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Catcher backing up 1st on plays to the right side?

Apr 30, 2018
259
28
We have a young 10u rec team I'm helping to coach. After two bad scrimmage games we have drastically simplified the defense down to only going for the out at first until our girls can get the coverage down and start routinely making that play. Then we will start to build on that. Our RF plays shallow on the right side at the edge of the grass and on all plays on the right side we have instructed her to back the 1B or 2B while they make a play on the ball. If the ball is on the left side, RF charges over to backup the throw to the 1B. I watched some college games this weekend as well as studied some plays in InMotion Playbooks and they have the catcher charging up the right side foul territory to help back the play at 1B when the play is on the right side. I can understand that with a hit to RF that would have a throw coming in much more inline with the catcher, but what about grounders to 2B. Doesn't seem like the catcher has any chance of getting there in time to backup the play and if RF is backing up the 2B then she isn't going to be there to stop a potential overthrow. How should this work? CF crashing to back the 2B freeing RF to back the 1B is not an option. My CF is special needs and can't remember anything we tell her.
 
Mar 22, 2016
395
43
Southern California
Agreed. It's our first year in 10U, but I can't imagine any team in our rec league using the catcher to back up throws to first. The RF, sure, but not the C. They're just hoping to get the C to catch, block, frame, throw, control base runners, makes plays at the plate, etc, etc, much less have her tail the batter running down to first to back up.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,429
113
I certainly don't ask my catcher to cover overthrows to 1B. Especially with the fact we play 5-6 games in a day and she'd be a wreck.

This might be an interesting read for you:

 
Aug 2, 2019
287
63
I like that guys breakdowns.

Last year when my daughter was moved to 3rd, she played the position very timidly. I had her read the following he wrote about looking for in a 3rd baseman between pool games at a tournament, and she started to play much more aggressively.

3rd Base - 12U Defensive Strategy

I want an ANIMAL. Snarling, drooling, ball-hogging, softball-eating ANIMAL. It shouldn't completely surprise you if she chews tobacco. She pities the poor coach that wants to challenge her with a bunt, and dares hitters to hit it in the hole to shortstop. She needs to play 12-14 feet in front of the bag, hands in the UP position chest high, ready to charge any short hit, and play about 2-3 feet off the foul line. She needs to be prepared to cut off slow rollers to shortstop and any hoppers to shortstop. The only ball that gets past her is a bullet hit to shortstop.


I also used it when I was AC for a terrible rec team. Two girls on the team could catch a ball. My DD, and one other girl. They shared pitching duties. He wanted them both to play SS when they weren't pitching. Reading this convinced him to play them at 1B, and the next two best fielders at 2nd and short right field, so we actually had a chance to get outs. I do not miss rec.
 
Apr 30, 2018
259
28
I certainly don't ask my catcher to cover overthrows to 1B. Especially with the fact we play 5-6 games in a day and she'd be a wreck.

This might be an interesting read for you:

Yea, I found that site awhile back. Good stuff. Just wasn't sure on covering the potential overthrow to 1st when the RF backs up the 2B making a play on the ball. I guess in that case you just hope the 2B doesn't overthrow it. It is probably less of a risk of a 2B overthrowing vs the 2B making an error fielding the ball.

Sent from my SM-G975U1 using Tapatalk
 
Jul 16, 2013
3,378
113
Pennsylvania
At 10u or 12u, I probably wouldn't bother with it, but as they get older, I would definitely start teaching it. All college teams in DD's conference do this, as well as many high school teams in our local area (and high school softball in our area is average, at best). The key is doing what you can to avoid letting the ball go out of play, allowing an automatic extra base. I understand the thought about playing 5 or 6 games in a day in travel ball, but that is why we always carried two quality catchers. We don't want to place that type of physical stress on one person, so by having multiple catchers, they could share it. Luckily both of our catchers were good at other positions as well. And now, one of them plays 3rd base in college, so it worked out all the way around.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,429
113
At 10u or 12u, I probably wouldn't bother with it, but as they get older, I would definitely start teaching it. All college teams in DD's conference do this, as well as many high school teams in our local area (and high school softball in our area is average, at best). The key is doing what you can to avoid letting the ball go out of play, allowing an automatic extra base. I understand the thought about playing 5 or 6 games in a day in travel ball, but that is why we always carried two quality catchers. We don't want to place that type of physical stress on one person, so by having multiple catchers, they could share it. Luckily both of our catchers were good at other positions as well. And now, one of them plays 3rd base in college, so it worked out all the way around.
Sorry, yeah, we have 3 catchers. But they are 10, and even rotating them evenly they're pretty done at the end of a tournament. Yes, we need to work on conditioning. But they're 10. :)
 

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