Can You Slide Into First Base (Major League)
That’s easy. Yes, in Major League Baseball, hitters are allowed to slide into first base.
Other Common Questions about Sliding into First Base
Can You Slide Into First Base (Minor League)?
Yes, minor league baseball players can slide into first base.
Can You Slide Into First Base (Little League and High School)?
In high school, it is legal to slide into first base according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA).
Little league players are also allowed to slide into first base, though headfirst slides are not allowed unless returning to a base.
Should You Slide Into First Base?
This post started on the question of whether you can slide into first base. But like many things in life, the first questions should have been: Should you?
There is no correct answer here, but general consensus is that it’s not really advantageous to do so.
And I mean, Bill Nye has tweeted his firm belief that diving into first base takes longer than just running through the base:
World Series Science: don't dive into 1st base. Instant a runner leaves his feet, he slows down. May have cost Royals a run and the game.
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) October 30, 2014
Statcast doesn’t provide conclusive evidence, but it does suggest that sliding into first base is most likely costing hitters a fraction of a step. And in baseball, fractions of a second matter.
Some reasons why you should not slide into first base:
- More often than not it is slower to slide rather than run through the bag. For more information, see section below.
- Take advantage of the fact that you can run through first base, which is not allowed for second or third base.
- Avoid added injury risk.
And some reasons why players want to slide into first:
- Sliding into first base can help the runner avoid a tag if the first baseman gets pulled off the bag. This can happen due to a high throw (1B jumping up), or on a ball thrown too far left or right (pulling the 1B in that direction). This means the 1B must complete a tag or get back to the base for a force out.
- Sliding into first base can confuse or disrupt the umpire’s ability to make an accurate call; often this will not impact the result, but it can potentially cause an out to become a runner.
- No one likes a clean uniform.
Is it Quicker to Slide Into First Base?
No other question may cause more arguments among mathematicians, physicists, and baseball fanatics than this one. There is no one good answer, but here are some articles if you want to explore the question (and be prepare to argue with someone):
- Run or Slide into First Base? Let’s Ask Statcast (from MLB)
- Physics Favors Sliding into First (New York Times)
- Diving into First Base: Maybe Not Crazy (Fangraphs)
How Do You Slide Into First Base?
Sliding into first base is not necessarily any different from sliding into other bases. The primary difference is that most players sliding into first choose to go head first.
Are You Out If You Slide Into First Base
No, sliding into first base does not automatically make you out. Though, many people (but not current Yankees OF Brett Gardner) think sliding makes it more likely that you will be out.