When considering where to play players, what skills do centerfielders have that a left or right fielder may not. Speed? The best tracker? Knowing the game better? Just curious (btw, my daughter has always played catcher, 3rd, left) She recently decided not to catch and focus on the other 2 areas.
Tracking ability and ability to see the ball come off the bat...if she can read the ball off the bat, she'll be two steps quicker. The fastest girl often will play left field (LF has to cover 3B in some bunt coverages. Also, it is nice to catch those fly balls in foul territory.)
However: The main thing is hitting. I wouldn't worry about where she plays as long as she does play.
Every softball parent keeps a hockey mask and a butcher knife in their car...
You want your best defensive outfielder in CF. A girl who is good reading the ball off the bat, tracks a ball well and is generally speedy. And you want her to take everything she can get to.
You want a strong arm and girl who is not afraid to charge the ball hard for those 9-3 putouts in RF.
LF is probably your #3 OF.
DD coach sometimes switches LF and RF dependant upon the pitcher. Some pitchers draw more RF hits from RH batters, so she'll put the better outfielder in RF.
I agree with Screwball. Must be the fastest player on the field and the most vocal. If you want to see how many Short Stops in high school play CF in College it is an interesting fact. I have talked to many college coaches that complain about not having good OF to pick from and they will take many short stops and convert them to play CF in College. At the Queen of Diamonds this year, they couldn't get enough outfielders. RF, we like to have someone with a good arm. In softball I can't count the number of plays our RF has fielded and then thrown the runner out going to first base .
Runs good routes to the ball
Reads ball off bat quickly
Good arm - the CF does not need to cover on sac fly situations to the RF side, but can take fly balls to the LF side when she has a superior arm. Since the LF side is her natural throwing side, she can call off the LF'er. She is the "General" out there, and should do so.
Good at coming in on balls. She can cover a V shaped zone in front of her and toward the other fields on softly hit line-drives and pop-ups.
Going back well on fly balls, line-drives.
Arm -should have best arm or equal to the CF. But if there is a talent level difference, then the CF position takes priority. Her longest throw is in to 3B on first to third base-running situations and triples.
Slicing balls - She is able to track slicing balls off RH batters toward the foul line.
Generally your 2nd best outfielder at higher levels.
Can have the weakest arm, but good glove. She may see the 2nd most balls hit to the outfield depending on the Pitcher's strengths.
Both LF and RF should be catching foul fly balls. But when positioning, please keep in mind two factors.
1) No one is backing up the RF and LF on balls hit down the line.
2) A foul ball that drops does not hurt you as much as a double to the gap! And no I am not arguing to not play foul balls. But a fall ball is either a strike, or just a foul ball. So the gaps should be covered. I am not of the theory that the entire territory between the stands in the outfield has the same priority.
What is wrong with this picture?