Where Is The Home Team Dugout Side?

Navigating the world of sports can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the layout of a baseball field. One common question that arises is the location of the home team dugout. You’ve come to the right place to find the answer.

The home team dugout is typically on the first base side of the field, while the visiting team occupies the third base side. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule, depending on the stadium and team preferences.

Discover more about the fascinating world of baseball and the factors that influence dugout placement in this comprehensive article. We’ll dive into the rich history of the sport and explore how traditions have evolved over time, making your next game experience more enjoyable and informed.

The Dugout: A Brief Overview

Before we delve into the home team’s dugout side, let’s first understand what a dugout is. In baseball, a dugout refers to a sunken, sheltered area along the first and third base lines where the players, coaches, and team staff sit when they are not on the field. These dugouts provide teams with a comfortable space to strategize, rest, and prepare for their next move.

Home Team Dugout Location

In most Major League Baseball (MLB) stadiums, the home team dugout is located along the first base side. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. There are a few MLB stadiums where the home team dugout can be found on the third base side.

Why Does the Home Team Dugout Side Matter?

The home team dugout location can be significant for several reasons:

Familiarity: Home teams are more familiar with their stadium, giving them a psychological advantage. Being on their preferred dugout side reinforces this familiarity.

Crowd Engagement: Positioning the home team on the first base side places them closer to a larger portion of the audience, helping boost morale and team spirit.

Weather and Sunlight: In some cases, the dugout location may provide the home team with a better view of the field or protection from the sun, wind, or rain.

The Role of Stadium Design

Stadium design plays a crucial role in determining the location of the home team dugout. Architects and designers consider several factors, such as the stadium’s orientation, prevailing weather conditions, and historical traditions when deciding where to place the dugouts. The home team dugout placement is often chosen to maximize the team’s comfort and advantage.

Factors Influencing Dugout Choice

While most MLB stadiums place the home team dugout on the first base side, a few factors can influence the choice of dugout location:

Historical Precedent

Some stadiums retain their original dugout placement based on historical tradition or to honor a past event.

Team Preference

Occasionally, a team might have a specific preference for a particular dug out side, based on factors such as superstition or personal experiences.

Stadium Orientation

The orientation of the stadium and the direction of sunlight may influence the choice of dugout location to minimize glare or other weather-related factors.

Baseball Tradition and Dugout Placement

The tradition of having the home team dugout on the first base side dates back to the early days of baseball. This placement has become a custom in most MLB stadiums, although some teams buck the trend. Teams and fans often develop a deep attachment to their dugout side, which can be difficult to break.

Exceptions to the Rule

While most MLB teams have their home dugout on the first base side, a few notable exceptions exist:

San Francisco Giants: At Oracle Park, the home team dugout is on the third base side, mainly due to the stadium’s unique orientation and design.

Chicago Cubs: Wrigley Field, one of the oldest MLB stadiums, places the Cubs’ home dugout on the third base side, honoring the historical precedent.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The home dugout at Dodger Stadium is also on the third base side, following the team’s preference.

Dugout Etiquette and Customs

Regardless of which side the home team’s dugout is located, players, coaches, and staff members are expected to adhere to certain etiquette and customs. Some common dugout rules include:

Respect for the Game: Players should always show respect for the game, their teammates, and their opponents.

No Distractions: Dugout occupants should avoid distracting their teammates or opponents during the game.

Maintain Order: Players should keep the dugout clean and organized, with equipment properly stored and the area free from clutter.

Does Dugout Location Affect Performance?

While the home team dugout side can influence factors such as team morale, familiarity, and comfort, it is debatable whether the dugout location directly affects on-field performance. 

The outcome of a baseball game is determined by numerous factors, including individual skill, strategy, and teamwork. It is unlikely that the dugout location alone would significantly impact a team’s performance.


What is a baseball dugout?

A baseball dugout is a sunken, sheltered area along the first and third base lines where players, coaches, and team staff sit when not on the field.

Which side is the home team dugout in most MLB stadiums?

In most MLB stadiums, the home team dugout is located on the first base side.

Are there exceptions to the home team dugout placement?

Yes, some MLB teams have their home dugout on the third base side, such as the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Final Thoughts

The location of the home team dugout in baseball is primarily a matter of tradition and preference, with most teams choosing the first base side. 

While the dugout location may not directly impact the outcome of a game, it can contribute to a team’s sense of familiarity and comfort. Ultimately, the side on which the home team’s dugout is located is just one small piece of the complex and captivating world of baseball.

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