The Ole Ball Game

How far (distance) from the baseline does the dugout must be?

by Tony Dismukes
(Belchertown MA US)

Tony asked: We're rebuilding our dugouts and would like to know we're in compliance with any rules that might be in place, as far as the distance is concerned from the baseline.

Rick answered:Tony, thank you for your question.

Recommended distances vary, depending on the level of the league you are building for.

The Little League recommends 28 feet from the baselines for T ball, minors and majors.

The majors part is not very clear in the rule book, 28 feet for LL Majors seems pretty short.

If it is a majors field you are building on, you might want to contact the Little League and check for sure.

This dimension is optional, not mandatory.

National Federation High School rules recommend 60 feet from the nearest obstruction, or dugout.

All those dimensions are recommended or optional, generally because available space is different in various areas. With screened in dugouts nowadays, the safety issue for shorter lies with the on deck circles.

If there isn't enough room, leagues generally require on deck hitters to warmup behind the dugout.

We played in a tournament in San Diego a few years ago, one field the backstop was only 10 feet from home plate, then the 1b and 3b fences went from there. There was no such thing as a passed ball. No chance to advance.

The school had produced two MLB first round picks over the years. They were land locked, built to the available land they had.

In the dugout, we were right on top of home plate. Strange feeling for sure.

Good luck with your project. From a coaching standpoint, and for the quality of the game itself, if you have the space go bigger, rather than smaller.

Yours in baseball,


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