As I started my research for this article I had no idea what I was going to find. I do not watch soccer and did not know that the field was called a pitch. When I heard about the odd name of a soccer field I got very interested in finding the answer to the question why a soccer field is called a pitch.
What I found out is that there is not a lot of information available about this subject. I also found that there are two different answers to the question. The first one that I will talk about is vastly more popular than the second. Even though there is wide gap between these two schools of thought I thought to present them both and let you decide which sounds more feasible.
The first explanation for why a soccer field is called a pitch comes from the beginnings of both soccer and cricket. This is possibly why this is the most popular answer for the question we are asking. Most people believe that a soccer field is called a pitch because it refers to the fact that the goals had to be pounded, or pitched, into the ground. This is similar to using the word in the context of “pitching a tent.” The fact that a cricket field is called a pitch as well goes a long way to imagining that this could be the actual way a soccer field started being called a pitch. Also, from what I could find, all playing fields in England are called a pitch.
As I said the second explanation for why a soccer field is called a pitch is far less popular than the first one. Being a writer this answer appeals to me, and actually feels like this could be the real reason a soccer field is called a pitch. This explanation comes from the Oxford English Dictionary. In the Oxford dictionary the definition of a pitch “is an area of ground marked out or used for play in an outdoor game.” This can also be a good explanation for the reason that all playing fields in England are called a pitch. In England a “field” is defined as an open space that is used for agricultural. In the US we call all large expanses of land a field, whether they are used for games or farming. In the UK they differentiate between the two by calling a farm field a “field” and a playing field a “pitch.”
What this means, is that this is just a difference in Americanized English and what the English call the Queens’ English. There are many examples of these differences in our languages. For instance we call fuel for our cars “gas” and they call the same fuel “petrol.” We use the word garbage, they call it rubbish. You could go on and on with examples of the different words that are used in each country. These are the two different reasons I could find as to why a soccer field is called a pitch. I presented both of the explanations so that each reader of this article can make up their own mind which one they believe is the correct reason.