Baseball Catching Tips-No Stealing

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Baseball Catching Tips-No Stealingbaseball catching tips

One of the most exciting plays in baseball is the stolen base. As catchers, we take base stealing personally. Even though we know that bases are stolen on the pitcher, it is our job to defend our hurler against this theft. We are the guard dogs on the porch. Quiet, confident and ready to tear up anyone who tries to invade our world. The baseball catching tips provided by Coach G are the training we need to be ready when the thief approaches.

Introducing Coach G.

This post is part two of our ongoing series about the catching position with guest coach Greg Creager. Coach G. will impart upon on his wisdom about the secondary position for catchers. Based on his lifelong passion for baseball and the catching position. A former D1 catcher, now a youth baseball coach and partner at the Fort Smith Baseball Academy, Coach Creager is dedicated to helping educate coaches everywhere so they can prevent years of bad habits at the catching position. The secondary position is what catchers need to be able to block balls and prevent steals.

The secondary position is what catchers need to be able to block balls and prevent steals. This position is crucial for any level of baseball, especially once stealing is allowed. Players must master this stance at an early age to be successful.

Coach G’s words of wisdomBaseball catching tips

So, last week I posted about coaching catchers. It seemed very well received and got a lot of good feedback, so I’m happy to continue this weekly post. Here is Coach G’s second catching tip of the week.

Since we talked about the primary position last week, and determined that the primary position is for no runners on with a chance of stealing and less than two strikes, it’s only appropriate that we talk about the secondary position.

The secondary position

Catcher’s use the secondary position when there are runners on with a chance of stealing and also when there are two strikes on the batter. From the signal position after giving the sign, once the pitcher comes set, you want to increase the width of your stance, inside of your heels should be outside your hips, with the right foot slightly back. You should have the toe lined between the arch of your left foot and heel. You want a good angle with your chest over the knees, butt up with femur and tibia at a 90-degree angle, and back should be at a 45-degree angle.

This posture will allow you to stay linear if you need to make the throw on a steal attempt instead of popping straight up. It also puts you in a good position to block on an errant throw. Having too much offset will not allow you to block a pitch in the dirt squarely and will cause the ball to bounce off you at an angle.

Your throwing hand should be 1 of 2 places, either behind the glove or on top of your thigh, so it is a quick transfer if you are throwing. With everyone always concerned about catcher POP times, if you want to see those drop, then this stance is what can help tremendously. Just like in the Bible, The Church of Baseball says “Thou Shalt Not Steal.”

Importance of pop times

As with most things in the game of baseball catcher, pop time is a stat that makes people feel like they can measure a players ability. Obviously, there is a significance to the time, so we track it. A pop time is the measurement of the time it takes for a catcher to receive a ball and get the ball to a base. In most cases, we keep this stat for throws to second base.

Baseball catching tipsFor a pro level catcher, anything under two seconds is considered an excellent time. A good college catcher should have a pop time of fewer than 2.1 seconds. High school catchers should be shooting for something below 2.2 seconds. A J.V. catcher under 2.4 is considered good.

I would like to point out that I didn’t give a measurement for anything under the age of 14 or 15 because applying measurements like velocity (using a radar gun), running speed (stopwatch timing) and pop time (stopwatch timing) don’t matter when we are talking about players who have not physically matured. We have all seen the kid that throws hard in Little League get lit up on the big diamond all the way through high school because he doesn’t develop as much as the other kids. Adding the pressure of needing to reach a number will make young kids frustrated if they are at their physical limit already.

The other half of stolen bases

Pop times are only half of the equation for throwing runners out though. The other half is how long the pitcher takes to get the ball to the catcher. A catcher with a long deliberate motion will give base runners of a head start to steal. Base runners and coaches also like to steal bases when they think a pitcher is going to throw an off-speed pitch, so they get more of a head start.

If a battery (pitcher and catcher combined) can keep their equation total under 4.o, they have a good chance of throwing out a lot of runners. The equation would be “Time to Plate” + “Pop Time” < 4.0 seconds.

Summary

Getting catchers in a good physical position will aid them in lowering their pop time. Having proper throwing mechanics will help as well. Working with kids at an early age will help them when it comes time for them to shine. As the runner breaks and the game gets faster, position and mechanics will take over. If you have taught them right, any potential base stealer will know better than even to try. Thou shalt not steal.

If you missed the first post in this series be sure to check it out. Baseball Catcher-most needed player

Thank you,

Coach Wood

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Youth Baseball Coaching-Better than your coach

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Youth Baseball Coaching-Better than your coachyouth baseball coaching

Every generation strives to be better than the one before. Kids want to be better than their parents. Parents want their children to be better than them. My father taught me this lesson when I was young. Youth baseball coaching is the same. You can be better than your coach.

 

There are three keys to becoming a better coach.

  • Learn
  • Communicate
  • Develop

Learning to coach

Learning the game of baseball is a long process. There are four key parts of baseball you have to get proficient at to be a good baseball coach. Each category is as important as the next. You may be able to win with one or two things being a little off, but you will not get consistent results if you can’t teach all four.

PitchingYouth baseball coaching

The first or the four is pitching. When it comes to pitching, you must learn that every pitcher has to deal with two things on the mound. A pitcher must be mechanically sound. Mechanics will allow the pitcher to be consistent. Good mechanics will help a pitcher achieve positive results and maintain their health.

