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Covering Home

Apr 26, 2009
When a pitcher has thrown the ball to the backstop, where should the pitcher covering home position themselves to make a play but avoid injury?

The players in our league (11-12 Girls) don't slide at home, they run through the base. Obviously the pitcher needs to be up the third base line, but how should their feet/body be positioned in relation to home plate to avod a collision?


Jan 15, 2009
foot position should be 2 ft away from 3B line and up the line just enough so that they can lay a tag down between home plate and the start of the 3B line. position is different dependent on left or right handed. Most common mistakes are

#1 standing blocking the plate : results in injuries even when there is no play
#2 over pursuit : going past the plate toward the backstop : this forces them to reach back for the tag (costs time) or tag on the plate (too late)
May 13, 2008
Ideally your pitcher should get to the first base side of home plate (without blocking the plate - avoid that blindside hit) and get her glove two feet off the ground and two feet up the third base line. That doesn't always happen, but regardless of where the glove should be, the catcher should always throw to the same target; the pitcher's glove, wherever that is.
Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
I practice my pitchers covering home plate during pitching / Catchers practice.
I want my pitchers straddling home with her front side / chest facing to 3B corner of home plate, feet straddling home, both knees bent in an athletic position and her GLOVE to HER KNEE Height. I want the catcher working her shovels/backhand throws to 3B corner of home at pitchers glove/knee height throw and Pitcher yelling "4-4-4" to help catcher align the throw. I NEVER want the pitcher Dropping her knee to block the plate, just catch and SLAP Tag to ground/feet. Harder for her when throw is coming from 1B side from catcher.

2 drillls I do with this:
1) Catcher has 5 balls both sides of home somewhere spread out near backstop and Pitcher straddling Home calling for throw in proper position.

2) Progress this to ME Throwing a wild pitch on pitchers motion from the rubber and Pitcher breaking for home and cover to make it closer to game like.

(I believe when Pitchers take a break from throwing during pitching practice, they should do one of two things:
1) One break we talk mental part of game: Dealing with fielders errors, dealing with parents, coaches, Umpires, pressure, what situation calls for and what we should be expecting, composure, etc
2) 2nd break, we practice fielding: Fielding Bunts and throws to each base, including shovels to Home and hard hit balls to her for positioning her feet and shoulders to lead runner base, or slow hit and stepping to 1B for out, covering home on passed balls, breaking towards 1B on ALL balls hit to her left until she recognizes 1B or 2B have coverage, breaking to backup position on balls to outfield with a runner able to turn 2B for 3B or home.
May 5, 2008
Which way the pitcher is facing may also depend on where exactly the ball is. One thing I've seen happen many times when the plate is between the pitcher and the catcher is that the pitcher will reach our to receive the ball bringing into the path of the runner.

In most tag plays on other areas of the field, you try not to have the ball have to cross the path of the runner. Not always possible with the passed ball though. It can also open up the pitcher to a "blind side" hit if the runner isn't going straight to the plate and if the pitcher is in the running lane at all. It's almost like setting up at 2b for a ball coming in from the outfield for a runner trying to take the double. The ball could be coming from various angles (ie LF vs RF) and you don't stand in the same position for each one. So depending on where the ball ended up (1b side/3b side/straight back) the pitcher may have to make an adjustment on her position based on where the ball is coming from.

I want my pitchers straddling home with her front side / chest facing to 3B corner of home plate, feet straddling home
be careful about obstruction
Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
on passed balls behind the plate and 3B side of the plate, pitcher setting up and receiving the ball is easy. On balls to on the 1B side of home plate, I have the pitcher's feet and body in the same position and she twists at the waist to face the catcher/recive the ball, with the hands still at knee height (I use that as a target for the catcher). Not sure how else she should position herself to receive the ball on 1st base side of the plate, as I don't want her back to the runner.

** To avoid obstruction, the pitcher straddles the plate so she is NOT blocking the base path of the runner and the runner can get to the plate.

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