How far is it from home to 2nd?
Have you ever gotten to the field and had to set up the bases? First and third are not too bad and are often permanently marked for the different base lengths. But how about second base? Often, second as just approximated.
Rule 1.04 of the official baseball rules, documents how to create a baseball field. The distance from home plate to second base is the first dimension applied after the location of home plate is established. The rule book lists the distance as 127 feet, 3 3/8 inches. That, of course, is for a major league diamond that uses 90 foot base paths. Recreation baseball does not encounter 90 foot bases until the players are about 15 years old. To calculate the distance use the formula for a hypotenuse which is the square root of (length squared plus width squared). Length and width is the base path length. Above is a table showing the distance from home to second (and third to first) for fields of various base paths.
|127 ft. 3 3/8 in.|
|120 ft. 2 1/2 in.|
|113 ft. 1 5/8 in.|
|106 ft. 0 4/5 in.|
|91 ft. 11 in|
|84 ft. 10 1/4 in.|
Home Plate Area
When I arrive for a recreational game, very seldom do I find the home plate area properly laid-out. There are times I have to rub out some of the chalked lines because they cause more confusion than guidance. Often, for games to be played under the Official Baseball Rules and find the batter’s boxes drawn for Little League. The linked form is a composite drawing of the home plate area that shows the dimensions and differences of the two rule books (OBR vs. Little League).
Click here to display the Color coded Adobe printable version of the composite, or
Click here to display the Black on White Adobe printable version of the composite.
The Strike Zone
The “bread and butter” of umpiring is “on the plate.” (I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist the pun, but it may serve as a good memory tip and help you remember it.) What I am referring to is that area commonly known as the strike zone. Umpires eventually grow into their own perspective of that nebulous area. Often that process is just a trial-and-error campaign to reduce the noise that comes from the benches. The following is a detailed look at the zone that may help you form your perspective sooner and avoid some of the growing pains.
Click here to display the printable version of the Strike Zone graphic.
6.07 (Batting out of Turn)
The rule book goes on for two full pages explaining and giving examples of this rule. I’ve created a diagram (a flowchart) that I believe simplifies the presentation. I have received favorable feedback over the years. ( If it moves you one way or the other, slip me an e-mail).
Click here to display the printable version of the Rule 6.07 (Batting Out of Turn) Flowchart graphic.
The decision of Fair/Foul must be immediate and correct. Once a bat makes contact with a pitch, Fair/Foul is the umpire’s top priority. A batted ball can progress through various stages. Each stage has its own set of decisive factors by which Fair/Foul can be determined. I have attempted to show the life of a batted ball and identify the points of decision that can occur in each phase.
(I have spent more than twenty years as a business systems analyst, which requires being able to reduce complex processes down to their most basic steps. This is my attempt to apply the skills of my trade to the process of determining Fair/Foul. I found there is more to this “quick and simple” decision than most people realize.)
The Point of Decision diagram appears to be more complex than the 6.07 flowchart (above). Do not be threatened by the initial appearance. Take it slow and easy and it will quickly fall into place. (This diagram is relatively new and I would appreciate your comments on this diagram. After you have viewed the diagram, please click here to complete a very quick survey.)
Click here to display the printable version of the Fair/Foul Point of Decision graphic.