What Is an Overthrow In Baseball?

overthrow baseball

What Is an Overthrow In Baseball?

An overthrow in baseball is defined as a play where a fielder throws the ball wildly past the intended target, often resulting in the baserunner(s) advancing extra bases. Overthrows can occur in any type of play where the ball is thrown, including bunts, wild pitches, and pick-off attempts.

If an overthrow does occur, the baserunner(s) will be awarded the next base or bases as determined by the umpire. In some cases, a runner may be able to advance even further if the ball ends up out of play (e.g., if it goes into the stands).

Overthrows Can Hurt Your Team

Overthrows can be especially costly in plays where the baserunner is trying to advance from first to third base. The runner has a clear path to second base and can easily score on a subsequent hit or sacrifice fly. As a result, infielders must be careful when throwing the ball around the diamond and take extra care to ensure their throws are on target.

Hitting The Cutoff

One way to prevent overthrows is to use a “cutoff man.” This is a fielder positioned near the base where the ball is being thrown to provide an easy target for the throw. Cutoff men are typically infielders, but outfielders can act as cutoff men occasionally.

3 Tips To Improve Your Throws

Tip 1: Have a strong and stable base: Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your weight should be evenly distributed. You also want to ensure you use your entire body when you throw. Your legs, hips, and core should all be involved in the throwing motion.

Tip 2: Remember to follow through with your throw: This means that you should continue moving your arm forward even after the ball has been released. This will help ensure that the ball has maximum velocity and accuracy.

Tip 3: Practice regularly if you want to improve your throwing skills: Make sure to set aside time each week to work on your throwing. You can do this by yourself or with a partner. If you have access to a pitching machine, that can be a great tool to use as well. With regular practice, you will see a significant improvement in your throwing ability.


To summarize, an overthrow occurs in baseball when a fielder throws the ball wildly past the first or third baseman, allowing runners to advance. It is a physical error that can happen to even the best of players and often results in runs being scored.

If you are an outfielder with a strong arm, it is important to practice throwing to your cutoff man so that you don’t overthrow and cost your team runs.