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No swing rule on 3-0 count

May 15, 2019
17
3
I know it's probably been discussed but I can't find it in the forums. What is your view on a coach telling the entire team we will never swing with a 3-0 count? I've always told my daughter not to be up there looking for a walk and that the next pitch with a 3-0 count will probably be the best pitch she sees all night. While going over new signs at practice our coach made this announcement that "we will never swing with a 3-0 count" no sign needed - just don't swing. I haven't discussed it with my daughter and she hasn't said anything. I don't want to go against the coach's directions. Of course, in our first scrimmage my daughter has a 3-0 count on her and sends the next pitch to left center for a double. Coach doesn't say anything but if she does it again I'm sure she's going to hear about it. Any thoughts one way or the other?
 
Sep 29, 2014
1,983
63
I used to always make kids check for the sign its the right habit no matter the count. I didt let them know as a general rule we don't swing 3-0 but I have greenlighted lots of my hitters 3-0. The thing you have let them know is it does NOT mean swing....it means you are looking for your pitch in your spot and if you get crush it. So I'm probably not slapping or bunting or probably even letting the bottom of the line up swing.

Other big thing is this is as always situation dependent, who are we playing, what's the score, how the pitcher doing on so on. If pitcher was doing great but has struggled last few batters maybe you want her to keep walking girls and run her from the game versus maybe get out of the inning.
 
May 15, 2019
17
3
I used to always make kids check for the sign its the right habit no matter the count. I didt let them know as a general rule we don't swing 3-0 but I have greenlighted lots of my hitters 3-0. The thing you have let them know is it does NOT mean swing....it means you are looking for your pitch in your spot and if you get crush it. So I'm probably not slapping or bunting or probably even letting the bottom of the line up swing.

Other big thing is this is as always situation dependent, who are we playing, what's the score, how the pitcher doing on so on. If pitcher was doing great but has struggled last few batters maybe you want her to keep walking girls and run her from the game versus maybe get out of the inning.
I agree with your way of thinking. You are right about it being "situation dependent". It's good to think about it from a coach's way of thinking about the big picture versus just one at bat. It just struck me as odd to lay down a flat "never swing" instead of just have them look to him for the sign. In his defense, this is a young 10U team that is still getting used to kid pitch so no one is a sure thing at bat. I just don't want my DD to get that in her head forever.
 
May 29, 2019
56
18
In general, I think it's dumb. I could see some very specific game situations where it would make sense, or at the young age groups.

If the kid is a hitter, let her hit..... You see it all the time, the 3-0 meatball. Then next pitch catches a corner for called strike two. Now you are sitting at full count. :rolleyes:

I had a discussion with one my DD's assistant coaches about it in 14U. Daughter laced a 3-0 meatball right at the shortstop, which she made a very athletic jumping catch. I was happy she absolutely smoked the ball, but unfortunately was a line out. Coach was mad that she didn't take the pitch, even though admitted that there was no take sign on. So I asked the coach "What is the difference between 3-0 and 3-1 count? The 3-0 pitch is the better pitch to hit!"
 
Dec 26, 2017
259
43
Oklahoma
In my experience, getting kids to swing and hunt their pitch is hard enough as it is, without putting a walk up on a pedestal as an outcome. If you want a take because of the situation then call take. I've seen that happen in situations where you have runners on base, you need multiple runs or the game is over, and the next couple of batters up are kids who are struggling or weak at the plate and it just baffles me.
 
Aug 29, 2011
2,379
48
NorCal
I don't like a no swing rule but if a coach has one the girls should follow it. I think it's better to give girls the green light in certain situtations to see how they react. If they go up hunting I'm likely to green light them in the future. If they go up hacking at balls out of the zone or have a defensive swing, they are probably getting the take sign for quite some time on 3-0.

That said a 3-0 take sign is often but not always the right call.

As to the difference between 3-0 and 3-1? If you had a good active take on 3-0, you're probably getting the same pitch to crush on 3-1.
 
Sep 17, 2009
1,385
63
In general, I think it's dumb. I could see some very specific game situations where it would make sense, or at the young age groups.

If the kid is a hitter, let her hit..... You see it all the time, the 3-0 meatball. Then next pitch catches a corner for called strike two. Now you are sitting at full count. :rolleyes:

I had a discussion with one my DD's assistant coaches about it in 14U. Daughter laced a 3-0 meatball right at the shortstop, which she made a very athletic jumping catch. I was happy she absolutely smoked the ball, but unfortunately was a line out. Coach was mad that she didn't take the pitch, even though admitted that there was no take sign on. So I asked the coach "What is the difference between 3-0 and 3-1 count? The 3-0 pitch is the better pitch to hit!"
What was the situation? Were they in desperate need of a baserunner? If so, working the 3-0 count for a walk might have been the best path --in that case a line-drive out on 3-0 IS a bad result....for the team.

It's always situational. To have an always-take 3-0 policy makes no sense either. I know there have been many times with a few hitters that I would NEVER want them to get walked. I'd rather see them swing at ball 4 at 3-0 for the chance to get a hittable pitch at 3-1. I didn't want the bat taken out of their hands. Again, depends on the hitter and the situation and what the team and the hitter need in that situation.
 
May 6, 2015
1,024
63
several times in rec, I told DD on 3-0 counts that she was swinging no matter what, over her head, bouncing, whatever. sometimes pitching was so bad, I just wanted her to see another pitch in case it was decent (and if 3-0 pitch was decent, I wanted her to rip it). probably needed to have her do that in last nights game, 4 PA, 0 AB (3 BB, one HBP).
 
Nov 18, 2015
657
43
I think this is very dependent on the age, level, and game situation.

Many of my 3-0 instructions were "if you can hit it - swing". Of course, my own daughter took this quite literally and connected for a double on the next pitch. What made this the "hit of the year" was that the pitch bounced before she hit it.
Her: "I like the low ones!"
Me: "Did you realize it bounced first?"
Her: "No."
Me: 🤦‍♂️

Reading the OP's 2nd post - if this is 10U, I'm putting this in the "horrible" coaching philosophy category. Hopefully, after a few games, the coach will discover on his own that he needs to rethink this rule. We had way too many backward K's this year - if you get a hitable pitch at ANY point in the count in 10U - I say count your blessings, and with very few exceptions, just let it rip.
 

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