Home to First Base Sprinting Speed

Running speed is very important for baseball players, particularly speed between bases. Fitness testing for baseball also commonly uses the 60 yard dash for a speed test. This test involves running a maximum sprint from home to first base.

purpose: The aim of this test is to determine the time to run to first base. It is also a a reliable indicator of speed and agility around the field.

equipment required: marked baseball field, stopwatch.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. Measure and mark out the test area. Perform an appropriate warm up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: The test involves running a maximum sprint from home to first base, with the time recorded. The measurements are often taken during game play, but a testing situation can be set up for measurement purposes. A thorough warm up should be given, including some practice starts and accelerations. Start from a stationary position over the home plate, in preparation to receive a pitch. After hitting the ball, the hitter runs as fast as possible to first base. The tester should provide hints to maximizing speed and encouragement to continue running hard through the first base.

baseball sprint to first base baseball sprint to first base

results: Two trials are allowed, and the best time is recorded to the nearest 1 decimal place. The timing starts from when the ball is hit, and finishes when the foot touches the first base. See the table below for guidelines to rating sprint times. As left handers are closer to first base when hitting, their ratings are lower.

Right Handed Hitter
(seconds)
Left Handed Hitter
(seconds)
Above Average 4.2 4.1
Average 4.3 4.2
Below Average 4.4 4.3
Poor 4.5 4.4

target population: baseball, softball and fastpitch.

reliability: timing reliability is greatly improved if timing gates are used. Also weather conditions and the running surface can affect the results, and these conditions should be recorded with the results.

comments: the distance between home and first base is 90 feet (27.432 meters). Some players with a long follow through will take longer to start sprinting, thereby having a slower score which underestimates their true running speed.

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