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RF Positioning - Shallow or Deep

Dec 12, 2008
Albany NY
12U level - where do you position your RF. Some say normal OF depth, but I have heard others say many more plays happen in shallow RF than deep, and the RF, if shallow can throw our a runner at 1st on a hard grounder. Basically accepting the risk that every once in a while a ball will go over her head. Anyone employeed this with success over the course of a season?
Dec 28, 2008
I suspect you'll get the same responses here that you would if you flipped a coin. Some will say it is better to play shallow and force a team/girl to earn your right fielders respect, and and others will say it is better to give up a few singles than ever get burned deep because bloop singles don't change momentum but triples can.

In general my coin would be standing on its side because I think you need to play both based on what you know about the team you are playing and their hitting tendencies, what you can guess by looking at the size of the girls you are playing and the pitcher you are throwing and the pitches she throws. As you progress and repeatedly play teams and learn individual girls abilities you'll pull your RF in or send her back in the very same game.

Another important part of the equation is what you know about your RF? Does she have quick reactions and great forward covering speed and will she go to the ground sliding for a catch? If she does you can play her slightly deeper than another girl in the same game/batter/pitcher situation. If she can make quick drop steps and cover balls over her head then she can play more shallow and protect against more bloops while still protecting against longer hits.

Unfortunately in the "most important game ever in the history of ball" you'll have your RF playing in the "wrong place" for some parents if the hit is a bloop or goes deep and you lose the game.
May 22, 2008
NW Pennsylvania
For what its worth, in my experience coaching 12u last year, I found that a decent pitcher held a pretty good advantage over quite a few batters. most batters that made good contact were still behind the ball, in fact very few were pulling the ball against good pitching. We played a lot of 4 man outfield. I would play my better fielders on the right side of the field ( I know this goes agains common sense, but it worked for me) First time through the order, I played at normal dept by the second time through the order or sometimes even after watching the batter swing once you can reposition outfielders. I found I had the best luck putting my best, most athletic fielder in right-center. She could also do a good job helping out with second base backup.
Good advice JC, alot of my positioning also is determined by my pitcher and how the batter is getting around on the ball. If # 3 -4 pitcher play strength to left side. #'s 1 - 2 strength to right side and @ normal depth the first time through the lineup. I have had good success doing it this way, of course with the occasional burn also.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
Depends on how the speed of your outfield. If they are fast, play them in, and use that speed for running down the ball.
Sep 18, 2008
At 12U most balls hit deep to right field are probably not going to be caught anyway. Play them in and go for the out at first and easy fly balls. Also they are closer for backing up first base on F5 or F6 throws.

I agree though that you have to consider the pitchers speed and how she is throwing on that day.

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