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Rotation

Feb 1, 2009
1
0
I have 13 girls on my 12u team. Of course some girls are not as advanced as others and was wondering what the best way to rotate 4 girls in and out. I can not have one girl sitting for 2 innings in a row. Thanks.
 
Dec 28, 2008
390
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I don't envy your situation at all. 13 girls on 1 team is pretty tough to manage for even a very experienced coach. Here are some ideas you can try:

1. Plan your rotations ahead of time - NONE of us can keep track of rotating 4 girls in/out while the game is going on. So have it all written down before the game ever starts.

2. Find ways to utilize the players in the dugout and help them grow while they aren't in the game. 1 warms up the nearest outfielder while the other 2 outfielders warm up. 1 relays in any signals you have for the defense during the inning. 1 sits with the book-keeper or does a "team" book and records just what the other team does. Etc. Make it a learning experience, not just a bench warming experience. Have those tasks on the board just like any other position.

3. Realize that just because each girl has to play every other inning, doesn't mean that all girls have to play every other inning. Make them earn their playing time, even at a rec level. Make them earn positions as well. Develop a position checklist of what each girl must do to play each and every position. Just because Jamie-Lynn has to play every other inning doesn't mean she has to rotate into Suzy-Que's spot at third base if she has no reaction time and proves in practice she isn't willing to work on it.

4. After you identify your position checklist and if you plan to stick to it you'll quickly see how you'll need to organize your practices. During the practices explain which of the requirements on your position checklist each drill/activity is helping with, and talk candidly with the girls about those things they need to work on. If you only have 2 girls on the team that can make the throw from SS or 3B then guess what ... you need to spend a lot of practice time on throwing drills or you can never rotate those 2 out.

5. Send the wrong game time to 2-3 girls each week to minimize the number of rotations you have to make. :)
 
May 22, 2008
351
0
NW Pennsylvania
just a caution-if you rotate little susie on & off the field every other inning defensively, make sure she gets an at bat early in the game....be prepared for games shortened by a 10 run rule or whatever your league rules impose.
 
Jan 15, 2009
585
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Canesdv if this is rec ball and it's coach or machine pitch a simple system would be to number the positions 1-9 on the field and have kids rotate in at positions 6,7,8,9 and rotate out of positions 1,2,3,4 the kids staying on the field move up 5 to 1, 6 to 2, 7 to 3, 8 to 4 and 9 to 5. That way every time through the kids are seeing different positions.


just a caution-if you rotate little susie on & off the field every other inning defensively, make sure she gets an at bat early in the game....be prepared for games shortened by a 10 run rule or whatever your league rules impose.
Relax JC this sounds like Rec ball and believe it or not there is a point in softball where it's more important to get every kid to love the game and the score matters for about 10 seconds after the game until the team Mom dishes out the treats.

Many kids get their first taste of softball at this level. I've seen kids start travel at 12 and pass up kids that have been playing travel since they were 8 within a single year because in the end athleticism and drive matter. Some of those late starters are coming over from other sports (soccer, volleyball, basketball) and have been playing at a travel level since 7 or 8 and have already lost thier love of the game they started early and are looking for something new.
 
May 22, 2008
351
0
NW Pennsylvania
Snocatz- I find it hard to believe that little Suzie is going to fall in love with the game if she plays every other inning on defense & doesnt get to batduring the course of the game?????
 
Jan 15, 2009
585
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Rec ball usually includes rules such as everbody bats every inning, or they will limit a team to 5 runs per inning so that even a bad defensive team eventually gets there at bats. I'm actually a fan of pitching machine ball at around 8 yrs old. It greatly speeds up play as nearly every pitch is a strike and increases the offensive/defensive opportunites for everyone on the field. In my experience what ruins softball for most kids in our area is that first year of kid pitch and sitting through walk after walk. That's usually the driver for kids to leave Rec ball and explore traveling. The lucky ones are smart and leave without going through that first year of Rec ball kid pitch.
 

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