The expression mentioned in my question’s title is a baseball reference, of course, which I fear could potentially limit its understandability to only those English speakers who are familiar with that sport.

Because of this potential limitation, I’m wondering (as stated in the title):

Is there a SPORTS PHRASE [in particular, one relating to “soccer”] similar to “make sure all our bases are covered” that would not rely on potential interlocutors’ knowledge of baseball to be understood?

Please note:
that I’m not asking if my fear of misunderstanding in the non-baseball-playing world is unfounded;

that, due to the world-wide popularity of soccer (and to the extent that requesting similar "sports phrases" might generate too many answers), I've indicated my particular interest in finding similar “soccer phrases” (in an attempt to narrow the answer set); and finally

that, although one of the secondary reasons for asking this question might be to find a similar English sports expression whose literal translation could perhaps be better understood in other languages, I am looking for neither any translations themselves nor pure foreign phrases merely translated into English, the main reason for the question being simply to find a similar English sports expression, period

  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it does seems to be about translating from English.
    – Drew
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 23:49
  • 1
    Seeing your edit, I've voted to reopen this question. Good luck. :)
    – NVZ
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 20:36
  • Thank you. No, it's not about translations, it's just a bad translation that made me think, "There must be a better analogy that is more universal". "Bases covered" just doesn't seem to have an equivalent in sports. Now that I think on it, perhaps "all bets covered" would work.
    – Engineer
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 20:41
  • The context of "all bases covered" is that every possible advantage has been set up, and is in place to add value. The goal is to get a Grand Slam Home Run, and that can only be achieved by having "all bases covered" and then "knock it out of the park", thereby allowing 4 runs to score, the maximum possible for a single hitter. Surely there's another phrase in the world...?
    – Engineer
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 1:37
  • 1
    Not that it helps me think of anything new, but I think your interpretation of “all bases covered” as meaning the potential added benefit/advantage in case of a “grand slam” severely limits the scope of that expression’s full (if not only) meaning of “being prepared for all contingencies” (by making sure that all the bases are adequately covered defensively by the [defensive] team on the field). To me, “covered” implies more of this "defensive" meaning, whereas “[having all the bases] occupied” would better describe the “offensive potential/grand-slam” meaning you mention (again, imo).
    – Papa Poule
    Commented May 7, 2016 at 18:16

4 Answers 4


Leave no stone unturnedTFD

Fig. to search in all possible places (as if one might search under every rock.)

"Don't worry. We'll find your stolen car. We'll leave no stone unturned."
"In searching for a nice place to live, we left no stone unturned."

to do everything possible in order to achieve or find something.

"Both sides have vowed to leave no stone unturned in the search for peace."

Not exactly a sports phrase, but this is popular. Also,

Be through and throughTFD

thoroughly; completely.

"I've studied this report through and through trying to find the facts you've mentioned."

  • This is the best so far. I will give it a little longer, then accept this if nothing better is discovered. If anyone has a good translation of this into French and/or German, that would be helpful also.
    – Engineer
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 19:11
  • @SiteNook the thing is, your question is now closed because this site does not permit translation requests.
    – NVZ
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 19:26
  • Ah. Well, the translation aspect is minor. The fact is I had seen the phrase "covered all bases" changed to something that didn't reflect the meaning. I realized that it was Baseball that was the confusion, so I was looking for something general, or at least something in the soccer world. Now I am not as certain there is one in other sports, as the concept seems to be particular to baseball. Man-on-man coverage is about the closest. SO I guess, "This answer, I choose you!"
    – Engineer
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 20:31
  • @SiteNook Thank you, I will update my answer for you, if in case I find something better. :)
    – NVZ
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 20:33
  • @SiteNook Will know the score, or know what's what work for you?
    – NVZ
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 21:00

I don’t know if the origin of the similar expression:
“cover all {the} angles” (from ‘WordReference[dot]com)
is related to sports, but as used in the following excerpt from page 17 of
Teach'n Beginning Defensive Field Hockey Drills, Plays, and Games Free Flow Handbook by Bob Swope (via ‘Google Book’),
it does seem to be relevant to at least hockey (and possibly any other sports, like soccer, that have goalies guarding a goal):

Positioning Around Goal (No. 11)
Object of the activity: Teach all your goalkeepers how to cover all the angles a shooter might come in towards the goal on.

  • 1
    Thanks for bringing my question back with your extensive rewrite. This phrase is based on Hockey, another less-well-known sport. I was looking for something known the world over, mainly for translation purposes, but also for general recognizability.
    – Engineer
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 19:07
  • 1
    @SiteNook Well it still needs some reopen votes to really be back, but I think it should be (and, in fact, that it should have never been closed, at least not for being too broad). Anyway, you're welcome and I hope the edit doesn't stray too much from your intentions.
    – Papa Poule
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 19:17

Not specifically related to sports, but consider leave no loose ends untied and dot the i's and cross the t's

dot the i's and cross the t's

(idiomatic) To take care of every detail, even minor ones; To be meticulous or thorough.

Before taking the project to the CEO, let's make sure we dot the i's and cross the t's.



Another possibility (not specific to sport) is: ready for every contingency.

A "contingency" is a possible but not very likely future event or condition;an eventuality; a future emergency that must be prepared for.

Example: The United States is ready to deal with any contingencies in North Korea, a White House spokesman said on Thursday, dismissing Pyongyang's warning that it could preemptively strike U.S. forces as nothing new". (Reuters source)

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