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 ?
Dai Young has also opted to rotate his scrum halves, which means Dan Robson wears the No.9 shirt, while Joe Simpson warms the bench.
And he'd rather pit his wits against Messi than battle international team-mate Victor Anichebe who warms the bench at West Brom.
Krul was warned last month by Holland under-21 coach Cor Pot he risks his international future while he warms the bench at Newcastle.
Nucifora cited McAlister's fitness yesterday as the reason for the omission from the starting 15 and while he warms the bench, All Blacks Keven Mealamu, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock and Joe Rokocoko have the night off.
BECKHAM warms the bench with Casillas (left) and Raul (right)
The former European Cup holders - who nicked Booth for nowt from Aberdeen - told fourth- placed Hertha they want a cool pounds 1MILLION for a player who constantly warms the bench in the Westfalen Stadium.
Sam Dickinson comes into the second row to partner Courtney Lawes, which means Mike Paterson warms the bench.