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Position rotation in a game/season

May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
My daughters are both playing in LL 9-12 years fastpitch.

I've been an assistant for years ....played fastpitch as well.

We play 6 innings and other than pitcher catcher, every girl plays a different position each inning (yes, a completely different line up every single inning). The current group of coaches feel as though the girls will learn numerous positions by rotating the girls in this manner.
Each of our 4 teams has about 4 pitchers and they may pitch one or two innings a game (sometimes they don't get an inning at all.)(which is fine as some (half) of the pitchers are quite erratic)

Even if they do end up playing the same position in a game, they aren't consecutive innings.

Although I agree with the girls playing different positions, I disagree with the frequency of rotation. We have played 6 games and none of the girls has any real knowledge of what to do withthe ball when they get it (other than pitchers catchers).

By the time All Stars come around, we are dealing with pitchers who haven't pitched more than two innings in a game and numerous fielders who just don't know what to do on the field.

I guess I would play two line ups each game ... then rotate differently in the next game (this is an all play equally league until All Stars)

Any thoughts on any of this?
May 7, 2008

Eureka! The only way a pitcher will improve overall is with exposure. In a different thread, there was talk about a cancerous player. My daughter has just given notice to her team (very difficult) because the cancerous player that everyone is tip toeing around is the ace pitcher. Robin is their number 2 pitcher, but the coaches have no pitching rotation. The difficult player is threatened by Robin's talent which is not as strong as hers. But if anyone else is put on the mound, the girl cries, huffs, buffs and sends out a message that they are going to lose because she's not pitching. My husband and I have talked about a pitching rotation (four girls on this team with great potential) and they refuse. A sword they are going to die on. It makes absolutely no sense to put a less experienced pitcher in only when the coaches resign to losing the game before its over. My daughter came to us and intelligently identified the problem and is blessed to have several team choices. There is a 12U team that consists of mostly 10 year olds, and my daughter has gotten her mound time by filling in for them when her team wasn't playing. It has helped her esteem, confidence, and pitching. It's helped that little team compete, and the coach of that team uses Robin to teach off of. They are coming up against the same teams that her team play, and she has been shutting them down. Knowing which pitches to pitch is learned...it may come natural for some, but not many. My husband is helping her to learn that. On her team, the coach calls low and inside over and over and over because that is what his daughter throws best...need I say more. I don't mean to spout, but this very question is what we have been up against. I would appreciate some of the more seasoned members to weigh in...Marc, Ernie, Elliot, Hal?

Thanks for bringing it up.

May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
We actually have 5 pitchers on the team. I guess you could say my daughter is #2 ..... doesn't throw as fast as our #1...but she is more accurate and doesn't let here emotion rule (LL 11, just turned 12). Our #1 pitcher is a good kid and I like her a lot. We have really good kids on the team, no problems.
The other 3 pitchers are super young (two are 9 year olds that just came up to this league.) My younger daughter is one of the 9 year olds ...she was actually #1 in that draft.

Usually they each sit out one inning so they play 5 innings in the field....typically the older pitchers will pitch two innings each. #1 pitcher is also a catcher so she doesn't play outfield.

We are 'victims of success" in that we have a LOT of pitchers......have a group of very experienced coaches that run pitching clinics all year on Saturday mornings....in the winter we pay $100 each pitcher for Nov-Mar to rent a space...the rest is free.

My concern is more that the girls get bounced around so much in the field. I really don't see them knowing a position at the end of any season and many of our 13-15 yr old girls are still making very basic decision mistakes during games.
I just don't think they learn much by playing a different position each inning .....
May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
Oh...we have 4 teams in our town 9-12 year old league...each team has about 12 kids.
We have two teams that are 13-16 and 4 teams that are 8-10 years.
Our town is about 18,000.

Two girls in our 9-12 league play Travel ...
May 7, 2008
I would think 5 pitchers is great for tournament ball when you are playing 7-8 games per weekend, but I know coaches who would say 5 is too many. I see both sides. During developmental years mound time exposure is so important. Softball doesn't seem to operate like baseball with a set up man and closer. The team we are leaving have four pitchers but will only use two unless it is pool play. Most coaches do not understand how it can affect a girl's confidence. At the same time it creates an unwanted dynamic of some girls feeling favored. Dysfunctional.

May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
Position game rotation pitching

I do wish that there weren't so many pitchers. But that isn't something that we can change. Pretty much anyone who says they practice at home or goes to the clinics is considered a pitcher.

Four teams.....each team has 4-5 pitchers. For the most part the kids get 1-2innings per game....my girls have played 6 games ...my 9 year old has pitched 3 innings, my 11 year old 8 or 9 innings.

I do know that if they pitched more innings they would definitely get better.....the league has morphed more into all are equal (kind of). In a lot of ways that is a good thing.
Last year my 11 year old didn't pitch well (never missed a clinic and we practiced 3-4 times per week most weeks......she got enough play time to make her want to come back. But I don't see her growing much if she doesn't get more innings this year. She's working on speed, hits corners well and change up coming along nicely.
My 9 year old is just starting.......doing pretty well with accuracy, but 3 innings isn't much.

The league doesn't seem to know what to do and sometimes unexpected kids grow in a year...so hard not to let everyone at least try....

In all honesty, there are kids who don't practice all all in the winter and just show up in the spring to pitch. Innings are long and painful. I do think it is unfair that some kids work all year long and get shorted innings for these players.
I have voiced my opinion and have gotten nowhere ....no one wants wants to tell a kid to chose between dance or basketball to be able to pitch. Both my daughters participate in other activities (9 yr old does travel & premier soccer all year) and we still manage to practice pitching and have fun.

