Center field is a specific position on a baseball team as well as a specific location on a baseball field. This location is guarded by a player called the centerfielder, and this player must field any balls that are hit into the sizable center field area. But a lot of people wonder about the dimensions of center field. How long is center field?
Center field for most high school, college, and professional ballparks are roughly 400 feet (122m) from home plate while most youth baseball fields are roughly 275 feet (83m) from home plate.
There is no standard set of rules for how long center field has to be, but each division of baseball typically has its own guidelines for how long center field can be for their players.
Keep reading to learn more in detail about the dimensions of the centerfield. We will also explore where you can find centerfield in a baseball stadium and the variations in centerfield size from amateur to professional baseball. By the end of this article, you will better understand the layout and areas of a baseball stadium.
Where Is Center Field in a Baseball Stadium?
The exact dimensions of baseball stadiums vary depending on the stadium, with a majority of the differences coming from how the outfields are built. So centerfield is not always the same across every stadium. But what about the location? Where can you find centerfield in a baseball stadium?
Centerfield is the grassy area behind second base that extends towards the outfield fence. While there are no lines that distinctly define center field, center field is the general area of the outfield that sits between right field and left field.
In other words, center field is the middle section of the outfield.
On either side of center field is right and left field, and they extend from centerfield out to the foul line.
In some stadiums, there is a dark-colored screen behind center field that is called the “batter’s eye” or “batter’s eye screen”.
This screen is located behind center field and directly in view when looking out towards the field from home plate. As a result, the batter will use the contrast in color between the white baseball and the dark screen behind the pitcher to better see incoming pitches.
This screen allows batters to hit baseballs with accuracy even when thrown at high speeds.
What Are the Dimensions of Center Field in Youth Baseball?
The center field and outfield dimensions vary from stadium to stadium when in the professional leagues. However, what about when playing baseball for a youth team? What dimensions should you expect to see? Specifically, how far is center field from the home plate in youth baseball?
In youth baseball, the center field fence is roughly 335 feet from home plate for higher levels of youth baseball. Depending on the pitching distance, other youth baseball fields will have their center field between 200 feet and 300 feet from home plate.
The dimensions of centerfield in youth baseball vary depending on the age of the playing children, their skill level, the pitching distance, and the base path distance for the league. However, the distances of center field are shorter than adult baseball, and center field must be less than 335 feet (102.10m) from home plate at the higher levels of the youth game.
The table below is a breakdown of how long center field should be for each pitching distance. This information is courtesy of CoverSports.
|League Name||Pitching Distance||Base Path Distance||Distance From Home Plate to Center Field Fence|
|Pinto Baseball||38 Feet||60 Feet||175 Feet|
|Little League||46 Feet||60 Feet||275 Feet|
|Bronco Baseball||50 Feet||70 Feet||275 Feet|
|Pony Baseball||54 Feet||80 Feet||275 Feet|
|High School, College & Professional Baseball||60 Feet 6 Inches||90 Feet||400+ Feet|
To see additional info for general rules around how long center field should be based on the dimensions of the baseball diamond, check out this article from Turface Athletics. You can see from this chart that a majority of youth baseball diamonds have a center field that is between 200 feet and 300 feet from home plate.
Why Do Youth Baseball Fields Have Different Center Field Distances?
Youth baseball fields are adjusted according to age and ability level to allow for different talent levels to hit home runs still and play the game.
If the field dimensions were not altered in youth baseball, it would be extremely difficult for kids to hit home runs. It would also be extremely difficult for outfielders to make a long throw from the outfield fence to the infield.
Adjustments to field sizes come when teams move up to a higher standard of playing or when players reach certain ages where physical developments allow for better performance.
For example, in boys’ baseball, the field gets larger when players reach age 12 as their shoulders develop and allow for longer throws.
Which MLB Stadium Has the Longest Center Field From Home Plate?
As we’ve mentioned before, baseball stadiums vary in size. Some stadiums are enormous, while others pale in comparison. Baseball fields also vary in size, even at the highest levels of the game. So which Major League Baseball stadium has the deepest center field?
Comerica Park in Detroit is the MLB stadium with the longest center field from home plate at 420 feet (128m). The second deepest center field is Coors Field in Colorado at 415 feet (126.4m), which is then followed by three stadiums that boast center field depths of roughly 410 feet (124.8m).
While Comerica Park has the deepest center field, it’s not the deepest centerfield ever in a baseball stadium. The Polo Grounds is a stadium that hosted the Giants from 1892 to 1957 and had the deepest ever centerfield in a baseball stadium in MLB at roughly 500 feet (152 meters).
Polo Grounds had a horseshoe-shaped boundary to the outfield. As a result, the boundary extended further away at the centerfield. The center field was so deep that they reduced it from 500 feet (152 m) down to 483 feet (147.2m).
Which MLB Baseball Stadium Has the Shortest Centerfield From Home Plate?
We’ve already specified where center field is in a stadium and explored which stadiums have the deepest center field. We’ve even taken a look at the longest centerfield ever, but we’ve yet to explore which MLB stadium had the shortest centerfield from home.
The MLB stadium with the shortest center field from home plate is Fenway Park in Boston at 390 feet (118.2m). Fenway Park is home to the Boston Red Sox and is also the oldest MLB stadium still in use with the smallest outfield area as it also has short left and field areas.
Fenway Park was opened in 1912 and has been home to the Boston Red Sox ever since. The iconic stadium also has a 37 foot, 2 inch(11.33 m) tall left-field wall known as the Green Monster. The wall is 310 feet (94 m) from home plate, making it an ideal target for right-handed batters.
If you’re interested in some Fenway Park trivia, read my previous article to learn more about the ground-rule triple myth at Fenway Park.
There are no universal dimensions for center field in baseball, but most center fields share some commonalities.
Most high school, college, and professional baseball stadiums boast center fields close to 400 feet (121.92 m) from home plate. Fenway Park has a center field of only 390 feet (118.87 m), while Comerica Park is the longest at 420 feet (128.01 m).
The dimensions of centerfield in baseball fields also vary depending on the age and ability level of the players. Youth baseball players play on smaller diamonds that vary depending on age and skill. As a result, several factors influence center field dimensions which means that no baseball field is exactly the same.
Learn More About How to Play Center Field
This article is one part of a complete guide on how to play center field.
To learn more about how to play center field, read these additional articles:
- What Is a Center Fielder in Baseball?
- Center Fielder Roles and Responsibilities
- 9 Characteristics of Good Center Fielders
- The Dimensions of Center Field in Baseball
- Where to Stand in Center Field?
- Who Is the Cutoff Man for Center Fielders?
- 4 Scenarios Where Center Fielders Should Back Up Teammates
- What Size Glove Should a Center Fielder Wear?
- 9 Reasons Center Field Is a Good Position in Baseball
- The Best 14 Drills for Any Baseball Outfielder