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A starting lineup in sports is an official list of the set of players who will actively participate in the event when the game begins.[1] The players in the starting lineup are commonly referred to as starters, whereas the others are substitutes or bench players.

The starters are commonly the best players on the team at their respective positions. Consequently, there is often a bit of prestige that is associated with being a starter. In both baseball and basketball, it is common for players' positions to be denoted by a number as well as by a name. In that instance, the associated number is used as well. If a common abbreviation is known, the abbreviation is listed after the associated number.

Contents

Starting lineup in specific sports

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Baseball

The starting lineup in baseball comprises either nine or ten players. In the National League of Major League Baseball, there are nine players in the starting lineup and all players bat. American League teams have the option of using a designated hitter (DH) in place of the pitcher in the batting order. The DH does not play when the team is on defense.

  1. P - Pitcher
  2. C - Catcher
  3. 1B - First baseman
  4. 2B - Second baseman
  5. 3B - Third baseman
  6. SS - Shortstop
  7. LF - Left fielder
  8. CF - Center fielder
  9. RF - Right Fielder
  10. DH - Designated hitter

Basketball

In the NBA, two starting players are traditionally announced as Guards, two as Forwards and one as a Center. However, technically the rules merely stipulate that a starting lineup, along with a list of substitutes, must be indicated at least ten minutes before the game. A captain and optionally a co-captain must also be designated. When pre-game technical fouls are committed, only designated starters can be chosen to shoot any resulting free throws. [1]

The various positions are not mentioned anywhere in the official NBA rule book, and most players play more than one position.

The starting lineup on a basketball team usually comprises five positions and is called the 2-1-2 lineup:

  1. PG - Point guard
  2. SG - Shooting guard
  3. SF - Small forward
  4. PF - Power forward
  5. C - Center

In American college basketball, a starting lineup is announced for each team before the game. Starting players are designated as either Centers, Forwards, or Guards. A team can name at most one center, but otherwise any combination of positions is allowable, as long as five players are named. Lineups of three guards, one forward, and one center, or of three guards and two forwards, are the most common alternate lineups.

Ice hockey

In ice hockey, a team starts out with six players on the ice:

Association football (soccer)

The most common starting lineup in soccer is called 4-4-2 and consists of:

Netball

In netball, a team starts with seven players on the court:

  1. GS - Goal shooter
  2. GA - Goal attack
  3. WA - Wing attack
  4. C - Centre
  5. WD - Wing defence
  6. GD - Goal defence
  7. GK - Goal keeper

Rugby League

Rugby league football starting lineups are comprised of:

  1. 1 - Fullback
  2. 2 and 5 - Wingers
  3. 3 and 4 - Centres
  4. 6 - Stand-off
  5. 7 - Halfback
  6. 8 and 10 - Front row forwards
  7. 9 - Hooker
  8. 11 and 12 - Second row forwards
  9. 13 - Lock forward

Rugby Union

Rugby union starting lineups consist of:

  1. Two Props - 1 (loosehead) and 3 (tighthead)
  2. Hooker - 2
  3. Two Locks - 4 and 5
  4. Two Flankers - 6 and 7
  5. Number Eight - 8
  6. Scrum-Half - 9
  7. Fly-Half - 10
  8. Two Wings - 11 and 14
  9. Two Centres - 12 and 13
  10. Fullback - 15

Australian rules football

In Australian rules football, a team starts with eighteen plays on the field:

  1. F - Three forwards (one full-forward, two forward pockets)
  2. HF - Three half forwards (one centre-half forward, two half-forward flanks)
  3. C - Three centres (one centre, two wing-men)
  4. HB - Three half backs (one centre-half back, two half-back flanks)
  5. B - Three backs (one full-back, two back pockets)
  6. Fol - Three followers (one ruck-man, one ruck-rover, one rover)

American football

In American football, a team starts with 11 players on offense, 11 players on defense, and a special teams squad of 11 players for punts, kickoffs, and extra point attempts. Very often most of the special teams players are starters or bench players for offense or defense. An example of this is Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears. He is their prime kick returner but also is a wide receiver.

Offense:

  1. QB -- Quarterback
  2. RB -- Running back
  3. C -- Center
  4. LG, RG -- Left and right guards on either side of the center
  5. LT, RT -- Left and right tackles on either end of the five man offensive line
  6. TE -- Tight end
  7. WR -- Wide receiver -- Teams can have up to five receivers on the field so long as there are no more than 11 offensive players.

Defense: Traditional football defense is the 4-3 (4 defensive linemen plus 3 linebackers) formation. However, the 3-4 (3 defensive linemen plus 4 linebackers) formation is becoming more popular among professional and NCAA Division I teams.

  1. DT -- Depending on formation a team may have up to two defensive tackles. If there is only one he is called the Nose Tackle (NT)
  2. DE -- A team has two defensive ends
  3. LB -- A team can start three or four linebackers based on formation
  4. SS -- Strong safety
  5. FS -- Free safety
  6. CB -- Teams usually start two cornerbacks

Special Teams:

  1. K -- Kicker
  2. P -- Punter
  3. PR -- Punt returner
  4. KR -- Kick returner
  5. LS -- Long snapper

The National Football League counts how many times each player takes the first snap of the game. This statistic reflects offense and defense only, not special teams. (Every game starts with a kickoff, which would be a special teams play.) A player gets credited with only one start if he should happen to be on both the offensive and defensive starting lineups (as has happened several times in recent years with Troy Brown of the New England Patriots, who played both wide receiver and defensive back.)

In American college football, the official record of the game includes a "Game Participation" chart which shows the starting lineups and the other participants. The starting lineups reflect the two teams' offenses and defenses, not the kickoff teams.

Lacrosse

The starting lineup in field lacrosse comprises ten players: 3 Attackmen, 3 Defensemen, 3 Midfielders, and 1 Goalkeeper. A team may start a Long-Stick Midfielder for a defensive advantage. A team may have a player reserved exclusively to take face-offs, known as a FOGO.

  1. A - Attackmen
  2. D - Defensemen
  3. M - Midfielder
  4. G - Goalkeeper
  5. LSM - Long-stick Midfielder
  6. FOGO - Face-Off Specialist "Face-Off, Get-Off"

See also

References


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