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Sports idioms refers to the parlance (i.e. idioms or terminology) originating from various athletics.

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Cover all the bases

To cover all the bases was to have a player standing on or at each base, ready to catch the ball. Metaphorically, it meant to have every aspect of a situation in control.

In 2366, Jean-Luc Picard commended William T. Riker for his readiness upon detection of the Borg in Federation space, saying he'd covered all the bases. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")

Eye on the ball

To have or keep one's eye on the ball was to literally watch the incoming baseball being pitched to you. Metaphorically, it meant to remain focused on any main objective.

In 2374, Benjamin Sisko justified his growing disinterest in the minute ethics of his actions by saying he had to keep his eye on the ball – "Win the war, stop the bloodshed.". (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

In 2375, he reminded Rom to keep his eye on the ball while training for a baseball game against the crew of the USS T'Kumbra. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")

Grand slam

To hit a grand slam was to hit a home run with the bases loaded. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite") Metaphorically, it could refer to any big achievement.

In 1953, while talking with baseball player Willie Hawkins, Benny Russell described having one of his Sisko stories published at a pay rate of three cents a word as him having hit a grand slam. (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")

In 2375, while preparing for a baseball game against the crew of the USS T'Kumbra, Ezri Dax quizzed Miles O'Brien on what a grand slam was. He replied that it was "a home run hit when the bases are crowded", and she corrected him, saying it was "loaded", not "crowded". (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")

At the Federation's Division of Advanced Synthetic Research, creating sentient synthetics that appear Human inside and out was considered the grand slam. However, it was also considered far out of reach. (PIC: "Remembrance")

Play ball

Miss your one chance at bat

To miss your one chance at bat was to miss out on one's only opportunity to do something memorable. It was how Paul Stubbs described missing out on a chance to attempt his experiment to Wesley Crusher in 2366 (TNG: "Evolution")

Strike three / Strike out

Strike three referred to one's third unsuccessful attempt to hit a baseball. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite") It could also refer to an individual's last unsuccessful attempt at doing anything, and was otherwise referred to as striking out.

In 1953, after Willie Hawkins attempted to charm Cassie, she rejected his advances, prompting Benny Russell to comment to the baseball player, "Strike three, you're out." (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")

Swing for the fences

To swing for the fences was to hit a baseball hard enough to hit a home run. The phrase was used to describe someone who gave an objective their all.

In 2374, when trying to deter Captain Charlie Reynolds of the USS Centaur from attacking an attack ship commandeered by members of Deep Space 9's crew, Benjamin Sisko, familiar with Reynolds, noted that the other captain liked to "swing for the fences" and recommended the tight maneuver attack pattern omega. (DS9: "A Time to Stand")



The blow-by-blow was a detailed description of an event that described each step of it.

In 2375, after the series 5 long-range tactical armor unit expressed its desire to know what B'Elanna Torres was doing to it, she commented that she couldn't concentrate on her work and give a blow-by-blow description of what she was doing at the same time. She then asked Harry Kim to do so. (VOY: "Warhead")

In 2376, responding to a call from Chakotay, Torres asked him whether he was calling to give a blow-by-blow description of the tsunkatse match he was at. (VOY: "Tsunkatse")

Glass jaw

A glass jaw was a term used in boxing to describe someone's inability to take a blow to the jaw without losing consciousness.

In 2369, after socking a Hunter in the jaw and knocking him out, Miles O'Brien remarked that he had a glass jaw. (DS9: "Captive Pursuit")

In (someone's) corner

Ringside seats

To have ringside seats to something was to have the best possible vantage point from which to witness it, such as front row or next to the ring.

In 2374, Julian Bashir opined that the best part about Damar and Weyoun 5 visiting Deep Space 9 was that he and the other geniuses from the Institute would have ringside seats to the peace talks happening there. (DS9: "Statistical Probabilities")

Saved by the bell

To be saved by the bell was to be rescued from a knockout by the ringing of the bell that signaled the end of a round. It could also referred to being rescued from an uncomfortable situation by another's summons or appearance.

In 2369, William T. Riker was interrupted in the latest of many attempts to master the solo section of "Night Bird" by Data's summons to the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D, prompting him to remark that he had just been saved by the bell. (TNG: "Second Chances")

In 2376, after his inquiry into Tuvok's age was met with resistance on the Vulcan's part, Tom Paris was interrupted by his communicator chirping, after which he commented, "Saved by the bell." (VOY: "Alice")



An end run

End zone

Run interference

To run interference was to make room for another individual to do something by occupying the attention of an opponent.

In 2369, Sisko suggested using a Rigelian freighter to run interference between Odo and Ah-Kel's raider. (DS9: "Vortex")



Par for the course

Stemming from the expected score for a golf course, par for the course meant a typical result.

In 2285, after Carol Marcus sarcastically thanked her son David Marcus for not respecting her, he replied that it was par for the course. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Horse racing

By a nose

To win by a nose was to win with little difference between the first and second finishers. The phrase referred to one horse's literal nose crossing the finish line before that of another.

In 2377, the Delta Flyer won a short race between itself and Irina's ship by a nose. (VOY: "Drive")

Dead heat

Inside track

Neck and Neck

Under the wire

To come in under the wire was to finish just in time.

In 2269, Doctor Leonard McCoy believed that the USS Enterprise landing party had time to gather and process more ryetalyn after their initial samples contained an unacceptable amount of irillium, saying they probably had time to get in under the wire before the outbreak of Rigelian fever aboard the Enterprise grew to epidemic proportions. (TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah")


The ball's in your court

To have the ball in your court was to have it be one's turn to reciprocate after the other party had made their move.

In 2152, Jonathan Archer reminded Soval that the Andorians were willing to talk with the Vulcans and therefore the ball was in their court. T'Pol further explained that the Human expression meant they would have to move next. (ENT: "Cease Fire")

Multiple sports

Dropped the ball

To drop the ball was to make a mistake that was out of character.

In 2370, Sisko apologized to a replicant of Miles O'Brien for re-assigning DeCurtis without O'Brien's knowledge, saying he guessed he had dropped the ball. (DS9: "Whispers")

Home field advantage

To have home field advantage was to have a greater chance of success conferred on one by virtue of the location or situation in which a goal was being pursued.

In 1996, Henry Starling believed himself to have home field advantage over the crew of USS Voyager, as they were visiting his century, the 20th century, rather than theirs, the 24th century. VOY: "Future's End"

Out of bounds

Second wind

Finding a second wind meant regaining one's energy anew while engaging in a certain activity.

During a 2153 engine test aboard Enterprise, field fluctuations dropped to zero, which led captain Archer to suggest that they had gotten their second wind. That impression was incorrect. (ENT: "Similitude")

Upon James Kirk asking Montgomery Scott if the Enterprise could hold its speed while rushing to the Genesis Planet in 2285, Scott remarked in the affirmative, saying that she had just gotten her second wind. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)


The sidelines were the location outside of play. To be sidelined was to be uninvolved in the action going on.

In 2375, after Vice Admiral Dougherty expressed his surprise at seeing the USS Enterprise-E, Jean-Luc Picard told him that the matters he was involved in were too important for the Enterprise-E to be on the sidelines. (Star Trek: Insurrection)

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