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Ball game

any game played with a ball, especially baseball or softball.
Informal. a situation and all its attendant circumstances:
Having a new administration in power changes the entire ball game at city hall.
Compare new ball game.
Archaeology. a ceremonial game of both ritual and sporting significance, played by teams on a ball court in Mesoamerican cultures from the Preclassic period to the Spanish conquest.
Contemporary Examples

And unlike Collins, Sam was doing it at the beginning of his career—a whole other ball game.
How Howard Bragman Orchestrated Michael Sam’s Coming Out Itay Hod March 11, 2014

“If anything got in the way of a rodeo, like a ball game, the ball game would have to wait,” Clyde Frost said.
The Death of a Rodeo Cowboy Peter Richmond May 10, 2014

Historical Examples

I bought a lot, thinking some one might get hurt at the ball game.
Frank Roscoe’s Secret Allen Chapman

But he got very tired of his job and wanted to go to the ball game.
Woodland Tales Ernest Seton-Thompson

But there wasn’t any ball game, and so Jimmie was playing all alone in the woods back of his house, and wishing it hadn’t rained.
Lulu, Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble Howard R. Garis

We were so busy practicing for the ball game, and then you came on the scene.
Polly’s Southern Cruise Lillian Elizabeth Roy

The boys fingered the puzzles and talked about the ball game to be played to-morrow, but they shared the feeling of anticipation.
Mr. Pat’s Little Girl Mary F. Leonard

To Princeton, to attend a dance and a ball game, if you please!
Daddy Long-Legs Jean Webster

The form of ball game where the racket is used was less widely distributed over the country than some others.
Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs Alice C. Fletcher

To win a ball game just by telling the batsman what he was going to pitch to him!
Baseball Joe, Captain of the Team Lester Chadwick

any game played with a ball
(US & Canadian) a game of baseball
(informal) a situation; state of affairs (esp in the phrase a whole new ball game)

noun phrase

A given set of conditions; complex of circumstances; situation: What we do and what they do isn’t the same ball game (1960s+)
A competition; rivalry: It’s NBC ahead in the network ratings ball game, NBC says/ Goodbye, ball game, he said (late 1960s+)
The decisive element or event, esp in a competition or encounter; the NAME OF THE GAME: The third ward vote is the ball game in this town (late 1960s+)

Related Terms

that’s the ball game, a whole new ball game


Read Also:

  • Ball girl

    Tennis. an attendant, usually a girl or young woman, employed to retrieve balls and supply players with them. Baseball. an attendant, usually a girl or young women, who retrieves foul balls and brings the umpire new balls during the game.

  • Ball handling

    the control of the ball, as in basketball or soccer, by skillful dribbling and accurate passing.

  • Ball hawk

    Baseball. an outfielder with outstanding defensive skills, especially at fielding fly balls. Sports. a defensive player, as in basketball or football, who excels in gaining possession of the ball.

  • Ball hockey

    noun (Canadian) a game similar to ice hockey, but played on foot on a hard surface without ice, using a hard plastic ball instead of a puck

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