The second part of pitching is the psychology of pitching. Understanding how to deal with pressure, adversity and success are all important to a pitcher. Pitchers also have to know how they approach hitters. Teaching pitchers the mental side of the game is just as important as teaching the physical skills.

Hitting

Getting players interested in hitting is probably the easiest part of coaching baseball. It is also the hardest part of the game to teach. Hitters need the same two things that pitchers need mechanics and psychology. Both require much discipline for a player to be successful.

Mechanics

Hitting mechanics are important to learn as a coach. The hard part is learning the right things. There are a lot of hitting guru’s out there preaching to anyone that will listen. You will have to sort through the noise. I would recommend not taking the advice of most of the professional hitters. Some of them succeeded because of what they did not what they thought they were doing.

youth baseball coachingIn the book “The Catapult Loading System” by Joey Myers he explains a lot of the biomechanical processes that take place during the swing. I would recommend reading the book. It gets challenging at points but if you press through you will learn what the bYouth baseball coachingody needs to do to make successful hitters.

I also recommend reading “Elite Swing Mechanics,” by Bobby Tewksbary. Bobby has worked with friends of mine that played at the big league level. He has put a considerable amount of time and effort into learning how a swing should work. The reading is definitely above the middle school level, but the information will work with players as young as five-years-old.

Mental

The mental side of hitting is little more challenging than the physical elements. Good hitters have an approach. An approach is a plan for their at-bat. Many players will enter the box with the idea that they are going to see the ball and try to hit it. If you can teach players to think a little more about what has happened and what will happen, they can be betyouth baseball coachingter prepared. Preparation usually leads to success. I would recommend reading my post about hitting approach.

Finally, I would suggest you read “The Mental Side of Hitting” by Mike Epstein. Mike is a great hitting coach He was a good professional player, but most importantly he played under Ted Williams. Ted Williams was one of the few big league hitters that actually understood what he did in the box. He was teaching and using terms and philosophies that were not thoroughly understood until this decade back in the 1930’s.

DefenseYouth baseball coaching

As a coach, you have to understand situational baseball. You must teach players to think for themselves on the field. Players have to have the ability to know what they are going to do before they have to do it. As slow as the game of baseball can seem it is too fast for a coach to tell every player what they have to do with the ball in every situation before it gets to them. Understand defensive baseball and where the ball is supposed to go then practice it over and over.

Coaches must also understand the philosophy of their defensive choices. Some of the time this is going to depend on the game situation. Other times it will be based on what your players can do. Usually, it is a combination of both. It will be up to you to learn what to do when and how to teach it to your players.

Offense

Just like defense, there are offensive situations that players must know what they are doing before it happens. Coaches need to teach them during practice. As a coach you need to know what your players are going to do so, you can coach the runners on base properly.

Again like with the defense you have to have an offensive philosophy. Game situation and players skill sets will dictate what your philosophy is. A fast runner can be more aggressive than a slow runner. However, when you are winning or losing by a bunch, you may want to be more conservative.

Communication is the second key

Baseball coaches are teachers, mentors, disciplinarians and role models. All of these things require a coach to be a good communicator. When communicating with players and parents, you must be clear and decisive. Make sure that you are always upfront and honest. Nothing shuts down communication faster than dishonesty. Make rules and don’t change them because your best player can’t follow one. I know as well as anyone else that sometimes situations change. Sometimes you decide to do things a certain way at the beginning of the season and it might not make sense anymore later on. When you come across a situation like this make sure you make it clear to all players and parents what the standard will be going forward.

Learning styles

A good coach will understand their player’s learning style. You have to have tools to understand what way each one Youth baseball coachingof your players learns the best. Do they learn through seeing, hearing or feeling? In the book “The Science of Sticky Coaching” Joey Myers shows how we can determine a player’s primary and secondary learning methods by having a conversation with them. In less than five minutes you can learn a player’s learning style, and you don’t even need a college degree.

Just knowing how a player learns is not going to be enough to get through to some players. You will need to know how to communicate with them different ways. The words you use to explain the same thing to two different players may give you two different results. Players interpret things differently. You need to have a vast vocabulary of terms that mean the same thing.

Mechanics v. Cues

Coaches also need to understand the difference between mechanics and verbal cues. An example of this would be Mike Trout on the MLB network explained that his swing thought is to hit down on the top of the ball. Now if you watch a video of Mike Trout hitting a baseball you can tell that he does not swing down nor does he hit the top of the ball very often. If he did with his power, he might bury the ball into the ground in front of home plate.

The point is Mike Trout has good swing mechanics but uses a verbal cue or thought to help him maintain. Those mechanics. You don’t want to teach a kid to swing down at the ball, but you may be able to help a player that is dropping his barrel to be more successful by using the verbal cue of hitting down on the ball. I hope you see the difference.

Planning is good communication

Good communication starts with having a plan. My mother used to tell me all the time, “Think twice before you speak.” Thinking things through is a great plan. I would suggest that you write out your plan before the season starts. Have a practice plan for every practice and stick to it. You will not go wrong if you stick to your plan.

The final thing that I would like to go over in the communication section is praise. A good coach gives players praise for their action, not their ability. Telling Johnny, he made a good play is not going to get you as much as telling him he worked hard to make the play. Praising effort over talent is the key. No matter what skill level a player has, they can work hard. Not every kid can throw a ball fast, but every can work hard to throw the ball better.

