A baseball field, sometimes called a sandlot, baseball diamond or a baseball field, is the rectangular area upon which the sport of baseball is played. The word is also used as a generic metonym for any outdoor baseball park. In the United States, there are currently fourteen major league baseball teams, including two independent teams and several minor league teams. Although baseball has developed a unique identity, due to its Association football like structure, there are differences between the way baseball fields are organized in the United States and overseas. The professional and amateur baseball leagues in the United States and many other countries have evolved their own structures based on considerations of the sport, player safety, maintaining financial support and maintaining the long-term maintenance of the baseball field.
Major League Baseball, the governing body for baseball in the United States, requires baseball fields to be able to withstand severe weather conditions, namely rain, snow and high winds. Constant renovations and restorations are done on a regular basis to ensure the integrity of the field and its ability to sustain wear and tear. The professional baseball league in America has also set guidelines for specific industries that use stadiums as their primary workplace and require them to be built to the highest standards of safety.
Many teams and baseball leagues have their own official rules regarding baseball field design, construction, maintenance and play. These rules are referred to as either “local” or “professional” rules. Major League Baseball has regional baseball championships that the winner typically receives a championship trophy as well as the right to host future regional championship games.
An exhibition baseball game is referred to as an exhibition game. It is played between different teams that meet in separate baseball stadiums. Many baseball fields are configured for baseball games between teams that do not share a regular playing schedule. There are occasional exhibition games that are played between two teams that are part of the same division but which only play against each other when their regular schedules allow.
Exhibition baseball is different from regular baseball because it is usually an up and down affair that alternates between teams. Exhibition games are sometimes played on a weekday rather than a weekend. Daytime baseball field surfaces are usually more fertile than that of an evening or afternoon. During daytime baseball games a more fertile playing surface is required. A normal baseball field is rectangular in shape and consists of nine regular bases, three foul poles, and one backup base. The pitching mound is placed inside the home plate along with the dugout.
There are professional baseball leagues that stage exhibitions and other special events. For example, the Little League Baseball team plays a regular season baseball game against opposing teams from other areas of the country. This type of baseball field is generally referred to as a regional or national baseball field. The U.S. Baseball team plays a series of exhibition games against various international teams; this type of baseball field is known as an international baseball field.
Major league baseball is played on a rectangular baseball field that features twenty-two bases plus one extra base. The right-handers usually throw from the right side of the diamond, while the left-handed batter throws from the left side. Except for the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who play at home, every other team in Major League baseball play on the road. About three-fourths of all Major League baseball games are played on Sundays. Spring Training baseball is scheduled for several days before each Major League baseball team's season begins.
Professional baseball fields are designed to withstand the maximum amount of wear and tear. The dimensions and shape of a baseball field are especially important if the sport is being played indoors because stadiums that are used for baseball games must be designed to ensure safety. Outsized baseball fields are often installed outdoors for special occasions such as outdoor parties. Sports teams often rent baseball field space when they need to play on a temporary field for an event.
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