfield – that is cut off by one or more defensive players before it reaches its destination.
  • Right Field – The area in the outfield behind the 1st to 2nd base line.  If you are standing on home plate looking out at the field, it is the outfield area to your right.
  • Right Fielder – The defensive player who defends the right field area.
  • Rounding – The term used when a runner is turning the corner at a base to go to the next base.  Ideally the player turns a little wide so that he can get to the next base quicker.
  • Run-Batted-In (RBI) – A statistic given to a batter when a runner scores as a result of that batters at-bat.
  • Run Down – When a runner is caught between two bases, the opposing team tries to “run him down” to get him out.  Also referred to as a ‘pickle’.
  • Sacrifice Bunt (SB) – When a batter bunts the ball with the intention to advance one or more runners to the next base.  He is sacrificing himself as an out for the better of the team.
  • Sacrifice Fly (SF) – When a batter hits a fly ball that is deep enough so that one or more runners can advance to the next base.  He is sacrificing himself as an out to help the team.
  • Safe – The term used when a runner or batter is safely on a base.
  • Second Base (2B) – The second base in which the batter must try to advance to.  It is the base in the middle of the field that lines up in a straight line with home plate and the pitcher’s rubber.
  • Second Baseman (2B) – The defensive player who defends the area between 1st and 2nd base.  The usual placement is slightly on the 2nd base side of the middle spot between 1st and 2nd base.
  • Shortstop (SS)- The defensive player who defends the area between 2nd and 3rd base.  The usual placement is slightly on the 2nd base side of the middle spot between 2nd and 3rd base.
  • Single – A successful base hit in which the batter reaches first base safely without an error from the other team.
  • Single Elimination – A tournament or bracket in which teams are eliminated if they lose one game.
  • Slide – A technique by a runner to arrive safely at a base.  This can be head first or feet first, and is when a player dives into a slide in the dirt so that they arrive just at a base and not long or short.  The slide is used on a close play to avoid a tag-out, stop the players momentum, and/or for safety purposes.
  • Sports Complex – A place with one or more sports fields from one or more different sports.
  • Steal – When a runner attempts to advance to the next base during a live pitch.
  • Stolen Base – The term for a successful advance from one base to the next without a hit or walk / When a player steals the next base off of the defense and pitcher.
  • Strike – A pitch that is either swung at, hit foul, or passes through the strike zone without being hit by the bat.
  • Strike Out – This happens when a batter has three strikes against him.  The third and final strike cannot touch the bat for a strike out to occur.
  • Tag Out – The act of touching a live runner with the baseball either in a bare hand or concealed in the glove.  If the runner is not legally occupying (touching) a base, the runner is out.
  • Tag Up – When a fielder catches a ball in the air and records an out, if it’s not the third out, runners can then try to advance to the next base at their own risk.  A player must be touching his current base when the ball is caught before leaving.  This is tagging up.
  • Take – When a batter intentionally watches a pitch go by without swinging at it for strategical purposes.
  • Take til You Get – When a batter takes all pitches until the pitcher successfully throws a strike.  This is often a call by the coach to put pressure on the pitcher to throw strikes.
  • Third Base – The third base in which the batter must try to advance to.  It is the base on the left if you are standing on home plate, facing the field.
  • Third Baseman – The defensive player who stands a few feet away from third base inside fair territory.
  • Tournament – An event where multiple teams from similar or exact age groups and play games to determine a champion.
  • Tournament Director / Tournament Host – A person or group of people that manage a tournament.
  • Triple – A successful base hit in which the batter reaches third base safely without an error from the other team.
  • Triple Crown – A baseball affiliation that sanctions baseball leagues and tournaments.  Also a term used in the Major Leagues for a player that led the league in batting average, home runs, and RBIs.
  • Triple Play – When a defensive team records three outs on one play.
  • Umpire – The authority figure in a baseball game who officiates the game.  The umpire calls balls, strikes, outs, foul balls, etc.
  • USSSA – A sports affiliation that sanctions leagues and tournaments.
  • Walk (BB) – When the batter collects 4 balls before striking out or hitting a fair ball.  He is awarded first base freely.  Also called Base on Balls.