(This post may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.)
In this article, I’ll give you a full guide to metal detect sports fields.
I’ll talk mainly about baseball and soccer. However, the tips that you’re going to find in this article holds true for football, softball…
If you have any questions, leave them in comments below.
Table of Contents
Sweet spots to metal detect in a sports field
Sports fields are large. So it’s good to be strategic and scan certain areas.
If you’re going to detect the whole thing anyway, starting with the spots where it’s more likely to find the good stuff will boost morale.
You can start with the bleachers. When the fans sit, their pockets will spill the goodies.
However, the area close to the benches will be also full of junk like the boring pull-tabs, bottle caps…
A sniper coil is one of the best choices to deal with trashy areas.
Second, it’s hard to scan the area under the bleachers and it gets harder in the lower ones. You can use your pinpointer to scan the surface beneath them.
Some fields have portable bleachers, they could be pulled back during the winter or moved from place to place for some reason.
Look for marks in the ground or ask the groundskeeper about their previous location. In this case, swinging the coil will be much easier
Look for trees near the field, that’s a good spot too.
The spectators will set up their lawn chairs under tree shade and enjoy the match.
Anywhere you think spectators would sit is a good spot.
The sidelines areas where people are jumping and cheering the players especially parents when their kids score a goal.
You’ll definitely find a lot of coins there.
Other places to hunt are the fences along the first and third bases, behind the home plate and the backstop in the case of a baseball field.
For soccer fields, scan the area behind the goal nets and poles.
The crowds will gather there to get a closer look.
If there’s a concession stand nearby, you could find some good targets around it too.
Before starting the game, players warm up wearing their jackets and their pockets will spit the goodies.
So these are good spots. For soccer, this is going to be mostly along the touchline.
You could also find some stuff in the bullpen. Relief pitchers can lose coins while warming up there.
Metal detect the areas where people pile their gears before starting to play and the dugout fences where players, the coach and the rest of the personnel sit.
For soccer fields, look behind the goals. Some players pile their belongings near the base supporting the nets especially if it doesn’t have a locker room.
Soccer (known as football internationally) isn’t the most popular game in the US, however, it has a good number of fans especially the Hispanic community.
To find these fields google them or ask the Latino community about their favorite sport.
Don’t tell them you’re going to metal detect, just ask about the sport, the rules…
Scan the adjacent parking areas and the walks leading to them. Coins get lost when pulling out the keys.
Some of the so tired players cut through the grass. So, hit that spot with the coil too.
Some of the people passing by want to watch the game too. They may lean on the fence…
Therefore, check the grass stripe between the sidewalk and the fence.
Is it a good idea to hunt the field itself?
I think you remarked that all the spots I recommended in the previous paragraph are in the surroundings of the field not in the field itself.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t find good targets there. But, The actual field should be treated with caution.
I’ll give you some tips to metal detect it in the next paragraph. However, personally, I prefer to stay away from it.
And this is why…
First, take a look at the field. Is it well maintained and manicured? Is the grass cut? Is it fenced in?…
If so, stay away…
Put yourself in the groundskeeper’s shoes. You should respect his effort to maintain the field.
You don’t want to damage the grass, a mower kicking up a plug, or cause an injury…
No matter how careful you are about filling the hole, it will stay unstable for some time.
Uneven ground could easily cause a twisted or broken ankle.
You should also be careful not to puncture the sprinkler lines. They’re made from plastic, so they’re invisible to your detector.
A good target could be buried near these lines and you can puncture them when digging. (There could be some of them in the immediate vicinity of the field too)
Be responsible and remember that you represent the hobby.
Nobody wants to see someone digging the field where he or his kids play.
Being alone in the center of a baseball field with a metal detector will certainly draw attention.
For all these reasons, I’d rather hunt only the surrounding area. But, it’s up to you…
Tips to metal detect the baseball fields itself
Start with abandoned baseball fields. It’s all yours, you can dig wherever you want. Nobody will bother you as long it’s public property.
Use old aerial images or google earth’s history to locate the home plate, pitcher’s mound… The older the field the better.
Baseball fields are so large, you can’t scan the whole thing in one session. Devise it into sections.
Take your time and do the amount you can handle in a day. You can go back later. It isn’t going anywhere, it will be there waiting for you.
If the field is still in use, scan the worn out spots in the grass. The grass is already dead; your digging tool won’t make things really worse.
Moreover, this is probably where most of the action happened. So you can find a lot of targets.
In the baseball field dirt, there’s no grass to damage. So scan it with your coil.
In some fields, you may find artificial turf instead of grass. It’s easily recognizable.
You can’t dig there. But who needs to…
If something falls, it won’t sink. Artificial turf looks like a carpet.
If the field is covered with synthetic turf, you certainly can hit it with the coil and all the targets will be waiting for you on the surface.
I like these easy hunts.
Some detectorists prefer to hunt the actual baseball diamond in the fall once the season is over. I think the plug will have enough time to heal until the next season.
You can recover a lot of targets without digging. Some coins and jewelry will be on the surface of grass.
Swing your coil and listen well to the tones.
Although, they’re not very accurate (they’re calibrated to work with coin-sized objects), the depth indicator should give you a good estimation of the target’s depth.
Take advantage of it if your metal detector is equipped with one.
If you think the buried item is deep, leave it.
And if it’s shallow, pop it out with a screwdriver. This way you’ll preserve the grass.
Dig clean plugs from three sides and make sure it is as small as possible.
Flip it over, use your pinpointer to recover the target.
Put the plug back, top it over and make sure it looks nice. Don’t leave any sign of your presence.
Make sure you ask for permission before metal detecting the actual baseball diamond.
Ask your local parks and recreations department if they have a no-dig ordinance.
Baseball fields potential
You can find a lot of good targets in the main and the practice fields.
But, what you can find depends on the field type.
If it’s a field for amateurs, people could be playing with their street clothes and you can find a variety of targets.
If the teams using the field are a little bit more professional, You’ll mostly find jewelry because they don’t have pockets in their uniforms (so no coins).
The conventional wisdom says that softball is a girl’s game. If this is true, you should find a lot of jewelry there.
However, some teams don’t let the players put the jewelry on while they’re on the field.
Players can lose some stuff while they’re running, sliding to the base, falling, fielders roll in the outfield, or after a physical contact…
After the game, players will remove their gloves. Their hands are sweaty and the loose fitting rings will slip.
They’ll disappear inside the tall grass and they’ll be stepped by feet and sink out of site.
So it will be almost impossible to find by eye. And here comes the metal detector.
If you can identify the ring’s owner, it will be nice to give it back to him.
As far as I know, there’s no pattern where you can find most of the targets inside a baseball field. So scan all of it.