Idioms based on sport, sports and sporting events. Select an idiom for more details. Also try Sports Idioms Quiz.
If you give a ballpark figure or a ballpark estimate, you give a number which you think is fairly close to the actual one.
If something is across the board, it relates to all without exception.
You are ahead of the game if you have an advantage over your competitors in any activity in which you try to do better than others, such as in business, academia, sports, etc.
If you have another string to your bow, you have another way of making a living.
If you're behind the eight ball, you're in a difficult or dangerous position.
If you get off on the wrong foot, you start something poorly, or begin with a mistake.
If you jump the gun, you start doing something too soon.
You can say you had to "jump through hoops" or "go through hoops" if you had to complete a lot of tasks before being permitted to do something.
If something is done with no holds barred, it's done without restriction, rules or restraint.
If you do something off your own bat, you do it without being asked to or told to.
If you're on the ball, you're alert and you know what's going on around you.
If something is par for the course, it's what you'd expect it to be.
If something is plain sailing, it's very easy to do and there are no problems to overcome.
If you are quick off the mark, you are quick to react to an event or an opportunity.
If you run rings around someone, or run circles around them, you do something much better than they do.
If you're skating on thin ice, you're doing something risky, or you're in a situation that could quickly become dangerous.
If someone you're negotiating with says "the ball's in your court", they think it's your turn to make a move or make an offer.
You can say something is the name of the game if it's the most important thing you need to know or to have in order to succeed at something.
If something is wide of the mark, it isn't true or accurate, or it misses the target.
Something you can say after you, or someone else, loses a contest or fails to achieve something (said to make losing seem not so bad).