Developing players is the final piece

The number one priority for every baseball coach should be developing players. The younger your players are, the more development you should be trying to achieve. Not all players will grow at the same rate, so you have to have patience. As a coach, you ask players never to give up and you can’t either.

youth baseball coachingUse your knowledge and communication skills to make every player better. Be creative with your drills. You are coaching individuals they are not cookies you can’t put them in a mold and make them all the same. If you use your knowledge of what a player is supposed to be doing, communicate it to them and develop creative drills that keep their attention while building their skill level you will make them all the best they can be.

The bottom line is making players better helps those players enjoy the game more. Being good at something is always more fun than not doing it well. Better players having fun win more. I don’t have any scientific studies to prove this. I am basing this on my 40 years of playing and coaching the game of baseball.

Finally

These three keys will unlock your potential as a coach. Remember that even though you are coaching people that are younger than you and may not know as much as you must keep learning to be a good coach. None of us are so good at what we do that we can’t learn to do it better.

Thank you,

Coach Wood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coaching All-stars-Get the most from the best

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Coaching All-stars-Get the most from the bestCoaching All-stars

You have been a good coach for the whole season. Your team finished in first place, and now you have been selected to coach the All-star team. Congratulations you are coaching All-stars. Along with this honor comes the responsibility of organizing a new group of young players and their parents. Good Luck!


You are probably in a groove working with your team. They know you and your expectations. At the same time, you are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Time for everybody to get out of their comfort zone. There are changes when you coach All-stars. First, you don’t understand the quirks of your players as well as you would like. Second, you don’t know their parents as well as you need to.



Most important first step… expectations

Coaching All-starsThe first thing you will need to address is the expectations. The parents are going to want their child to be the star playing short batting third hitting the game-winning walk-off grand slam. You will need to address the need for the team to be a team and not a group of individuals. One goal, one mission, one mindset is what will make their child’s All-star experience a success.

Have a parents meeting and encourage them to sign an agreement that includes the phrase, “I will support my child.” It should also include that they will not yell direction to the players from the stands. Most of all positive encouragement goes a lot further than extra help. Make sure that everyone understands that coaches coach, players play, and parents cheer. You might also want to discuss a twenty-four-hour rule for conversations about game decisions.



Team first

Now we will dig into coaching the team. There is an interesting dynamic in All-stars. All the players are usually pretty good at some part of the game. Your team is made up of the best players from several different teams.


Most of your players can probably pitch. Likewise, most of your players are going to be able to play anywhere on the field. However, most of them probably spent the majority of the season and maybe their playing career in a position in the middle of the field, short, second or center. You probably have one or two kids who are primarily catchers maybe one or two that are only first basemen. The team might even have a player or two that are pitchers and hopefully can play another position without hurting the team too much.


The coaches are going to have to find out who is going to play where. Who your starters are and who your bench players are going to be. Then you have to get the players and the parents to agree with your decisions. Sit players down and discuss their role. Then address the parents the same way. Knowing what your plan is ahead of time makes your decisions easier to understand. Remember that a great coach is a great communicator.



Selling the “BUY IN” step onecoaching all-stars

That leads us to the “BUY IN” process. Getting parents and players to believe that you know what you are doing and what you are doing is in the best interest of the team.


The easiest way to do this is going to be a two-phase system. The first part is to set a team goal. “We are going to strive to be the best players we can be,” is a team goal. “We are going to develop friendships and teach each other our strengths,” is a goal.


WINNING is NOT a goal.

Winning is something that happens when you WORK to achieve a common goal. As a coach, you should never be mention winning to parents or players. Working toward a goal is what all conversations should revolve around.



Selling the “BUY IN” step two

coaching all-starsThe second part of the system is going to be group ownership. Using words like “WE” and “OUR” you will encourage everyone to participate in the achievement of the common goal. “MY” and “YOU” are separatist words that make the players and coaches feel like an individual. We have a short amount of time to get this group of players to bond and become one unit working together. You need every trick in the book.


Being an All-star is not about ability. The difference between the last player on your bench and the next five kids that didn’t make the team is probably more mental than physical. All-stars is a mindset. Team players make All-star teams because they worked withing the framework of their team to improve both their strengths and weaknesses.



Who are you coaching?

Now that you have addressed the parents and players mentally you will need to start working on the physical part of baseball. You have to figure out who is playing where and when. It is time to identify your players.

During your first session together, you are going to want to quickly and discreetly figure out your lineups. You need to access players physical and mental tools. The following practice plan will give you an opportunity to accomplish this.



Coaching All-stars Practice plan




First Practice: All-stars

Infield: Whole team

Four stations- first base, second base, third base, shortstop

Each player will field a ball at each position making a throw to first base. After their turn, each player will rotate to the next position. 1B to 2B, 2B to SS, SS to 3B, and 3B to 1B sprinting behind home plate to get there. Give all players a number in order (index card in pocket). Numbers allow you to know at the end of the session which made a mistake mentally following directions. This drill will test physical ability as well as ability to listen and process instructions.

Outfield: Whole team

Two stations- LF & RF

Group in LF fields balls (fly balls and ground balls) then makes throws to 3B. Group in RF fields balls and throws to 2B. Switch groups every ball. Players should sprint along outfield fence to change groups. All players have consecutive numbers so you can see if anyone has made a mental error following directions.

