answersLogoWhite
Baseball Rules and Regulations

Why is home plate a pentagon rather than a square?


Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
2009-03-13 20:16:59
2009-03-13 20:16:59

Home plate began its baseball career in the nineteenth century as a twelve-inch square, set down like a diamond, with the two sides forming the beginning of the foul lines. Home is the compass by which a baseball field is set. Those foul lines extend up the foul poles and on into infinity. It's the diamond of home plate that starts them running. In the winter of 1899 the Rules Committee extended the bottom of the plate (that is, the side facing the pitcher), creating the foundation of the home plate pentagon/house. That year's Spalding Guide tells us the committee felt the pitcher was handicapped by having to "cut the corners" of the old twelve-inch square. The umpire also found it difficult to judge which pitched balls caught those corners. The guide adds that by making the front of the plate square with a width of seventeen inches, the pitcher is able to see the width of the plate better and the umpire can judge balls and strikes with less difficulty. Moreover, the front of the plate was squared off towards the pitcher to help prevent injury to the batter. Before the change, if the ball hit the edge of the plate, it would skip off at an acute angle. With a perpendicular edge facing the trajectory of the pitch, any ball hitting the edge would be deflected upward instead of skew. the two foul lines form the back edge of the plate

Related Questions

User Avatar

Square. And home plate is a pentagon.

User Avatar

Yes, even though home plate is not shaped like an equal-sided pentagon, it is still a pentagon because it has five sides, just like a square is a rectangle.

User Avatar

Home plate is a pentagon. The bases are called diamonds which is a square but from home plate it is a square on its side. The ball needs to be hit in the arc formed between first and third base.

User Avatar

The only pentagon shape in softball is home plate. It is five sided, a square base with a euclidean triangle on top. It is basically a white slab of rubber.

User Avatar

It is a pentagon, but not a regular pentagon- it is shaped like home plate for baseball or softfball.


Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.