Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the (home) umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. This is a catcher's primary duty, but he is also called upon to master many other skills in order to field his position well. The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket.
Positioned behind home plate, the catcher can see the whole field; therefore, he is in the best position to direct and lead the other players in a defensive play. The catcher typically calls for pitches by means of hand signals; therefore, he/she must be aware of the pitcher's mechanics and strengths, as well as the batter's tendencies and weaknesses. Foul tips, bouncing balls in the dirt, and contact with runners during plays at the plate are all part of the catcher's job, so protective equipment must be worn. This includes a mask, chest and throat protectors, shin guards, and an extra-thick glove.