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From back +‎ field



backfield (plural backfields)

  1. (sports) The rear part of the field of play, particularly
    1. (baseball, rare) Synonym of outfield.
    2. (American football) The area behind the line of scrimmage occupied before the snap by the team on offense.
    3. (soccer, US) The area behind either the offensive or defensive line.
      • 2000, Derek Smethurst, Soccer Offense for Winning, →ISBN, page 1:
        Moving the ball directly out of the backfield is the greatest form of attack there is.
      • 2012, Barbara Stewart, Helen Stoumbos, Women's Soccer: The Passionate Game, page 92:
        Cheryl Salisbury [] moved back to defense, and became a veteran force on the backfield. By 2003 she was captain of the Matildas, but still found enough time to hone her skills for the WUSA []
      • 2017, Jake Maddox, Eric Stevens, Soccer Stand-off, page 56:
        “Like you should talk about good soccer, Ethan,” said Joshua, the team's starting keeper. “I bet every girl on the soccer team knows not to go charging on goal from the backfield, ignoring her teammates.”
  2. The players occupying this area.
    • 1983 Nov. 10, Washington Post, p. E8:
      Maryland's football team practiced for the third straight day yesterday without its starting backfield.


  • (area of a football field): pocket (formal)