I was talking with some friends that said in Nova Scotia, gravel baseball infields were all they have every played on. I had never seen a gravel infield until I moved up here. Is there a specific reason for the gravel infield over a clay infield? We thought it might be weather related or money related, but cannot find any information via Google.

  • 1
    As a homeowner, gravel is far less work to maintain than soil of any form.
    – Philip Kendall
    Jul 6, 2015 at 19:56
  • Yeah, I figured it would be something along those lines, my friends were just saying that even for high school they played on gravel, which wouldn't seem to be money or maintenance limited. Jul 7, 2015 at 12:43
  • Gravel has far better performance when wet (clay is a giant disaster with even a medium amount of rain); perhaps they have a huge amount of rain such that they'd almost never play a game otherwise? And just to be clear, by gravel you mean loose gravel, not asphalt/blacktop that is solid(ish)?
    – Joe
    Jul 7, 2015 at 20:03
  • I wonder if your friend just has his terminology wrong (or, misleading). I google image searched 'nova scotia baseball' and see no evidence of what I'd call 'gravel'. I see different mixes, some with red clay some without (most without), but that's common in the US also; red clay might be more common because it's more available here. Most infield mixes are sand, clay, and silt, with a small amount of gravel, no more than 4% or so.
    – Joe
    Jul 7, 2015 at 20:11
  • 2
    8 months since the last post, but I can tell you gravel baseball fields are a Canadian thing. To the point where they have lots of them in the Niagara Region of Ontario, and people from across the river in Buffalo never heard of such a thing.
    – user11043
    Mar 21, 2016 at 18:41

2 Answers 2


Gravel fields are for basically two reasons:

  1. The climate of the region would mean that the field would take a long time time to dry or would be wet most/all of the time. If you are putting a baseball field up north it is more important that they have a field to play on vs. having a good field. If it is rainy 2-3 times a week and 40-50F during the spring your fields will never dry. Gravel can be played on the next day.

  2. The soil is so rocky that you might as well gravel it. This is less common but seen it in South America.


The largest contributing factor for my area would certainly be maintenance. Without a dedicated baseball infield maintenance team, it would be difficult to maintain a playable clay surface. We don't have the funding for that so gravel seems to be the best option at the moment, as well as the weather/wet conditions.

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