Fielding lanes are described by the glove presentation that’s required to field the ball. There are 3 fielding lanes: routine, forehand, and backhand.
The routine lane is located directly in the middle of the body (shown in red on the graphic). In this lane, our body is able to field the ball squared up to the path that it just traveled. These plays in the routine lane can be fielded using 1 or 2 hands, depending on the ball. As you can see from the graphic above, the routine lane is split by the in-between hops. The reason for this division is due to the nature of those in-between hops. They’re typically handled using a forehand or backhand depending on the ball.
The forehand lane is located to our glove side (blue on the graphic). Balls fielded in this lane are fielded off to that side of our body. The forehand lane, along with the backhand lane, are reaching lanes meaning we’re best suited using 1 hand. Using 1 hand allows for greater reach, balance, and freedom while fielding the ball.
The backhand lane is located to our throwing side (green on the graphic). As is the case with the forehand lane, the backhand lane is a reaching lane and, therefore, a 1 handed fielding lane.
To recap, the routine lane is a 1 or 2 handed lane that will be decided by the ball’s hop and player preference/style. The forehand and backhand lanes are 1 handed lanes due to the need to reach. The in-between hops fall into the forehand and backhand lanes and should be fielded using 1 hand to easily match the hop height.
See the Reading Hops post for more info on the types of hops.