Make an “A” and “B” team based on performance during individual drills.

Team Defense:

Team “B” takes positions. Use extra players as runners. Run situational defense for six to nine outs. Have a coach hitting with a soft toss to get a better feel for players ability to move on pitch and range in the field.

Replace team “B” with team “A.” Run the drill again.

Accessing your team this way will give you an idea of how your initial thoughts translate to gameplay. Running team “B” first will also show you who your front runners are and who your scrappy players are. Some kids will give up some if they are not picked to play shortstop first. You need to access your team’s mental makeup as well as physical all the time.

Base running:

The whole team does situational base running drill. Tell the team to run three different situations and split them into three groups. In addition, do not address the team again until the all three tasks are complete.

See if players can remember what comes next without coach intervention.




Here is a link to the all-star practice plan PDF so you can print it easily.



Moving forward

Now you have an idea of what your team is, who makes up the team and what their strengths and weaknesses are. You are going to want to give each of the players something to work on a simple drill that will help them improve a weakness at home.


During future practices, you are going to want to run a “dynamic” warm-up session followed by individual drills then team drills. Finish each practice with a two to three round BP.


Individual players

The drills you use to work on player development are going to be determined by your player’s strengths and weaknesses. You should always work on weaknesses first then end with strengths. Weakness first gives more time to work on problems.  Working on strengths last builds confidence. Alway try to finish sessions doing something that allows players to succeed.



Team coaching all-stars

Coaches don’t spend enough time working on situational baseball. I know this because there is never sufficient time to work on situational baseball. Teaching everything you should do in every situation takes a lifetime. Spend as much time as you can working on situational defense.


Running  “4 on 4 on 4” games during practice is an excellent way to work on situations. If you don’t know the game, you put four players on each offensive team. One team will hit. The other two teams field while a coach pitches. The teams will rotate every 3 to 6 outs. You can also do the scenario you used in your first practice.


Pitching and defense are going to make your team more successful than hitting. Therefore, work on pitching and defense first, so you reinforce the concept then work on offense.



Psychological approach

You will want to start and end each practice with a psychology session. Pre-practice you want to state your long term team goal and a short-term team goal. Doing this will get every player on your team on the same page making for a targeted practice session. During your post-practice addressing of the team, you will want to leave them with a message that keeps the focus on what the long term goal is and bring their attention to the next step in the process.


Be sure that you don’t move on to the next phase in the process until your team has shown proficiency in the current step.

Let’s recap. First, create a “WE” environment for your players and parents. Second, make sure to workout your team with precision and excellence toward a common goal. Finally, run your All-star team like it is an organization and not a one-month dream team. If you do these three things, you and your team will have success, fun and make lifelong friendships.

Thank you,

Coach Wood

P.S. Since you have established yourself as a quality coach you know that getting better is the name of the game. This book has some great tips on how to take your coaching to the next level.coaching all-stars

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Coaching Sportsmanship-Youth baseball’s biggest goal

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Coaching Sportsmanship-Youth baseball’s biggest goalcoaching sportsmanship

When coaching youth baseball you need to list out your priorities. Coaching sportsmanship should be pretty high on the list. I have been carrying on conversations lately with quite a few youth baseball coaches and they all say that sportsmanship is high on their list of coaching points.

Poor Examples of Sportsmanship

Then I get on the internet in chat groups and watch videos. I witness coaches teaching things that would not be considered good sportsmanship. I see comments in chat rooms like, “If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying.” I get sick to my stomach.

I had one youth baseball coach actually tell me in a chat room that I shouldn’t ask for a coach who’s team blatantly cheated on video to be fired. “He has a family to support,” was the argument he had for letting this poor example of human behavior continue to lead young men.

I am not the reincarnation of Christ. I don’t claim to be perfect in every aspect of my life. I can say that I am fair, honest and trustworthy. I also can say that without a doubt I have always played fair and taught every player that I have ever met from the age of 5 all the way to the adults that I play with to play fair.

Whenever I encounter a situation where a player or coach is not playing by the rules I ask for them to be enforced. If they are not enforced I find a way to enforce them myself within the rules. That is how I was raised and taught to compete.

Call em’ like you see em’

There are far too many adults that feel teaching a child to win should come before teaching them the fundamentals of a sport. These adults should be called out for what they are, BAD COACHES! If you have a child playing for one of these poor role models, speak up. Tell them you don’t need their poor choices being taught to your children.

Difference between FAIR and RIGHT

In a society where there is great debate over how “soft” we are getting and all the complaining about how kids should get equal time whether they earn it or not we are losing the battle to poor sportsmanship. Instead of teaching kids that if they pay they play we should be teaching them to show up, on time. We should teach them to work hard to achieve their goals. Everyone should want their child to experience how hard work and dedication to learning can give them an achievement that no one will ever be able to take away.coaching sportsmanship

There are plenty of great coaches in youth sports. Some of them care a lot about the children they are working with. Coaches are role models and need to act accordingly. Teaching a kid to run around the bases while the other team throws the ball around the field isn’t teaching the player to be better it is teaching them to pick on the helpless. Complaining to umpires about judgment calls in a baseball game being played by 6 to 8-year-old kids is not caring about fair treatment for your team it is being a jerk who is putting winning at the top of your priority list.

