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Positional Responsibilities 

Requirements for Defensive Unit

·         Call for all Fly Balls!

·         Know and go for sure outs.

·         Effectively back each other up on all batted and thrown balls.  See detail at bottom of page.

·         Have all bases covered on all plays.

·         Know when to “eat” the ball.

·         Know where the force-outs are and which ones to take.  It can change on every pitch!

·         Be aware of base runners trying to advance after an out.

·         On pop flies and line drives, cover bases!  You can double up runners.

·         Throw ahead of base runners.

·         On balls hit to the outfield, use the cutoff man.

·         Always think ahead of the play.  Know what you’ll do when the ball comes to you

·         Always know the count. It affects the way a batter will hit.

·         Chatter, chatter, chatter!!!

 

Requirements for the Pitcher

·         Throw strikes

·         On ground balls to the right side, cover first base

·         When third basemen makes play on bunt, cover 3B if there are runners on base

·         Back up throws to 3B and Home from Outfield

·         Cover home plate on wild pitches with runners on 3B or 2B

·         Hold runners on base, if applicable

·         Keep the base runner from advancing on the throw from the catcher

 

Requirements for the Catcher

·         Control your pitcher. Work together as a unit. Talk about batters between innings and strategize.

·         Minimize the number of balls that get past you.

·         Catch all pop-ups.  Remove and drop mask in one movement as you stand up to locate the ball.

·         QUICKLY retrieve wild pitches and passed balls and get the ball back to home plate.

·         Throw out base runners attempting to steal.

·         Come out quickly on bunts and topped balls.

·         With no one on base, back up the 1st baseman on ground balls to the infield.

·         Let the infield cut-off man know what to do if the throw is coming to him.

·         Know when to pick off runners leading too far off the base.

·         Keep runners from advancing on the throw back to the pitcher.  Throw the ball back on a line.

·         Block the line on close plays at the plate.  Make them earn the run.

 

Requirements for the First Baseman

·         Play the ball first, and the base second.  On any contact, the player should know whether the ball is coming in his general direction or not. If so, he should attempt to make the play, just as should any fielder. If not, he must cover the bag, whether or not he believes that there is any hope of a play at first base.

·         Scoop 999 out of 1000 balls out of the dirt.

·         Give infielders a good target

·         Always be aware of other base runners after the play at first base

·         When a throw is off target, move off the bag – if necessary – to catch it

·         Charge bunts and topped balls down the 1B line

·         Don’t commit bag foot until you see the throw – then STRETCH!

·         On bloop hits, or on grounders that pull him far off of his bag, the first baseman should know when to tag the base himself, and when to toss it to the covering pitcher (or second baseman).

 

Requirements for the Second Baseman

·         Turn the double play. With a runner on first and less than two outs, the top priority should always be to attempt a double play. If fielded near the bag, the player should know whether to step on the bag himself or to make the throw to second base via the underhand toss. However, the player should always bear in mind that the first responsibility is a sure out - make the throw to first if he does not think he has a chance to get the runner at second. 

·         Cover 1B on bunts and topped balls that the 1st Baseman charges

·         When covering 1B, get there quickly – give the fielder a stationary target

·         Cover 2B on ground balls to short or third with a runner on first base – AND on balls hit to Left and Left Center field. 

·         Cover or back up 2B on steal play. Usually, the shortstop will cover the base, while the second baseman will back up the play a good ten feet deep. It is vital that the second baseman and the shortstop communicate and clearly understand when each will be covering the base! If they get into one another's way, outs will be lost. 

·         On throws from the Catcher to Pitcher, make it a ritual to back up the play every time.

·         Play positionally sound defense.  Always play the ball first and the base second.

·         The right side of the infield is the second baseman's domain - anything hit between 2B and the right foul line is his responsibility. If he can get to the ball, he should do so. If the ball is hit to the first baseman, it is his job to back up the play. If the ball gets into the outfield, he should sprint out onto the grass and act as a cutoff man.

 

Requirements for the Shortstop

·         Turn the double play. With a runner on first and less than two outs, the top priority should always be to attempt a double play. If fielded near the bag, the player should know whether to step on the bag himself or to make the throw to second base via the underhand toss. However, the player should always bear in mind that the first responsibility is a sure out - make the throw to first if he does not think he has a chance to get the runner at second. 

