Pitch (sports field)

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Comparison of the playing area for various sports to scale

A pitch or a sports ground is an outdoor playing area for various sports. The term pitch is most commonly used in British English, while the comparable term in American and Canadian English is playing field or sports field.

In most sports the official term is field of play, although this is not regularly used by those outside refereeing/umpiring circles.[citation needed] The field of play generally includes out-of-bounds areas that a player is likely to enter while playing a match, such as the area beyond the touchlines in association football and rugby or the sidelines in American and Canadian football, or the "foul territory" in baseball.

The surface of a pitch is most commonly composed of sod (grass), but may also be artificial turf, sand, clay, gravel, concrete, or other materials. A playing field on ice may be referred to as a rink, for example an ice hockey rink, although rink may also refer to the entire building or, in the sport of curling, to either the building or a particular team.

In the sport of cricket, the cricket pitch refers not to the entire field of play, but to the section of the field on which batting and bowling take place in the centre of the field. The pitch is prepared differently from the rest of the field, to provide a harder surface for bowling.

A pitch is often a regulation space, as in an association football pitch.

The term level playing field is also used metaphorically to mean fairness in non-sporting human activities such as business where there are notional winners and losers.[1]

Fields of play in various sports[edit]


A football pitch,
surrounded by running tracks for athletics

Baseball diamond marines.jpg

Baseball field (or diamond)

Dairy Creek Park Hillsboro Oregon court.JPG

Basketball court

Croke park all ireland.jpg

Camogie, Gaelic football,
and hurling pitch

Ebernoe Cricket Pitch - geograph.org.uk - 44629.jpg

Cricket pitch

Field Hockey Rio 2007.jpg

Hockey field


Ice hockey rink

Butts Park Arena - stand&park 27s06.jpg

Rugby pitch

Thialf stadion 2008.jpg

Speed skating rink

LapanganTenis Pusdiklat.jpg

Tennis court

1Dunc Gray Velodrome.jpg

Velodrome (Track Cycling)

Sollentunavallen Helenelund-AIK.JPG

Bandy rink

Field sizes[edit]

Sport Shape Field
Width Total
Badminton (singles) Rectangular 13.40 m 17.40 m 5.18 m 8.18 m
Badminton (doubles) Rectangular 13.40 m 17.40 m 6.10 m 9.10 m
Volleyball Rectangular 18.00 m 24-31 m 9.00 m 15-19 m
Tennis (singles) Rectangular 23.77 m 37.00 m 8.23 m 18.00 m
Tennis (doubles) Rectangular 23.77 m 37.00 m 10.93 m 18.00 m
Swimming (short course) Rectangular 25.00 m - 20.00 m -
Basketball (FIBA) Rectangular 28.00 m - 15.00 m -
Basketball (NBA) Rectangular 28.70 m - 15.20 m -
Futsal Rectangular 38-42 m - 20-25 m -
Swimming (Olympic) Rectangular 50.00 m - 25.00 m -
Short track speed skating Oval 60.00 m - 30.00 m -
Ice hockey (IIHF) Rounded rectangular 61.00 m - 30.00 m -
Ice hockey (NHL) Rounded rectangular 61.00 m - 26.00 m -
Track and field (indoor) Oval 90.03 m - 45.78 m -
Field hockey Rectangular 91.40 m - 55.00 m -
Bandy Rectangular 100-110 m - 60-65 m -
Association football Rectangular 100-110 m - 64-75 m -
American football Rectangular 91.80 m 110.00 m 48.75 m -
Rugby league Rectangular 100.00 m 112-122 m 68.00 m -
Rugby union Rectangular 94-100 m 138-144 m 68-70 m -
Canadian football Rectangular 101.00 m 137.00 m 59.00 m -
Baseball Diamond 92-128 m - 92-128 m -
Cricket Oval 137-150 m - 137-150 m -
Australian rules football Oval 135-185 m - 110-155 m -
Long track speed skating Oval 178.00 m - 66.00 m -
Track and field (outdoor) Oval 176.91 m - 92.52 m -

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kapstein, Ethan B (16 Dec 2010). Economic Justice in an Unfair World: Toward a Level Playing Field. Princeton University Press. 

External links[edit]