EGO’S checked at the door

When you volunteer to be a youth baseball coach the first thing you need to do is check your ego at the door. You don’t matter half as much as the players on your team do. You don’t win or lose baseball games. It is all about the kids. If you think you won the game then you are not teaching your kids to play the game without you which should be your goal.

Buy into the big picturecoaching sportsmanship

As much as I believe that we should keep score at every level of baseball, because the kids care and there are lessons to be learned from winning and losing, I also believe that you can’t lose if you play hard, learn and have fun, no matter what the scoreboard says. I have come out on the losing end of the score in some of the greatest games I ever played in.

At 13 years old I got to play in a Pop Warner Super Bowl game. One of the greatest experiences of my life. 50+ players, cheerleaders, and coaches got to fly from Massachusetts to Florida together. We all got to stay in a hotel together. Every one of us was allowed to put on our uniforms and represent our team our parents and our town. We got killed so bad I don’t even remember the score. I do remember getting on the field making plays the way my coaches taught me. I remember walking off the field at the end of the game with my head held high. I played on a team that did it right all year long. Just like we were taught.

There are a lot of kids that have had the opportunity to win a championship that they deserve. I applaud every one of them.

Cheating or paying attention

I question how to make things better and cheating never crosses my mind. Surely as a coach, you have to respect your own ability to teach enough to not resort to cheating. Trick plays are one thing, outright cheating should never be a resort. If you get to the point where you are considering cheating, just quit coaching. It will be a better ending for everyone.

Teaching kids the hidden ball play is not cheating. Using illegal equipment is cheating.  The difference is a hidden ball play teaches both the players that are running the play and the players getting caught by it to pay attention at all times on the field. This is something that a coach should teach during practice. Using an illegal bat gives one team or player an advantage beyond what can be taught and is a safety risk.

R.I.P. coach

As a coach, you have to ask yourself what you want your players to remember about you after they are done playing. Do you want them to think back and say what a great man who taught me to have fun with integrity and discipline? Or would you like them to remember you as that guy that coached my team when we won the championship because I ran 10 feet inside the base rounding third and scored from second on a play that he designed?

I will strongly encourage you if you agree with the latter don’t be a baseball coach or any other coach for that matter.

Thank you,

Coach Wood

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Bownet 7′ x 7′ Big Mouth Hitting Net Review

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Bownet 7′ x 7′ Big Mouth Hitting Net Review

Product: Bownet 7′ x 7′ Big Mouth Hitting NetBownet 7' x 7' Big Mouth

Price: $149.99

Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon.com

Size: 7′ x 7′

Warranty: 1-year Limited Manufactures Warranty on Manufacturing Defects Only. Not normal wear and tear or abuse or damage due to an accident*. Bownet Bags-Roller and Carry Bags have a six-month warranty.

Rating: 9 out of 10



Bownet 7′ x 7′ Big Mouth

Bownet 7' x 7' Big MouthWhen you want to practice your hitting, you don’t always have a wide open field to go practice. There are times when you are going to get your hacks in at home. Sometimes you just want a player to get their swings in during practice on the side while you use the field for defensive work or live BP. No matter where you are the Bownet 7′ x 7′ Big Mouth hitting net will be there for you.

When I was a young up and coming ball player my coaches used to have us hit soft toss into the fence around the field or the backstop. That was fine until the Athletic Director at the school saw the giant dent we were putting in the chainlink fence. Then the soft toss ended.

Now there are hitting nets so your players can do soft toss or hit off a tee whenever they want wherever they want without damaging the property. The best part about the Bownet is that it will hold up better than the fence did.



The frame is the best part

Constructed with a heavy gauge, powder coated steel base the frame of the Bownet ist the strongest frame on the market. This support allows the net to stay balanced on any surface and withstand the hardest hit balls and comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

The portability of the Bownet is one of the best features. Portable and easy don’t always go hand in hand. However, Bownet has solved this by creating a one-piece base frame. With fewer parts to lose and a shorter set up time, this hitting net is truly portable.

 

 

The Big Mouth sets up in under 2 minutes allowing you to spend more time praBownet 7' x 7' Big Mouthcticing because there is nothing worse than having players stand around doing nothing as your practice time slips away while you set up equipment.

Specifications

• Set Up Time – 60 seconds
• Weight – 17 pounds
• Carry Bag Size – 47″ x 6″ x 5″


Some Cool Features

This hitting net comes with the base, net, two poles, two stakes and a carry bag. Everything you need to take your portable net anywhere you want to hit.

‹= Take your practices to the next level now =›

Bownet 7' x 7' Big MouthAs a bonus Bownet also offers you the ability to purchase replacement nets that come in several different colors. Also, there is a strike zone attachment so you can use the Bownet for practicing pitching.



SummaryBownet 7' x 7' Big Mouth

The Bownet 7′ x 7′ Big Mouth hitting net will allow you to take advantage of every opportunity to make better baseball players. Portability, durability and easy set up make this the best hitting net on the market and Hitting With Wood Approved!

 



Can you afford not to get one today? 

 

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Baseball hitting Tee Comparison/Review

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Baseball Hitting Tee Comparison/Review

Hitting Tees are probably the most important tool in a coach’s offensive tool box. Doing tee work is the only time we can expect our players to be perfect with a bat in their hands. The reason for this is simple, once the ball starts moving there are variables that the player has to adjust for. By definition, if you have to adjust you are no longer perfect.


