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Thread: Outfield - Where to throw the ball

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball CoogansBluff's Avatar
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    Default Outfield - Where to throw the ball

    Our outfield (12U) struggles to throw to the right base when multiple runners are on. We'll too often throw home when there is little chance of getting the out, allowing other runners to advance.

    What are some ways you've worked on this with your team?

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    At least it sounds like they are throwing the ball and not hanging on to it, I will take this over them thinking to much and hanging on to the ball.

    On our Team 2nd or SS are responsible for telling the OF were to throw the ball. The OF job is to get the ball and come up throwing where they are told to.

    For balls they are coming in for if you have a cutoff player, at about the circle, any mistake throw should not hurt you.

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    Certified softball maniac Sweet Lou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
    Our outfield (12U) struggles to throw to the right base when multiple runners are on. We'll too often throw home when there is little chance of getting the out, allowing other runners to advance.

    What are some ways you've worked on this with your team?
    I'm not sure what the general rule is in softball. Haven't been able to get a good grasp of it with the shorter bases. But in baseball the general rule, unless the ball was hit past you, was to throw 2 bases ahead of where the lead runner started. That was always my guide line durring pre-pitch preperation.

    So
    No one on, throw to 2nd.
    Runner on 1st throw to 3rd.
    Runner on 2nd (or 1st & 2nd) throw home.

    Now if you had no shot at the lead runner, you'd throw behind them to keep runners from advancing but that was something you had to learn with experience.

    Also on throws home you wanted to sail about 1' to 2' above the head of the cutoff (not air mail it over their head where they had no shot to cut) so they could either reach up and cut it off or let the throw go through as catcher called.

    As for how to practice it, game situations with runners on would be the best I would think so they can get reps at it.

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    Certified softball maniac CoachKevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Lou View Post
    I'm not sure what the general rule is in softball. Haven't been able to get a good grasp of it with the shorter bases. But in baseball the general rule, unless the ball was hit past you, was to throw 2 bases ahead of where the lead runner started. That was always my guide line durring pre-pitch preperation.

    So
    No one on, throw to 2nd.
    Runner on 1st throw to 3rd.
    Runner on 2nd (or 1st & 2nd) throw home.

    Now if you had no shot at the lead runner, you'd throw behind them to keep runners from advancing but that was something you had to learn with experience.

    Also on throws home you wanted to sail about 1' to 2' above the head of the cutoff (not air mail it over their head where they had no shot to cut) so they could either reach up and cut it off or let the throw go through as catcher called.

    As for how to practice it, game situations with runners on would be the best I would think so they can get reps at it.
    ^^^^^ This ^^^^ One other thing we do is if the ball is past the outfield to the fence, no matter how many runners were on, the throw is going to 3rd.
    Last edited by CoachKevin; 05-01-2012 at 04:35 PM.

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    Well this is really bad baseball but what we do in our REC team is have the 6th grade shortstop race out to the outfield where the ball is hit to get a throw from the (generally) 5th grade outfielder. Even if its hit to right field. Actually especially if its hit to right field.

    At this point the 6th grade shortstop knows what to do because she is a 6th grade shortstop and she can do it because she has a good 6th grade short stop arm. Meanwhile all the other infielders are now covering their bases waiting for a play.

    I guess I could fib and say it teaches the outfielders where to throw the ball because now they watch where the 6th grade shortstop throws it, but actually it is just a an extremely expedient way of making a great play from the outfield in a REC league. I can't tell you how many kids we have thrown out at the plate since we invented this and gave up on trying to teach all the tennis players, soccer players and dancers on the team how to either be the cutoff girl or hit the cutoff girl.

    I am so ashamed.

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    hen
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    I like what SweetLou wrote and can stress that if you have the outfielders actually think about where they need to throw BEFORE the ball is hit it should make it easier. While practicing live situations, you can ask the outfielders where they're going before you hit the balls to them to get their thought process flowing. Only takes a second, but eventually they get the hang of it.

    If you have enough coaches, you can drill the guys not batting while you guys are at bat as you get runners on base. If the other defense makes the correct throw you can point it out to the outfielders to reinforce the point.

    Having your infielders (catcher especially) be loud and talk helps tremendously.

    Don't forget to give your cut men reps at practice cutting off throws and gunning down runners trying to take the extra base!
    Last edited by hen; 05-03-2012 at 09:57 PM.

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    JAD
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    If the ball goes to the fence the outfielder needs to hit their cut off - SS or 2B. If they are going to throw to a bag, then someone on the infield needs to be designated as the person responsible for call out the base number. We like to use the catcher on my DD travel ball team because the catcher can see all of the base runners from home plate and determine if we have a shot at home or should go to 3rd or 2nd with the ball.

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    I can talk softball all day Dtwn92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Lou View Post
    I'm not sure what the general rule is in softball. Haven't been able to get a good grasp of it with the shorter bases. But in baseball the general rule, unless the ball was hit past you, was to throw 2 bases ahead of where the lead runner started. That was always my guide line durring pre-pitch preperation.

    So
    No one on, throw to 2nd.
    Runner on 1st throw to 3rd.
    Runner on 2nd (or 1st & 2nd) throw home.

    Now if you had no shot at the lead runner, you'd throw behind them to keep runners from advancing but that was something you had to learn with experience.

    Also on throws home you wanted to sail about 1' to 2' above the head of the cutoff (not air mail it over their head where they had no shot to cut) so they could either reach up and cut it off or let the throw go through as catcher called.

    As for how to practice it, game situations with runners on would be the best I would think so they can get reps at it.
    Really a great post. My DD HS team seems to be struggling with communications on this and it is effecting the outfield play.
    "Play like a team in first place, practice like a team in second place".
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    I can talk softball all day GTRH8R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    On our Team 2nd or SS are responsible for telling the OF were to throw the ball. The OF job is to get the ball and come up throwing where they are told to.
    Same here...although it is a killer when your MI doesn't feel like talking.

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    Super Moderator Amy in AZ.'s Avatar
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    HornetsCoach, That play is called "get the ball to Jordan," with teams that I watch. It has gotten better, now that they are Freshman, but for years the girls would generally field the ball and just throw it to Jordan.

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