At the start of my research for this article, I had no idea what I was going to find. I don’t watch football and didn’t know the pitch was called a pitch. When I heard about the strange name of a football field, I was very interested in finding the answer to the question of why a football field is called a field.
What I discovered is that there isn’t a lot of information available on this topic. I also found that there were two different answers to the question. The first one I’m going to talk about is much more popular than the second. Even though there is a big gap between these two schools of thought, I thought I would introduce them both and let you decide what seems most achievable.
The first explanation for why a football pitch is called a pitch comes from the early days of football and cricket. This is perhaps why it is the most popular answer to the question we ask ourselves. Most people believe that a football field is called a pitch because it refers to the fact that the goals had to be pounded or thrown into the ground. It is like using the word in the context of “pitching a tent”. The fact that a cricket pitch is also called a pitch makes it possible to imagine that this could be how a football pitch began to be called a pitch. Also, from what I could find, all playing fields in England are called a field.
As I said, the second explanation of why a soccer field is called a pitch is much less popular than the first. As a writer I’m interested in this answer and feel like this might be the real reason why a soccer field is called a pitch. This explanation comes from the Oxford English Dictionary. In the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of land “is an area of land bounded or used for playing in an outdoor game”. It can also be a good explanation for why all playing fields in England are called a field. In England, a “field” is defined as open space used for agricultural purposes. In the United States, we call all large tracts of land a field, whether they are used for games or for agriculture. In the UK, they differentiate between the two by calling an agricultural field a “field” and a playing field a “land”.
What this means is that this is just a difference between Americanized English and what the English call Queen’s English. There are many examples of these differences in our languages. For example, we call the fuel for our cars “gasoline” and they call the same fuel “gasoline”. We use the word garbage, they call it garbage. You can continue indefinitely with examples of the different words used in each country. These are the two different reasons that I could find as to why a soccer field is called a pitch. I have presented both explanations so that each reader of this article can decide for themselves which they think is the correct reason.