Baseball hitting tee reviewHitting With Wood is doing a comparison review of the Tanner Tee, Marucci M350 tee and the Franklin Sports MLB Industrial Grade Batting Tee. You will get a side by side comparison of these three tees the pros and cons of each one and have the information you need to decide which one fits your needs the best.


When discussing hitting tees you first need to decide what you are going to use the Tee for. Are you putting in your basement so your player can hit off it once in a while during the three or four months a year that they can’t get outside and swing? Are you coaching a youth baseball team and need it for a practice or two a week? Or are you going all in and using this tee every day for your player at home and the team to use during a long travel ball summer season?


Whatever the answer is, there is a tee that will meet your needs. The three tees that we have chosen are good quality products that will last for their intended purpose with proper care.



Beginnerbaseball hitting tee comparison/review

The Franklin Sports MLB Industrial Grade Batting Tee is a basic hitting tee. It has a home plate-shaped base that helps younger players get oriented in the batting position. This tee is made of heavy duty rubber with weighted steel in the base for added stability. The Franklin Sports MLB Industrial Grade Batting Tee adjusts from 20 to 40 inches high so you can use it to work with different player’s of different heights.



The good

This tee is a great starter tee. It is solid enough to teach young players with without the excess cost of some of the other models. At only 19.99 this tee will not crush the budget.

«Start Your Player’s Off Right Here»


The bad

This tee is very bulky. It is not very portable. You can unscrew the post from the base and throw it in your trunk but then you have to put it back together again. You are also carrying two large pieces. The other drawback is that this tee is not designed for long term heavy duty use. If you have an entire team hitting off this tee every practice you may have to replace the tee every year or two.



ExpertBaseball hitting tee comparison/review

The Tanner Tee Youth is a great tool. This tee will last a long time. The Tanner tee is one of the best tees on the market not only because of its design and durability but because of the portability. This tee will take a beating where ever you want to take it.


The good

This tee is very durable. It is compact and portable. Due to the youth design, it allows young hitters to start training early to go after low pitches. A lot of tees don’t take into consideration that smaller players are training only to hit at the top of the strike zone because that is as low as the tee can be set. The Tanner youth model can be used as low as 20 inches off the ground. The other good part about this tee is that it is only $79.99. That is a lot higher than the Franklin but you won’t be replacing this tee every couple of years. In fact, I would say that the only time you might have to replace this tee is when your child outgrows it. Then you will be buying the big brother of this the original Tanner tee.

The other good part about this tee is that it is only $79.99. That is a lot higher than the Franklin but you won’t be replacing this tee every couple of years. In fact, I would say that the only time you might have to replace this tee is when your child outgrows it. Then you will be buying the big brother of this the original Tanner tee.

The design of the hand-rolled ball holder is unique to Tanner. It allows the hitter to feel the contact with the ball not the tee. This is probably the best feature of this tee and that is saying a lot for a tee that is full of cutting edge tech.

«Buy it now only $79.99»


The bad

baseball hitting tee comparison/reviewThe tanner tee has a tendency to have the ball rest come apart. Granted it takes a while and this is probably the best tee on the market, but the replacement is going to cost you $32.00. All things considered, the thousands of swings you are going to get on this tee before you have to spend any more money make this negative tolerable.


The only other negative is that the base design is smaller so it is not as heavy or balanced. You will need to weigh it down. Fortunately, there are tee weight bags that slide right down the pole that don’t cost very much money.



Portable probaseball hitting tee comparison/review

The Marucci tee system is by far the best portable tee system that I have come across. The M350 tee has a fold up tripod stand and a carrying bag. With the addition of a weight bag that fits around the base the tee will hold up in the cage or on the field.


The good

Anytime you want to use this tee it is going to be there for you. You can throw this in your car and take it anywhere making this tee the most portable tee in this group.


The other great part of this tee is the cost. This tee is only $74.99 and you can buy a set of 3 replacement ball holders for $20. baseball hitting tee comparison/review


The bad

This tee design tends to be a little more unstable so you will have to get the weight bag ($19.99). This is going to add to the cost of the tee package.

«Go Get This Tee Now»



Summary

The three tees reviewed here are all great for their intended purpose. If you are just getting started or not planning on using the tee very often the cost effective Franklin model is a good choice. If you are ready for a great training aid or plan to use your tee a considerable amount. The Tanner or Marucci tees are right for you. You will have to decide how portable you want your tee to be. Or maybe the cost of replacement parts will be the determining factor. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Hitting With Wood would love your feedback. Maybe you have used one of these tees or tried a different model and would like to give us a reason why you think it should be added to the list. Leave a comment below and let us know.

Thank you,

Coach Wood

 

 

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Product Review – Rawlings G112GT 11.25″ Gold Glove Gamer Series Infield Baseball Glove

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Product Review –

Rawlings G112GT 11.25″ Gold Glove Gamer Series Infield Baseball Glove


Product: Rawlings G112GT 11.25″ Gold Glove Gamer Series Infield Baseball Glove by Rawlings

Price: $139.99 (Retail)Product Review -  Rawlings G112GT 11.25" Gold Glove Gamer Series Infield Baseball Glove

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon $69.95

SPECS: 11.25″ Black I-web

My Rating: 8 out of 10



Rawlings G112GT 11.25″ Gold Glove Gamer Series Infield Baseball Glove, Product Review.

