Glove and Bat

Understanding Baseball Errors: Types Consequences and Scoring

Baseball is a sport that requires focus, athleticism, and precision from its players. It has been around since the late 1800s and has since become one of the most popular sports in the United States.

Despite its popularity, the rules and terminology used in baseball can be confusing for newcomers. One of the most important aspects of baseball is understanding and dealing with errors.

In this article, we will define what an error is, discuss the different types of errors, the consequences of errors, and how they are scored.

Understanding Baseball Errors

Errors, as the name suggests, are mistakes made by the defensive team. These errors can occur in many ways, including fielding errors, throwing errors, and tagging errors.

Essentially, any time the fielding team fails to make a play that they should have, it can be considered an error. A mistake that results in a batted ball getting past the infield or outfield, or a mistake in throwing the ball to a base or making a tag, can all result in an error.

An error is typically assessed by the official scorer, who is responsible for determining who made the error and whether it was a fielding or throwing error. In certain situations, the defensive team can challenge an error, but the final decision lies with the official scorer.

Types of Fielding Errors

Fielding errors can occur when defenders mishandle a ball hit to them, resulting in the batter reaching base. These can be further broken down into two categories – outfield errors and infield errors.

Outfield errors are mistakes made by the outfielders, typically related to misjudging the flight path of the ball. This can result in the ball bouncing off their glove, or them fumbling the ball as they try to catch it.

These errors often result in advancing the runner to an extra base. Infield errors, on the other hand, are errors made by infielders when trying to field a grounder or make a catch.

These errors can occur due to a lack of coordination between players, being out of position, or fumbling the ball. Infield errors usually result in the batter reaching first base.

Types of Throwing Errors

Throwing errors occur when a defensive player throws the ball inaccurately or excessively and results in the ball traveling either too far or too short of the intended target. One of the most common throwing errors is a wild throw, where the ball is thrown too high or too wide of the base in an attempt to make an out.

Another common throwing error is an overthrow, where the defensive player throws the ball past their intended target.

Types of Tagging Errors

Tagging errors occur when a fielder tags a player advancing towards a base, but either fails to get the tag in time or misses the runner. This can often happen when the fielder is not quick enough or misses the ball as the runner is sliding into the bag.

Consequences of Errors

Errors can have significant consequences in baseball, including giving the opposing team free bases, and changing the outcome of the game. When an error is made, any runners on base are allowed to advance to the next base, without counting against their total number of outs.

This can put them in a better position to score more runs and potentially win the game. Unlike some sports where penalties result in automatic outcomes, baseball has no automatic consequences for making an error.

Instead, the scorekeeper simply records the error, and it becomes part of the official statistics recorded for the game.

Scoring an Error Statistic

Errors are recorded on the game scoresheet with the letter E, followed by the number of the player who made the error. For example, if the second baseman makes a fielding error, it will appear on the scoresheet as E4.

The error statistic is important for analyzing player performance, as it helps to identify areas where a player needs improvement.

Reaching on Error

When a batter reaches base due to an error made on the defensive team, it is known as reaching on an error. This is recorded as an at-bat, but it does not count towards the batter’s batting average.

Instead, it is recorded as “reached base on an error” in the official statistics.


Errors are an important part of baseball, as they can have significant consequences on the outcome of the game. In this article, we discussed the different types of errors, how they are scored, and their consequences.

Understanding errors is vital for both players and fans of the sport, as it helps to provide a better understanding of how the game is played, and how errors can ultimately impact a team’s performance. Errors are a crucial aspect of baseball, which can impact a game’s outcome and a player’s performance.

Fielding, throwing, and tagging are the three types of errors that can occur in baseball, which are scored and recorded in official statistics as an “E” followed by the player’s number. Reaching base on an error is when a batter reaches base due to a defensive error.

Understanding errors can help players identify their weaknesses, improve their skills and performance, and even win a game. FAQs:

Q: What are the different types of errors in baseball?

A: The three types of errors in baseball are fielding, throwing, and tagging errors. Q: Who determines whether an error is made in baseball?

A: The official scorer is responsible for determining whether an error has been made in baseball. Q: What are the consequences of errors in baseball?

A: Errors in baseball can result in giving the opposing team free bases, allowing them to advance to the next base and potentially score more runs. Q: How are errors scored in baseball, and what does it mean for a player’s statistics?

A: Errors are scored with an “E” followed by the player’s number, and it becomes a part of official statistics, identifying areas where a player needs improvement. Q: What is reaching on error?

A: Reaching on error is when a batter reaches base due to a defensive error, which is recorded as an at-bat but does not count towards the batter’s batting average.

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