Starting with home plate, all of the bases form the Diamond Square. Standing at home plate and gazing into the infield, first base is 90 degrees to the right and 90 feet away. The third base is on the left, while the second base is located between **the first and third bases**. The dirt between each base is called the path. At home plate there are 10 inches between each base.

The area around home plate is called the strike zone. If the ball is not hit within this zone, that is, if it's not foul, then the umpire will call a strike.

The width of **the strike zone** is variable. But generally, it's half the distance from **one edge** of the plate to the other. So, if the space between the edges of the plate is 20 inches, then the strike zone is 10 inches.

But the rule is subject to change at any time. During play, an umpire has the final say on whether or not the ball was in fact hit within the strike zone. He or she makes this decision by looking at several factors, such as where the ball landed and who made contact with it. The umpire also takes into account how close players are to the ball when making **this determination**. For example, if the batter hits the ball but another player gets to it first, the umpire may call a strike even if the ball crossed the plate.

Home plate to first base—Measure the distance between the rear white section of home plate and the back corner of first base. Measure from the rear corner of the first base to the precise centre of the second base. This is known as the foul line. The distance from home plate to the foul line is 60 feet, 6 inches.

These measurements must be taken while the ball is placed on **its side**. If it is held in the hand or thrown into the air when taking these measurements, the results will be inaccurate.

The process of measuring for **baseball fields** is called "setting the diamond".

Setting the diamond consists of **two steps**: marking the field and measuring the field.

When preparing **a new field**, it's best to have the lines on which to measure the field painted on the ground before any dirt is put on the surface. This makes it easier to locate **important points** while marking out the batter's box, pitcher's mound, and first and third bases.

To mark the field, use an iron rod about 2 feet long with a flat end. Drive the rod into the ground at each of the four corners of **the square area** where you want the base lines to be, until it comes out level with the dirt.

Baseball Fields A regular high school baseball surface has 90 feet between the bases; a base runner traveling from home to second traverses 180 feet. From the back tip of home plate to second base, the distance across the infield is 127 feet, 3 3/8 inches. The ball is 6 inches in diameter.

From first base toward **third base**, the runnner travels 220 feet. From first base over towards second base, the runner has 300 feet to cover before reaching safety.

The average speed of a major league player at any position during a game is about 25 miles per hour. To put this into perspective, a sprinter can reach a top speed of 20 miles per hour and a marathoner averages about 4 miles per hour. This means that a major leaguer takes about four minutes to cover 100 yards!

A major league pitcher throws about 60 feet balls per minute. That's about six miles per hour! A major league hitter watches about three pitches per game on average, which is about 90 feet long. A major league game lasts **about five hours**, so the batter gets **about 450 swings** per game. This is equivalent to hitting **about one hundred balls** per day!

A minor league player has an average speed of about 15 miles per hour and a major league player's speed declines as he gets older due to **more experienced players** on teams stopping him from stealing bags.

In baseball, home plate has **five sides**. The form is exactly defined in MLB's manual under Rule 2.02. A home plate is a 17-inch square with **two corners** cut out. The top edge is 17 inches, while the neighboring sides are 8.5 inches. The bottom edge is also 17 inches.

In addition to the four corner angles, there is one other angle that needs to be considered when determining if something is a home plate. The "bull's-eye" center of the plate is 3 inches from **the top edge** and 4 inches from **any side edge**. If something else is within these distances of the center, it is not a home plate.

The batter stands at the base of the stand where the ball was hit. He or she has the right to stay there until the ball is put into play again or told to move. If he or she does not, then they have taken too long to react to the ball and it is called a balk. This can be cause for a runner to advance one base or another depending on how the play develops.

A batter is free to take his time deciding what kind of pitch he wants to hit; however, once he makes his selection, he must make good on it immediately. If he waits too long, then it is said that he passed on the opportunity and allowed the pitcher to get away with a pitch outside the strike zone.

The location at the intersection of the lines extending from home plate to first and third base is marked as home plate. The pitcher is facing **the 17-inch side** of the plate. The pair of 12 in. High white posts along **the first-base line** are markers for where the pitcher and catcher should stand during a pitch.

In basketball, home court advantage means that a team will likely win if the game is played at their home arena. This is because they can generate more offense (points) and defense (rebounds & blocks) per minute than **their opponents** can on the road.

In **ice hockey**, you would also say that your team has home ice advantage if you are able to produce more goals than your opponent. The reason is that there are less shots on goal at a game than power plays or penalty kills, so you would expect the team with more goals to win.

That same concept applies to soccer. If one team generates more scoring opportunities than their opponents, they will most likely win. Scoring opportunities include goals and penalties.

Home field advantage isn't much of an issue in American football because there are only two minutes left in any quarter. If a team holds a lead at the end of three quarters, it usually continues into **the fourth quarter**. Sometimes games go into overtime but this is rare.