When you are looking at all of the options for a new baseball glove your head might start to spin. I know mine did when I had young players. Now my head just spins when I see a glove laying in the backyard or driveway. I am happy to say that Rawlings has come up with the answer to our prayers. The Rawlings G112GT Gold Glove Gamer Series Infield Baseball Glove has quality materials and craftsmanship. Combined with a great look and feel this glove is a perfect “starter” glove for a young player. With the pro-style design, the glove has the same look as the pro player models. With the gamer series though 80% of the break in is done for you at the factory. A couple of weeks of playing catch and this thing will fit like your kid’s favorite sneakers.



The Pros for the Parents

The best things about this glove from a parent’s perspective are the price point and quality. With a price of $139.99 new from Rawlings.com this glove is a bit much for the budget but when shopping around I found last years model on Amazon.com for $65.95. With a glove that will last for around 4 seasons costing less than $70.00, you can’t go wrong. When you take into consideration that one day you may find yourself standing in front of that same ball player that you are looking at today as they ask you for the Rawlings Gold Glove 11.5 in Infield Glove RGG314-2B that carries a modest $499.99 price tag before you add the engraving or personalization for an additional cost.



Why Buy at Price PointProduct Review -  Rawlings G112GT 11.25" Gold Glove Gamer Series Infield Baseball Glove

The baseball equipment industry has taken, “You get what you pay for.” to heart. When you go out to buy your player a glove you will get what you pay for. If you spend $25 on a glove it will fall apart after a season or two. The other problem is that the glove will not perform the way that it should. A glove needs to maintain its form while becoming pliable. Cheaper gloves will not hold their form. And usually become far too pliable. This glove has proven to hold its form and become pliable quickly.



What is the Conclusion

I would buy this glove for 3 reasons. The first is that the Rawlings name is legendary in the game of baseball. Rawlings started in 1887. 110 years of baseball knowledge goes into their products. Second is, of course, the price point. You are going to be hard pressed to find a glove of this quality for under $100 let alone the $65.95 you can purchase this one for. Finally, I would purchase this glove because my kids have had 2 Gamer Series gloves and one a 6-year-old catchers mitt is still going strong.

«Buy this glove now»

Thank  you,

Coach Wood

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Little League Baseball Rules- III

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Little League Baseball Rules- IIILittle League baseball rules

The long anticipated Little League Baseball Rules- III: This trilogy finishes up by going over a couple of additional major division rules and then add a couple of obscure rules for the intermediate/ junior/ senior divisions. These rules are similar to Babe Ruth and High School rules but you will want to check them out in the appropriate rule book for clarification.



If you can’t catch it chase it

little league baseball rulesIf you, as a fielder, deliberately touch a batted ball, in play, with a cap, mask, or other part of the uniform, including the glove, that is detached from its proper place the batter is awarded 3 bases. Also if you throw your glove at a ball the batter gets a triple. The ball is not dead and the player can attempt to score if they choose. If you get them out at the plate that is too bad for them as they could have been safe at 3rd base.


Note: If you do any of the above mentioned things to a thrown ball the batter gets a 2 bases. Not quite as bad as a batted ball but still not something that you would want to do.



But coach it’s stuck

Baseballs can get stuck in some strange places. If a ball becomes lodged somewhere around the playing field it is ruled to be a dead ball and the player usually gets a double. Sometimes the ball just goes where it shouldn’t.


When a baseball gets stuck in a catcher or umpires mask, it is funny, and it is a dead ball. All base runners move up one base. The same holds true for the catcher’s and umpire’s other equipment.



Leave them alone and let them go home

little league baseball rulesBase coaches are there to direct traffic. Teammates are there to cheer you on. Neither of them is on the field to assist a runner around the bases by touching or pushing.


If a runner is deemed by the umpire to have received physical assistance from a coach or player while making their way around the bases, the runner is out.


In the world we live in this can be something as simple as a high five by a base coach or teammate on your way around the bases during a home run trot. Just don’t touch the runner’s until after home plate is touched, and you won’t have to explain to an overzealous umpire or opposing coach that you were not helping the player.



Real baseball time

Now I would like to throw in a couple of rules for the older players. These are two things that can only happen when you start to play real baseball like the big boys. Live ball baseball makes things really interesting.



Catcher’s can balk too?

The first thing I am going to go over is a catcher’s balk. Not a complicated rule but you hardly ever see it.


A catcher’s balk happens only when the pitcher is attempting an intentional walk to a batter. When doing this the catcher must keep both feet in the catcher’s box behind home plate until the pitcher delivers the pitch. If the catcher lines up outside of the catcher’s box or leaves his position before the pitch is delivered it is a balk. The ball is dead and the batter gets a ball added to his count. Any base runner moves up one base.



Fielders can do it too

Next thing is a fielder’s balk. A fielder’s balk happens anytime a defensive player other than the catcher lines up with at least one foot entirely in foul territory while a pitch is being delivered.

little league baseball rules


An example would be a first baseman holding a runner on at  first base. If the first baseman puts one of his feet near the base and the other in foul territory behind them it is a balk and the ball is dead. The batter gets a ball added to their count and any base runners move up one base.



