4 Essential Habits for Batters in the Baseball On Deck Circle: Boost Performance Now


Learn the importance of the baseball on deck circle, and discover four critical preparation habits batters should practice when they are preparing to step up to the bat.

Custom on deck circles Enhance performance and field maintenance.


What is an On Deck Circle?

In baseball and softball, the next batter waits on the on deck circle, often the team’s custom on deck circle, in foul territory.

This position is crucial for the batter’s preparation and is colloquially referred to as being “in-the-hole.”

The on deck circle can be a simple circle in bare dirt, a painted circle on artificial turf, or, at the college and professional level, made from artificial materials such as turf or carpet.

Teams often add their logo in the center for branding and aesthetic purposes.

Major League Baseball Rules for Baseball On Deck Circles

According to Major League Baseball (MLB) rules, there are two on deck circles, one near each team’s dugout.

Each circle is 5 feet in diameter, and the centers of the circles are 74 feet apart.

A straight line drawn between the centers of the two on deck circles should pass 10 feet behind home plate.



Benefits of a Quality Baseball On Deck Circle

A high-quality on deck circle provides several benefits:

  • Defined Space: It offers a designated area for the next batter, ensuring they have space to prepare.
  • Maintenance: It helps reduce high-traffic wear, making field maintenance easier.
  • Branding: It provides an excellent spot for the team logo or sponsorship opportunities, enhancing the field’s appearance and generating potential revenue.

Is the On Deck Circle the Right Place to Stretch?

No, warm-up stretches should be completed before stepping onto the on deck circle.

There are four critical routines to focus on when in the on deck circle, and stretching beforehand allows the batter to concentrate on these essential preparations.


4. Critical Preparations on the Baseball On Deck Circle

Warm Up Swing

  • Use your regular game bat, not a weighted bat. According to exercise physiologists at Louisiana Tech University, swinging a weighted bat can slow down batters.

Observe Pitches

  • Watch the pitches thrown by the pitcher to judge speed and break. This observation helps you prepare to step up to the plate with a better understanding of the pitcher’s style.

Study the Pitcher

  • Analyze the pitcher’s delivery to home plate. This helps with rhythm and timing, which are critical to hitting well. By watching the pitcher, you can determine when to start your load and get your foot down for the swing.

Gather Your Thoughts

  • Use this time to focus on confidence and positive thoughts. Having a specific plan for your time in-the-hole makes you a better hitter. Be prepared, aware of the pitcher, and understand the situation you are stepping into.

Optimum preparation in the on deck circle can make you a better and smarter hitter.


Custom On Deck Circles: A Branding and Functional Tool

Enhance Mats’ durable custom on deck circles are both functional and a great branding statement for your baseball field.

These circles stand up to the wear and tear of spikes and come with a heavy-duty, ADA-compliant rubber reducer edge.

Features of Custom On Deck Circles:

  • Durability: Made to withstand heavy usage.
  • Customization: Over 50 colors to choose from, allowing you to create a custom design.
  • Quality: Inlaid logos, not printed, ensure longevity.
  • Versatility: Can be used to protect your field or practice area.

Each mat is made in the USA to the highest standards. Our design team can quickly provide an art proof and estimate for your matting needs.

FAQs about Baseball On Deck Circles

What materials are used in custom on deck circles? Custom on deck circles are typically made from durable artificial turf or carpet, designed to withstand heavy usage and outdoor conditions.

How do on deck circles help with field maintenance? By providing a designated space for batters, on deck circles reduce high-traffic wear on other parts of the field, making maintenance easier and more efficient.

Can on deck circles be customized for branding? Yes, custom on deck circles often feature team logos or sponsorships, enhancing the field’s appearance and creating additional revenue opportunities.

Why shouldn’t weighted bats be used in the on deck circle? Exercise physiologists have found that using weighted bats can actually slow down batters. It is better to use the regular game bat to prepare for an at-bat.

How do on deck circles contribute to a batter’s preparation? On deck circles provide a space for batters to observe the pitcher, warm up with their regular bat, gather their thoughts, and prepare mentally for their turn at the plate.

What sizes are standard for on deck circles in professional baseball? Professional baseball on deck circles are 5 feet in diameter, with the centers of the circles being 74 feet apart and a line passing 10 feet behind home plate.



The on deck circle is a crucial component of a baseball field, providing batters with a designated space to prepare for their turn at bat.

Custom on deck circles offer additional benefits, such as field maintenance and branding opportunities.

By focusing on critical preparation habits in the on deck circle, batters can enhance their performance and become smarter hitters.

Check out Enhance Mats’ custom on deck circles for durable, high-quality options tailored to your team’s needs.


Enhance Mats Logo

Share this Article