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Feb 5, 2019
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At what age are we all playing the players in their best position during tournament pool play? How about bracket play? We're 11u. The HC has the girls are all over the field. The exception would be pitchers and catchers. They're the same 3 and 4 (respectively) in each position.

We're in an ~12 game slump and may need to do something different.
 
May 17, 2012
2,035
63
When planning tournaments I aim for a .500 record. Anything over that and we played to many weaker teams. Too much under that and we were playing where we didn't belong.

1. Any time there is bracket play i am fielding a lineup to win;
2. Any team under 14u and I am trying to develop.

Sometimes 1 and 2 collide at the younger ages. You do need to win games at some point or you will lose them.

Just my philosophy.
 
Apr 25, 2019
98
18
If pool play does NOT count for seeding, then play and develop girls all over the field. During bracket, you are playing to win so play your girls at their best positions. Even at the older age groups, pool play is essentially a warm up and development time.
 
May 6, 2015
1,450
83
at the younger ages, development is key, so definitley they should move around, but I think moving around during a single game or weekend sometimes gets taken too far. If I were still a coach, I would have for each player 2, 3 at outside (mostly for Ps and Cs this latter) positions they will play for the entire weekend. and probably only one for bracket play (again, Ps and Cs as exception possibly). this lets the player focus on those 2 positions at all practices leading up to that weekend. by your fourth or fifth tournament (talking normal times not pandemic times), you have a pretty good idea who you want where for bracket play. then you can settle in to a set lineup/rotation (still think you need to involve everyone in most braket play games at younger ages). everyone got some chances at different positions, so should not be too much bitching from parents (will always be some).
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,141
63
I think your best players should be able to play any position (outside of P and C). They likely will be better at their number 1 as they can devote more time to the nuances. We had a 14U team a couple of years ago where we had a bunch of players who could move around when needed. It allowed us to keep them fresh but also allowed us to put out a really good defensive team on Sundays. We could let some other kids play some positions on Saturday and still be competitive. What really hurts is when you have a bunch of kids that can only play 1 position.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,300
113
Dallas, Texas
Here is how I did it:

Each kid has a primary position and a secondary position. Every position had at least two kids.

At that age (12U), 1B and SS the two most important positions after pitcher and catcher. So, my best all around players would be at SS. My best tall kids would be at 1B.

For friendlies, kids played all over the place.

During pool games, I would start the game with the kids either at their primary position or their secondary position. If the game got out of hand one way or the other, then the kids would go all over the place.

During the elimination tournament, the kids would play their primary position. I didn't play the same 10 players during every game of the elimination tournament.
 
Last edited:
Jul 22, 2015
346
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At what age are we all playing the players in their best position during tournament pool play? How about bracket play? We're 11u. The HC has the girls are all over the field. The exception would be pitchers and catchers. They're the same 3 and 4 (respectively) in each position.

We're in an ~12 game slump and may need to do something different.
At that age I just want them to develop. Every kid has a primary and secondary position and I expect them all to try and become at least acceptable in the outfield. There are several reasons for this, mostly related to physical development. After puberty their bodies could change dramatically, not to mention you don't know how tall they will be, if they develop more speed, etc. Sometimes the short, slow, chubby kid at 11 becomes the tall, fast kid by 14. That doesn't even take into account those who lose interest in pitching, or who no longer want to play the position dad made them start in. I'd expect to specialize more by 14u, and have it fairly well narrowed down by 16u. Even with that being said, I know college coaches who virtually ignore a player's position and say they'll change most of them anyway.
 

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