small ball


baseball : an offensive strategy that involves at bats that advance one or more base runners into scoring position
One popular subject as Major League Baseball is starting up is the possible return to small ball. In a 60-game season, the rationale goes, … getting runners from first base into scoring position has added importance, as does getting the fly ball that brings runners home from third with less than two out.John Hickey
basketball : a game strategy based on speed and agility of players as opposed to height and physicality
It's been said that changes to the game in recent years have weakened the importance of positions, led to the rise of small ball and ruined the game for big men. But there's still a booming market for big guys out in NBA front offices …Sean Deveney
: a strategy for progressing towards a goal by proceeding in small steps or by addressing small matters
"Small ball" is almost always a better approach than big expensive changes.Quint Studer
… we can go from either extension of unemployment and eviction moratoriums and the small ball stuff all the way to a broad package that I think is where the gang of bipartisan senators want to be.Liam Donovan

Word History

First Known Use

1986, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of small ball was in 1986

Dictionary Entries Near small ball

Cite this Entry

“Small ball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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