First year 10-u select. Is there any special way to deal with handling a rundown situation? Offensivly can you force a rundown to try to draw the defense away from your runner at third? Or anything else you might want to add to this.
Mike, ironoc, we worked rundowns this afternoon w/ our HS girls.
Basics..... *** Understanding this is 10U - I would do SAME, except I would have the receiver give a "BALL" Call at #4.
1) Make them believe the rundown should NEVER have more then 2 throws if at all possible.
2) Chasers intent is to TAG the runner so she chases with the intent of TAGGING not running half speed! If she chases w/ the intent to tag, then she forces the base runner to committ to a base. CHASES with the ball in her throwing hand SHOULDER height and ready to DART throw, NOT PUMPING the ball! Pumping the ball might fool the receiver!
3) Reciver GETs to the SAME side as the chaser to create a throwing lane outside the runner. I tell the receiver it is HER responsibility to get to the chaser side of the runner. (You do NOT want throws going across the path of the runner, could hit the base runner or the reciever could have trouble seeing the ball coming past the runner. Throwing lanes are VERY important. Same as infield throws/feeds.... throwing lanes!
4) I ask my girls that the RECEIVER gives a ball call or flashes her glove or throwing hand signal WHEN she wants the chaser to dart throw to her. (Judgement that ENOUGH time for the chaser to dart the ball, and receiver to catch and tag. this provides for ONE throw, but if for any reason we misjudge, should be able to get the runner CHASING her for tag and NO MORE then a 2nd throw!) ** This enables the receiver to KNOW when the ball is coming and alleviates the surprise factor that we sometimes see. Receiver wants the ball and she calls for it (or again signals for it.)
***** I'm not smart enough to make any of this up, comes from Mike Candrea (US Olympic Coach, US International team coach and U of Arizona Head Coach (8 time National Champs!) I go out to AZ every year to his clinic, best sofball clinic I've ever been to and WELL worth the money and I treat it as a mini-vacation with friends!
Delayed steals to get into a rundown and overturning a bse with the intent of getting into a rundown is a good offensive strategy at 10U & 12U. good 12U and 14U teams will let the lead runner from 3rd committ to get THAT out! ALWAYS ready to trade out at 3B and give up runner going to 2B!
If you are a smart offensive coach and are working on THAT side of the run down you will do 4 things:
1. Point out to girls Rule #3 above
2. Point out to girls that fielders ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS catch the ball with their gloves
3. Point out to girls that their head is the safest part of their body because they have a helmet on
4. Tell girls to target their running directly at the glove of the fielder they are heading towards to PURPOSELY cause the obstacle and PURPOSELY cause a blind spot.
Absolutely! 100 % agree w/ Druer. We tell our girls exactly that. Run at the reciever's glove, the darted ball may hit you (won't hurt) and gives you a better chance to wind up safe. Especially when you see or hear a call for the ball.
question I have..... we all prefer to chase the runner back to the base she came from, but would you have your near base player THROW immediately to start the chaser moving back to the previous base? I know we prefer this, BUT I prefer to simply have the chaser chase the runner and NOT throw unless neessary. Not sure others agree.
We teach to make the out and the base of origin. Therefore, like you said, we will throw ahead of a runner earlier when they're going to the next base, in order to force the chase back to the base of origin. This is especially true between third base and home. If we are going to have a close play at a base on a tag or quick throw, we want it to be at a base where a mistake is not going to cost us a run. I don't believe in chasing a runner toward home plate. I'd rather throw ahead of her early and force the direction of the play back to third base (base of origin).
I advocate playing with integrity, but agree with the suggestion to run at a receiving player's glove during a rundown. I don't think the runner should weave back and forth if the receiving player moves (primarily because she will stop running in a straight line and have a greater chance of being tagged out), but I think initially starting out by running directly at the glove is fine. I looked up your NCAA rule reference and the interpretation guide seems to be stressing plays at first base in regards to 1) sliding to break up a secondary throw or 2) colliding unnecessarily with a first baseman. Furthermore, if the runner is still within the runner's lane, I think the defense has little ground to appeal an interference call.
Sluggers and Jimingas were mentally sparring on a different topic about the line between playing aggressively with integrity and cheating, I think he was being sarcastic more than anything. I am going to guess that Sluggers is an advocate of what Jimingas wrote, maybe it is just me but I like Sluggers honesty. I believe that when two people spar everybody ultimately learns something, no harm no foul. If people with different opinions don't speak up, young coaches like me have to learn everything the hard way. This is good stuff, Thanks.
*** Rremember one of my initial comments, I'm not saying what my friend tells her girls or other coaches tell their players is wrong, I'm saying I can't do that myself. I don't agree with it, doesn't mean I'm right, but that's how I feel about using sports to help teach life lessons to our players.
Ref: running at a fielder's glove: I have to tell you having a couple friends umpiring HS ball, who have also coached travel ball, our discussions have been consistant. Running at a fieldiers glove is not runner's interference as you have a right to the base path. Unless you intentfully are juking or weaving at a fielder, then sportsmanship comes into play also, but we don't teach that. Same as Sliding into a base to break up a force play/double play vice the runner avoiding the fielder. Same as teaching a bunter to drop their bat between the plate and the ball to slow the catcher down... legal play to drop the bat and not throwing it at a players feet, nonetheless it is intended to slow the catcher. So we do play aggressively and within the rules.
***Football..... rules state if a defender makes contact on a receiver attempting to make a catch on the passed ball, the call should be made as pass interference. We teach DBs if they are beat deep, intentfully interfere, not to cheat, but to accept the inevitable penalty as the lessor evil of giving up a touchdown as opposed to taking the penalty. I don't beleieve anyone considers that cheating, as we are causing an action in front of a referee and EXPECT the call.... not the same as saying when the ref isn't looking, pull the receiver down. I do love the discussion as periodically someone does sway my way of thinking when rationale makes sense to me.