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Thread: Bracket lineup

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    I'm a fan TXJames44's Avatar
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    Default Bracket lineup

    What do you favor when putting together your starting 9? Hitting? Defense? Balance? What breaks a close call?

    Do you ride that lineup as long as itís working? Or do you ever sub to get more kids in game?

    12u TB.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    I have always had a peptemistic view.

    Players do not play equal but if they get hurt or vacation we are OK, they have been there before.

    Big game, all out. Enjoy batting last or sitting on bench.

    Bracket game, give other players a chance. You hopefully will not need them but if you do they at least have a chance.

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    Certified softball maniac GunnerShotgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXJames44 View Post
    What do you favor when putting together your starting 9? Hitting? Defense? Balance? What breaks a close call?

    Do you ride that lineup as long as it’s working? Or do you ever sub to get more kids in game?

    12u TB.
    1. Play to win the game;
    2. The batting lineup will not determine the outcome 95% of the time;
    3. Since 5% of the time it will matter, use a set rule that the team knows in advance (you can't go wrong with OBP in 12U);
    4. Since it's 12u I am working all my kids in the game somehow.

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    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    It's hard to make these kinds of judgments without really knowing the individual strengths and weakness of each player. Generally speaking, I like running DP/Flex. With a player who is a good hitter but weaker fielder as the DP, and the weakest hitter of my 9 fielders as the Flex. If I have a pitcher or catcher who isn't a good runner, I like having someone on the bench to CR. If the game gets lopsided one way or another - especially in our favor - I will get other players in the game. If it's a tight battle, I'm keeping my best players on the field.
    A TB parent's life...Drive. Write checks. Eat tacos.

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    I'm a fan CanOfCorn's Avatar
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    It kind of depends on the strength of the team and the difference between the 7/8th players vs. the 10/11th.

    Assuming everyone on your teams deserves to be there based on relative talent then I would start everyone on Saturday for one game at least. It encourages kids and make parents happy. I try to get a minimum amount of innings for everyone, but donít confuse that with equal playing time. Generally there are a few kids who play a lot, some who play the minimum and the rest.

    I also use DP/Flex and pinch runners. The kids with the uncanny ability to get on base go to the top of the order, more AB for the team and then you sort on who is hot or hitting the ball hard but unlucky. I never play kids at skill positions who are not capable no matter what the parent say and if you have to decide between two players choose the better glove 100% of time.

    CoC




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    Thank you for the feedback. Here are a few more details that may help.....Since we are a new team (and a couple girls literally just joined 1 game ago), we don't have a lot of data (but we have some).

    11 girls

    3 are absolute must plays (all good bats)

    1. CF1
    2. P1/3B1
    3. P2/SS2/3B2/OF)

    4 pass the eyeball test (mostly the new girls)

    4. SS1/1B1 - potentially the best hitter on team. But too early to know for sure.
    5. 2B1/P3 - solid
    6. 2B2/OF - good bat
    7. OF - decent bat, good bunter
    8. C1

    So that leaves 3 girls for 1 spot - this is the hard decision.

    1B2 - best hitter remaining, ball always in play. very slow runner.
    LF1/CF2 - very good OF, but can't hit, but can run the bases well and does take walks.
    RF/2B3 - struggling, but does take walks, but also strikes out a lot.


    I may have answered my own question, but still would appreciate advice. And the numbers behind position detail their skill ranking at position. I think that a few of the weaker players were also our first players that we selected. Through additional tryouts, we found some girls that are simply playing better. And adding a few new girls because of injuries, vacations, school events, etc. has really pushed the original girls down the depth chart.

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    Allergic to BS Strike2's Avatar
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    Attitude problems aside, at 12U and in early Fall, do everything possible to get everyone into as many games as possible.

    Not all bracket games are created equal. If you have solid pitching, there are teams that will give you less trouble than others. Substitute liberally during those "easier" games early in the bracket. Don't get in a position late on Sunday where you've not played a quarter of your roster in bracket play, unless you want to look for some new players on Monday. When it's crunch time, put the best available nine on the field, and use the DP/FLEX when appropriate. If your team is effective at the plate beyond #9, don't be afraid to bat more than nine when allowed. You might be surprised at who comes up big.