......but in a few years I would predict that we won't have the pitching that we see in our 8th graders and up (they had far fewer pitchers and those kids were pitching pretty much the entire game as there was only 2 pitchers per team then ....

I'm not hopping mad about it. My 11 year old needs work with hitting, but can really catch a flyball ....can throw 3rd to 1st great. Pitching is accurate...42-44 ish.....she's 61" and 110 pounds.

I'm concerned that most of the girls aren't learning how to play any position very well...they don't know when to tag player or base, they certainly don't know how to position to tag a runner....etc.....
May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT

Oh...Our league participates in All Stars...
end of season tournament ....

Tryout based teams ....this year there will likely be two teams...a 9/10 and an 11/12.
Typically the coaches look for the three best pitchers and two catchers for each team .....
But sometimes we get just enough kids for a team...not necessarily the skilled players.

Last year the 9/10 team won 1 of 3 games....mercied in the first and 3rd ...
My daughter pitched the 3rd game...5 innings, struck out 11, walked 3.....error after error...poor kids had no idea what to do on the field. Our girls didn't hit even tough their pitcher basically just tossed balls over the plate.
The team that beat us two times went pretty far

They play Fall Ball here as well...Saturday's two 4 inning games ....still too many pitchers so they even spilt those games into two pitchers.

Same guys coach the teams so no new ideas or methods being tried....

Good intentions.....nice people ....
..but the girls aren't getting better ....
May 7, 2008
I hear your pain. With two travel ballplayers (sb and bb), my husband removed himself as head coach to be available to watch as many games as possible. He was frustrated at the end of last season (sb) with poor coaching. We have been approached from several teams interested in our children, and within the last couple of weeks, my husband has been approached by two different organizations for his coaching ability. His philosophy, "It's not if you cover the bag, it's how you cover the bag." So many coaches collect girls who can get the job done and wing it...I hate to say it can be expected in rec ball, but travel ball?! The powerhouse travel teams in our area have what my husband and I call "collected talent." Nothing they have instilled or invested in. Win at any cost...the girl doesn't perform, she's replaced. Either that or girls that will not slide, third basemen not shadowing runners, and other basics! In the majors, you are getting paid for a performance... Youth sports has become so vulnerable. I predict a lot of the talented girls/boys I see today will be burned out, injured or beaten by college.

Cudos to all the good coaches out there!!


Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
Boy, are you guys ever on the same page as I am.

I have students that come to pitching lessons from 3 different rec leagues. At 8U, one league has the catcher just wear the equipment and get down on her knees. A dad roams around at the backstop retrieving the balls. Oh, and he has no equipment on. So, the catcher never has to move. It is very difficult for an 8YO to pitch to a stationary object.

One 10 YO that is dedicated to her pitching lessons is restricted to pitching 2 innings, by the rules. Plus, the coach always puts her grand D into pitch, who threw 25 balls in 31 pitches, last game.

Last week a 14 YO LL team hired me to come to practice, because they have no pitchers. They have 4 great girls that want to learn. Two are coming to private lessons, with me. When I asked the coach what else he needs help with, he said that the girls don't know how to slide and the catcher refuses to. :confused:
May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
Position rotation

Our league has no pitching limits other than no more than 18 innings in a week.
Generally they pitch 2-3 (sometimes 4) pitchers in a game during regular season.

There are a few that do not attend our year round clinics and do pitch (mostly coaches daughters).
Our clinics are good and those who atend and practice are the better pitchers..no surprise there.

We had one Fall ball game this past year where a girl who doesn't go to the clinics pitch in a Fall ball game (we play two 4 inning games). She literally bowled the pitches over the plate and they left her her in all 4 innings. We hot killed...coaches daughter who somehow managed to get a spot on a U10 travel team...

The current coach refuses to play my 11 year old in any position other than pitcher and outfield. The league rules specify no more than 3 iinnings at any position and every player has to play two innings in the infield.

My daughter pitches her two innings and then off to the outfield. She plays a great 3rd base but isn't allowed to as the coaches daughter gets that position for 3 innings (then short for one or two innings)...the other girls who get to play 3rd are really really lacking in an arm or ability to catch....but this makes his daughter look good.

We both have 9 year old daughters on the same softball team and for reason he has picked my kids as his kids competition. (the 9's also play on the same soccer team)(my 9 year old also plays Premier soccer as well as Travel. last season played U11)

This stuff goes on everywhere so I'm not surprised.
I guess I'm disappointed as he seems to be stacking the deck in favor of his kid for an All Stars while making sure mine doesn't get any time to develop so that she has a chance.
My daughter can't hit...but she is one of three kids on the team who can catch a fly ball..can play 3rd quite well and she is probably #4 pitcher out of 20 in our league....


My initial concern with this post was why the need to move kids to different positions every inning.
I honestly don't see thm learning the position if they get one inning and bounced to another (the rest of the kids on our team)
It is so much easier just to make up two rotations for each game.....kids get a few innings at two positions each game.....

My 9 year old was the #1 draft for the Minirs eligible to come up and she doesn't want to play All Stars or fall ball....she isn't sure she wants to keep playing softball at all......keeps getting "instructed" as she doesn't quite know what to do in any one of the 5 positions she plays each game.

I'm going to throw my name in to be the coach for All Stars...but chances are they will pick the coach that is currently coaching my 9 and she doesn't want to play if he coaches (she knows that I won't favor her) ... Good old boys club thing.....

We go over situations in our yard al the time...but the game is the best learning environment.....

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