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catcher positioning for plays at home

Mar 22, 2016
304
43
Southern California
So my daughter is playing 8U, and started catching for the first time in spring. She's had little instruction from coaches on how to position herself to be ready for a play at the plate. I'm happy if she just stands IN FRONT OF THE PLATE instead of behind it (let alone turning her toes towards runner at third).

Her coach for fall said she was a college catcher. During a practice, my DD was standing with her left foot on the FIRST BASE side of the front corner of the plate to be ready for a play at home. I never played catcher, but my baseball IQ was pretty high throughout my career as a middle infielder. I don't understand this set up. I asked my DD if the coach explained why, and she didn't.

Does this position MAKE ANY SENSE to anyone else?? Figured I'd ask before my judgment is cast in stone.
 
May 24, 2013
10,263
113
So Cal
An additional thought about straddling the plate...This will tend to put the catcher's legs in the direct line of fire a lot more often. Maddie essentially put herself in that situation in the second video I posted earlier by moving her left foot further left, and the runner taking a collision path.
 
May 24, 2013
10,263
113
So Cal
So my daughter is playing 8U, and started catching for the first time in spring. She's had little instruction from coaches on how to position herself to be ready for a play at the plate. I'm happy if she just stands IN FRONT OF THE PLATE instead of behind it (let alone turning her toes towards runner at third).

Her coach for fall said she was a college catcher. During a practice, my DD was standing with her left foot on the FIRST BASE side of the front corner of the plate to be ready for a play at home. I never played catcher, but my baseball IQ was pretty high throughout my career as a middle infielder. I don't understand this set up. I asked my DD if the coach explained why, and she didn't.

Does this position MAKE ANY SENSE to anyone else?? Figured I'd ask before my judgment is cast in stone.
Just in front of the 3B-side front corner of the plate is ideal. Even a bit up the 3B line is okay. 1B side isn't so great, but is better than straddling or outside the fould line. However, we don't want them to be anchored to a spot like a F3 playing 1B. They need to move their feet to get the ball, if it's off target (lots of off-target in 8U - LOL).
 
Mar 22, 2016
304
43
Southern California
Just in front of the 3B-side front corner of the plate is ideal. Even a bit up the 3B line is okay. 1B side isn't so great, but is better than straddling or outside the foul line. However, we don't want them to be anchored to a spot like a F3 playing 1B. They need to move their feet to get the ball, if it's off target (lots of off-target in 8U - LOL).
Glad to hear I'm not missing anything. I agree it's better than standing behind the plate. And honestly, the odds of a ball getting anywhere in her area to make a play at the plate are so low it's a futile discussion at this point, but I'd at least like to get the proper fundamentals drilled in to her.
 
May 6, 2015
1,113
63
So my daughter is playing 8U, and started catching for the first time in spring. She's had little instruction from coaches on how to position herself to be ready for a play at the plate. I'm happy if she just stands IN FRONT OF THE PLATE instead of behind it (let alone turning her toes towards runner at third).

Her coach for fall said she was a college catcher. During a practice, my DD was standing with her left foot on the FIRST BASE side of the front corner of the plate to be ready for a play at home. I never played catcher, but my baseball IQ was pretty high throughout my career as a middle infielder. I don't understand this set up. I asked my DD if the coach explained why, and she didn't.

Does this position MAKE ANY SENSE to anyone else?? Figured I'd ask before my judgment is cast in stone.
I try to get DD to put her left heel on left front corner of plate. do not think with just her heel on they can be considered blocking, and puts her in great position to make a tag. of course, may have to move to meet the ball a little.
 
Sep 29, 2014
2,027
63
Just in front of the 3B-side front corner of the plate is ideal. Even a bit up the 3B line is okay. 1B side isn't so great, but is better than straddling or outside the fould line. However, we don't want them to be anchored to a spot like a F3 playing 1B. They need to move their feet to get the ball, if it's off target (lots of off-target in 8U - LOL).
The problem with not at least starting out in an anchored position and philosophy is when you move your foot the odds of you moving it into a bad postion is high, honestly toes pointed to third is correct from a safety standpoint but it just is not very natural and if you move it you will move it in a bad direction. If the throw isn't going to be online at the front of the plate then you are probably best coming off the left foot and just fielding the ball and only worrying about a tag if the throw is well ahead of the runner. Again there are a lot of YHTBT type situations but thinking and terms of the foot being anchored at least to to begin with isn't a terrible idea.
 
May 24, 2013
10,263
113
So Cal
I try to get DD to put her left heel on left front corner of plate. do not think with just her heel on they can be considered blocking, and puts her in great position to make a tag. of course, may have to move to meet the ball a little.
Here's an important thing to understand about blocking/obstruction...

It is not obstruction until the moment the runner's progress is actually inhibited by a fielder not in possession of the ball.* Blocking where the runner might be in the future is not obstruction.

The catcher can lay down and completely cover the plate, if she really wants to. If she has possession of the ball, she can stay there. If she doesn't have possession of the ball, it's still not obstruction until the runner is actually impeded.



* This is the same in EVERY rule set, except NCAA.
 

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