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Wristband Play Calling

Jun 6, 2016
1,120
83
Chicago
We don't call an offensive play # on each pitch. I'd say maybe 1/3 of the pitches we call something. Of those, many are simply hit away. We've found that when you don't call something on every pitch the defense seems to react and assume you are stealing or bunting when you do call something.
I don't use the wristbands as much as I should, but I have dummy signals for this. Our cards are simple and only go up to 3. The girls are told if I flash a 4 or a 5, it's a nothing call.

The problem is I get "wait, what's that?" looks when I use it, so....
 
Aug 30, 2020
7
3
I started using cards at 13U. Missed signals, confused players, outfield not shifting with the pitch, trailing runner stealing but lead runner not, couldn’t add a new signal without spending time practicing the signal. Most of the problem was due to their 12U age. Knowing that we would use more plays and pitch calls as they got older and couldn’t afford the missed calls, I decided to try cards and I will never go back.

We have two cards in use during the game, a green offense and red defense card. We use the two panel wrist bands so they just twist the band around as we switch between half innings.

I have four numbered versions of each card and the girls choose their card number before the game.

I call a number on every single pitch, both offense and defense.

I love the ability to switch, add and remove signals without any trouble. No missed signals, no confused players. If they can count to 5, they know the signal. I can make a new card with specific plays for a specific game, hand it out before the game and we are off and running.


This is my 14U card. My 10U cards have far fewer signals. My 18U card has more. It is important to have enough multiples of each signal to prevent repeating the same number enough that it becomes obvious. For common plays I have more multiples, for less common I have fewer multiples.

The coach cards are synchronized to the players cards and sorted to simplify finding the plays/pitches.

 
Jun 24, 2019
66
8
Where do you guys get them wristband from I am looking to start using them with my 10u team, specially pitcher and catcher...

Thanks

also@bmwbykrydr can you share your 10u card if it’s possible tho thanks
 
Sep 19, 2018
329
43
Played a team recently with 'wrist bands" so big they covered a couple of the girls shoulder to elbow. They didn't know how to cover a bunt.
 
Aug 30, 2020
7
3
We use off the shelf 2 panel, 3 panel for the older girls, wristbands available at any sporting goods store. You’ll want to make sure the cards fit in the window and all numbers can be seen clearly. You’ll also need to be aware of the size differences between youth and adult models. The window size changes from one to the other which directly affects the size of the card you can use. Some wear them on their wrist, some in their bicep, some on their belt

The 10U cards look the same, layout, numbers, colors, there’s just fewer signals overall, which means more numbers available for each signal. At that age we steal on just about every pitch. We bunt almost as often as we swing away. Those two signals have the most numbers available so we aren’t repeating.

Defense cards have just have Change Up, Fastball, Pitch Out plays, etc.

Offense cards have Take, Sneaky Bunt, Sacrifice Bunt, Steal, Delay Steal, Repeat, etc.

As the girls learn new skills, slapping, drag bunt, pull back, pitchers hitting spots and learning new off speed pitches, I add the signal and print a new card. Put the signals on the card that they can execute.

I use Excel to manage all of the signals, the card layout and making sure the player and coach cards are synchronized. My spreadsheet isn’t automated as much as I would like, but it works for me.

I print them on card stock and I laminate the cards to keep them in good shape.
 
Last edited:
Feb 18, 2017
1
1
I started using cards at 13U. Missed signals, confused players, outfield not shifting with the pitch, trailing runner stealing but lead runner not, couldn’t add a new signal without spending time practicing the signal. Most of the problem was due to their 12U age. Knowing that we would use more plays and pitch calls as they got older and couldn’t afford the missed calls, I decided to try cards and I will never go back.

We have two cards in use during the game, a green offense and red defense card. We use the two panel wrist bands so they just twist the band around as we switch between half innings.

I have four numbered versions of each card and the girls choose their card number before the game.

I call a number on every single pitch, both offense and defense.

I love the ability to switch, add and remove signals without any trouble. No missed signals, no confused players. If they can count to 5, they know the signal. I can make a new card with specific plays for a specific game, hand it out before the game and we are off and running.


This is my 14U card. My 10U cards have far fewer signals. My 18U card has more. It is important to have enough multiples of each signal to prevent repeating the same number enough that it becomes obvious. For common plays I have more multiples, for less common I have fewer multiples.

The coach cards are synchronized to the players cards and sorted to simplify finding the plays/pitches.

I would love to checkout the 18u card if you dontmind
 
Jul 22, 2015
373
43
Where do you guys get them wristband from I am looking to start using them with my 10u team, specially pitcher and catcher...

Thanks

also@bmwbykrydr can you share your 10u card if it’s possible tho thanks
I buy the wristbands from Epic Sports. Generally the best deals on them. As far as the cards, once you have seen a couple of them it really isn't that hard to make them yourself. There is trial and error as far as size, etc but it really isn't hard at all once you have a template made.
 
Aug 30, 2020
7
3
Epic Sports does have great pricing and at least for me, very fast shipping.

True on all points MMEECE, trial and error, do what works.
 
Aug 30, 2020
7
3
The difference with the 18's is that there are more variations of plays but less of them are actual numbers. By this age they have learned when they can do different things without being told and have learned the situations that different plays are needed. The catcher, and sometimes the pitchers, can call more of the pitches as well.

On Defense an additional Pitch Out, PO 6, which is catcher's choice, All Steal which includes an automatic swing and miss for the batter. There are more things that the girls just know to do without the need for a signal. Fake Take to the batter on a Steal, Quick play by the catcher on a bunt throws to 2, if the throw went to 1 then the follow-up throw to 2 or 3 is automatic.

Offense has similar unwritten things like Drag Bunt to a right handed batter is an Inverted Pull Back, show bunt, pull back then finish on a bunt. I use that after several pull backs and the defense stops crashing. I also have a couple trick plays that have only one number each. We may use them less than five times a season. The delay steal is not listed, they all have a green light and know how and when to do it.
 

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