·         Cover 2B on hits to the right side of the infield

·         Cover or back up 2B on steal play. Usually, the shortstop will cover the base, while the second baseman will back up the play a good ten feet deep. It is vital that the second baseman and the shortstop communicate and clearly understand when each will be covering the base! If they get into one another's way, outs will be lost.

·         On throws from the Catcher to Pitcher, make sure either you or the 2nd baseman backs the throw up

·         Play positionally sound defense.  Play the ball first and the base second.

·         The left side of the infield is the shortstop's domain - anything hit between 2B and the left foul line is his responsibility. If he can get to the ball, he should do so. If the ball is hit to the third baseman, it is his job to back up the play. If the ball gets into the outfield, he should sprint out onto the grass and act as a cutoff man.

 

Requirements for the Third Baseman

·         Cover 3B on balls hit to others.

·         Always be ready to charge bunts and topped balls.

·         Take any pop flies toward home plate that you can get.

·         Must constantly work on long throws to 1B and on charging bunts.

·         In the event of a bunt, the third baseman will be charging the ball, leaving third base vacant. Usually, the only play here is to throw the runner out at first unless you are dealing with very slow runners at other bases. 

·         The extreme left side of the infield is the third baseman's responsibility domain - anything hit between the shortstop and the left foul line is his responsibility. If he can get to the ball, he should do so. He should be prepared to cover third base if there is any possibility of a play there.

·         If the ball is hit between second base and the right foul line, the player should always cover third base, in the event of a throw there.

·         With a runner on first and less than two outs, the top priority should always be to attempt a double play. If possible, make a clean throw to the second baseman in an effort to "turn two." However, the player should always bear in mind that the first responsibility is a sure out - make the throw to first if he does not think he has a chance to get the runner at second.

·         If there is a force play at third (runners on first and second), the first option is usually to step on third base to begin a double play - either to second or first, depending on the judgment of where the best chance for an out is. Preference is always given to the lead runner - that is, if it is possible to get the lead runner out (at third or at second), then do so before getting the runner at first.

·         With the base loaded and two outs, the third baseman may pursue whatever out is easiest to get - this may be stepping on his own base, or making a throw to any base. With less than two outs, the call may be for a double play, unless the coach has decided that runs cannot be sacrificed (tie game late). In this case, the only priority is to attempt to force the runner at the plate. 

 

Requirements for the Outfield

·         You are the goalie of the defensive.  Nothing should get past you.

·         Back each other up on ALL balls hit to outfield.

·         Back up infielders on balls hit to them AND on subsequent throws.

·         Go for short flies and – if you can reach the ball – call the infielder off and make the catch.

·         Throw ahead of the base runners and to (or through) the cutoff man.

·         Edge in and back-up bases on attempted steals and on pick-off plays.

·         Know and tell a fellow outfielder where to throw when he is fielding a ball.

·         ALWAYS(!!!) throw through the relay man so he can cut it if necessary.

Backing Up

Left Fielder
  • If there is a runner on third then they backup baseline after every pitch.
  • Ball hit to center, backup the center fielder.
  • On a ball hit to right, play at second, backup the throw to second.
  • On a ball hit to right, play at third, backup throw to third.
  • On a groundball to third or shortstop assume an error and charge hard.
  • Rundown going home or third – backup third.
  • Rundown going to second – backup second.
Right Fielder
  • If there is a runner on first then they backup baseline after every pitch.
  • Ball hit to center, backup the center fielder.
  • On a ball hit to left, play at second, backup the throw to second.
  • On a ball hit to left, play at first, backup first in foul territory.
  • On a groundball to first or second assume an error and charge hard.
  • Rundown going to third – backup second.
  • Rundown going to second – backup first.
Center Fielder
  • If there is a runner on second then they backup second after every pitch.
  • Ball hit to left, backup the left fielder.
  • Ball hit to right, backup the right fielder.
  • On a groundball to second or shortstop assume an error and charge hard.
  • Rundown going to second or third – backup second.
Catcher
  • Bases empty, on a groundball rundown first base line to backup throw to first.
  • Runner on first move up the third base line to provide backup at third.
  • Runners on second or third, cover home.
Pitcher
  • Runner on first, ball hit to right, backup third.
  • Runner on second, ball hit to any field, backup home.
  • Cover first on anything hit in infield to your left.
Second Baseman
  • Backup every throw to pitcher.
  • Bases empty, backup throw to first on groundball.
  • Cover first on groundball to first.