The batter’s box in baseball refers to an area in which the batter stays whilst at-bat. The purpose of the batter’s box is to give the batters and defense a fair, consistent area to play in. An umpire is usually positioned behind the batter, in order to judge the pitcher’s technique.
Where is the Batter’s Box?
The batter’s box is located adjacent to the home plate, facing the pitcher’s mound. There are two batter’s boxes side by side, which can be used interchangeably depending on the batter’s dominant hand.
How Big is the Batter’s Box?
The batter’s box is 4ft wide and 6ft long. It’s a rectangular shape, marked immediately to the side of the home plate. There are two batter’s boxes opposite each other, to accommodate the handedness of the batter.
Rules of the Batter’s Box
Along with every position in baseball, there are rules surrounding the batter’s box and how a player must behave whilst standing in one.
- Batters cannot leave the box during a pitch.
- A batter can choose between each of the two boxes, regardless of handedness. Some batters are ambidextrous and can choose or swap over to another box.
- A Batter must keep both feet inside the box before the pitch and their swing.
When can Batters Leave the Box?
Despite needing to keep their feet in the box during specific times during the pitch, a batter can leave the box in certain situations.
- The batter takes a swing at a pitch
- A check swing is appealed.
- The team is granted time.
- A member of the defense attempts a play on a base runner.
- The batter is thrown off-balance by a pitch.
- A wild pitch is thrown.
- The batter feints a bunt.
- The catcher leaves the box to relay signals.
The pitcher leaves the dirt of the pitcher’s mound to retrieve the ball.