warm the bench

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warm the bench

Of a player or players in a team sport, to be situated on the perimeter of the playing area (often literally seated on a bench) but not actively participating in play. The term can refer to players who are available to play or those who are ineligible due to injury, suspension, etc. The players warming the bench might have a big impact on this game if the starters need to come out. He's been warming the bench all season due to problems with his hip. If she gets another penalty, she'll be warming the bench for the rest of the game.
See also: bench, warm

warm the bench

Fig. [for a player] to remain out of play during a game—seated on a bench. John spent the whole game warming the bench. Mary never warms the bench. She plays from the beginning to the end.
See also: bench, warm

warm the bench

Also, ride the bench. Be a secondary or substitute participant; wait one's turn to participate. For example, I can't wait till the head of accounting retires; I've been warming the bench for years . This expression comes from such sports as baseball and football, and their standard practice of having substitute players sit on a bench in case they are needed in a game. [Slang; early 1900s]
See also: bench, warm
References in periodicals archive ?
Benson Anang warmed the bench for Zilina in their 3-2 win over Ruzomberok.
Chiefs' German mentor Ernst Middendorp had given new signees Nurkovic, Kearyn Baccus and Lazarous Kambole a starting berth while Ghanian James Kotei warmed the bench.
Nobbs, 24, warmed the bench throughout the 2013 tournament and watched on as England slumped to defeats against Spain and France, and drew with Russia.
He has warmed the bench for much of this campaign, making just eight appearances, but is tipped to go on and have a successful career.
They didn't give him a chance in the opening two matches against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka after he warmed the bench during the series against England as well."
Veteran Williams has warmed the bench on all three of his Lions tours to date - Australia in 2001, New Zealand four years ago and the cur-rentour of South Africa - seeing only fleeting Test action as a replacement in the process.
Having given up a job as senior clerical officer with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to throw his lot in with football, Armstrong came through the non-league ranks but warmed the bench so much at Watford and Spurs that he was nicknamed 'the Judge'.
Winger Crosier, who had warmed the bench for much of the season, was introduced and it did not take long for the civil servant to stamp his mark.
Coach Kieran Cowley has managed to cobble together a team that includes no less than five players who warmed the bench last year and even some of Cowley's lieutenants are undercooked.
The defender warmed the bench for the whole 90 minutes of the first leg success against mid-table Hellenic National League scrappers Aigaleo, with Collins assuming captain's duties.
In the Eerste Division, Rodney Antwi warmed the bench for FC Volendam when they lost 2-1 to FC Twente.
Gemmell has warmed the bench for much of Booth's three-month reign.
HAVING warmed the bench for the past month, Mark Kinsella is itching to get back into the Aston Villa starting line-up and earn a crack at derby rivals West Brom this weekend.
Mackle was added to the full squad for the first time on Monday when he warmed the bench in the 2-0 SPL win over Motherwell at Fir Park.