    For those kids not in the game, engage with them as much as possible when the rest of the team is on defense. Don't let them sit on the bench by themselves. Have them sit near you and talk to them about what's going on. If you can give them a meaningful task, even better. That will signal to both player and parent that you view them as a valuable part of the team, and will lessen the sting of not being in the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strike2 View Post
    Attitude problems aside, at 12U and in early Fall, do everything possible to get everyone into as many games as possible.

    Not all bracket games are created equal. If you have solid pitching, there are teams that will give you less trouble than others. Substitute liberally during those "easier" games early in the bracket. Don't get in a position late on Sunday where you've not played a quarter of your roster in bracket play, unless you want to look for some new players on Monday. When it's crunch time, put the best available nine on the field, and use the DP/FLEX when appropriate. If your team is effective at the plate beyond #9, don't be afraid to bat more than nine when allowed. You might be surprised at who comes up big.

    For those kids not in the game, engage with them as much as possible when the rest of the team is on defense. Don't let them sit on the bench by themselves. Have them sit near you and talk to them about what's going on. If you can give them a meaningful task, even better. That will signal to both player and parent that you view them as a valuable part of the team, and will lessen the sting of not being in the game.
    S2 all well Said!

    we had our 12U (now 14u) team start keeping book in the dugout. We also assigned a player (no one specific but one who wasn't on the field) to chart the other teams batters with a spray chart and pitch tracking sheet. This has helped them "see" the game from a different perspective. Girls are now starting to see trends in other team batters and a better understanding of positioning during different situations. Now we have pitchers wanting to look at the sheets before going out the next inning (if we have data on the batters). Our other assistants talk to the girls in dugout about whats going on, what they see and what we see. Raising the softball IQ level for girls not on the field should be a priority. Your whole team will benefit. GOOD LUCK!

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    Certified softball maniac marriard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXJames44 View Post

    So that leaves 3 girls for 1 spot - this is the hard decision.

    1B2 - best hitter remaining, ball always in play. very slow runner.
    LF1/CF2 - very good OF, but can't hit, but can run the bases well and does take walks.
    RF/2B3 - struggling, but does take walks, but also strikes out a lot.
    Not really a hard decision...

    Your best lineup is:

    1B2: DP - she really has no role on the bench but hitting, and she is the best remaining hitter so hit her. And the DP can field, so you can always put out her there at 1B for an inning or two and rest someone in the lineup.
    LF1/CF2: Flex at LF for DP, at some point subs in to run for the DP
    RF/2B3 courtesy runs and pinch runs or possibly pinch hits if no one is hitting.

    Now in bracket, you may not always put your best line up in against a weak team and you ABSOLUTELY should sub in your 3 bench players if the game is +/- 10

    Game 2 & 3 maybe LF1/CF2 or RF/2B3 starts and one of the girls you have at 6 or 7 (or even RF/2B3) takes her Flex role on the bench. Maybe 1B2 plays 1B (remember again that the DP and FLEX can both FIELD so you can rest your 1B1 or any other player you want without taking them out of the game)

    This gives everyone roles in every game, doesn't effect your strength all that much game to game on bracket day.

    The secret is to: UNDERSTAND HOW DP/FLEX WORKS and NEVER FORGET YOU CAN RE-ENTER A PLAYER ONCE IN EVERY GAME

    Too many coaches forget that it isn't baseball and you can put a girl back in once.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "60 feet, turn left"

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    Since it's early in the season, I say bat them all no matter what. Unless you're in some PGF tourney or something high level (which doesn't seem to be the case), the games don't ultimately mean anything. Yeah, it's nice to get a tourney win in the fall or have a good showing, but it's mainly to see what you have, get some games in, and get the girls familiar with each other. Batting 9 or 10 is best left saved for the spring/summer in a big game and that needs to be communicated now to the parents and girls.

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