Watch where you are running

This final rule applies to all levels of baseball but I am putting it here because the scenario works with a runner leaving before the ball is hit. You always have to know where the baseball is.

 


When a base runner not in contact with a base is touched by a batted ball the runner is out if the the little league baseball rulesball has not been touched by the pitcher or a fielder and has not passed a fielder other than the pitcher.


An example would be a runner on first takes off for second base. The pitcher delivers the pitch to the plate. The batter hits the pitch up the middle. The
runner begins sliding into second base and gets hit by the ball. The runner is out.



Add it all up

Baseball is a really exciting game when it is played right. In order to play any game right you need to know the rules of the game. I would hope that these three articles about the rules has peaked your interest enough to get you go out and purchase a rule book for whatever level of baseball you are coaching or playing and read it.


The rules that I have gone over here are just some of the interesting things that you will find. I know my rule book is full of highlighted phrases that I use in coaching, playing and teaching the game of baseball.


If you need help locating a rule book leave me a comment or send me an email at coachwood@hittingwithwood.com.

Thank you,

Coach Wood

 

 

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Youth Baseball Glove Review

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Youth Baseball Glove Review

Today’s episode will be a Baseball glove review. This will be a comparison of four brands of gloves, three levels of glove for each brand. This will allow you to make a better decision of what brand better fits your eye and price along with the quality of glove you can get in your price range.



Brands: Rawlings, Easton, Wilson, and Mizuno.

Entry Level

These gloves are entry level or introductory level gloves from all four manufacturers. I would recommend these gloves for a player who is just getting started and isn’t sure if they are going to continue playing baseball. Also, these gloves are recommended for players looking for a good “stop gap” glove. Something that will work for a couple of years until the player is committed to a position.


Product: Rawlings® RCS 11.5 Youth baseball glove review

Review: A good entry level glove. It does not take much to break-in this glove. Rawlings® puts this glove in the 20% break-in category. A few days of steady play with it and it is ready to go.

The leather is not top notch but the price is. At $69.99 this is the least expensive model that I am reviewing. With the black leather and stylish red Rawlings® logos there is a distinct look to this glove. It uses Rawlings® pro style design so the glove looks just like the ones seen on T.V.


Product: Easton® EMKC 11.5

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: The entry level glove from Easton® also has slightly less than top notch leather. It will also only require about 20% break-in by the player. This is good for the younger player whose hands are not as strong.

At $89.99 this glove is the most expensive model in this category. Easton® has made it a tough choice for the player though. With the black and gray base of this glove, along with a splash of accent color, this glove will stand out on the field and for a flashy player who likes swag it might be worth the extra $20.


Product: Wilson® A800 Showtime 11.5Youth baseball glove review

Review: The A800 is a true Wilson glove. Wilson has a great reputation in the game of baseball right now because they provide quality that works for the player. This glove is constructed from less than Wilson’s best leather, however, it is still good quality for the price point. All baseball gloves work, some just work better than others.

Wilson® has what is called Pedroia Fit. It is a special design that makes the wrist cuff and finger slots slightly smaller so that you get a tighter fit. This is a great feature for young players who are still growing. At $89.99 it is the most expensive model in the category.


Product: Mizuno® Franchise 11.50

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: The Franchise is a good glove for the price point. The leather is very soft. This making break-in very easy. The drawback? These gloves don’t last that very long. If you get two seasons out of this glove you will have maxed it out. This is a good glove if you are only going to play a season or two of recreational ball. Less than 20 games in a season with 1 or 2 practices a week.

The cost of this glove is a middle of the road $75.00 but it is probably the weakest contender of the 4 in the entry level category.


Summary of Entry Level gloves

I would strongly recommend the Rawlings® or Wilson® gloves. The Easton® is a strong contender and if you are big on style it is a must have. The Mizuno® is not a bad glove I just don’t feel it is going to hold up as long as the other, but it will be the easiest to break in.



Mid Level

Next are mid-level, good quality gloves that will last a number of years. I would recommend these gloves for players who are young and going to play baseball a lot during the course of a season. For example, travel players or rec players who are going to play spring and fall baseball. Players in this level are committed to playing baseball and willing to put a little effort into break-in. This is also a good level of glove for older players not planning to play more than their school season.


Product: Rawlings® Gamer 11.5youth baseball glove review

Review: When I am looking for a glove I look for  a style and comfort that goes along with fit and quality. I love it when I find a glove that covers all of these. I do cartwheels when I find one that has all of this and is only $139.99.

The Rawlings® Gamer gives you style with it’s red logos on the black leather. The contrast lacing just pops off the glove. With the pro style design and quality leather you get the fit and quality you expect from a Rawlings®. The fact that Rawlings® has done 80% of the break in for you makes this glove a winner in my book.


Product: Easton Core Pro 11.5

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: Easton® comes in at this level with a glove that is more substance than style. Don’t get me wrong the chocolate against a more orange brown leather looks good. It is just not as flashy as most of the Easton products. The price is flashy though at a mere $119.99

The technical specs on this glove are impressive though. Diamond Pro steerhide that is tanned to be really soft makes this glove durable and game ready. A hand oiled palm liner adding to the feel of the glove combined with rolled leather welting and USA- tanned professional rawhide lacing with a tensile strength of 100 lbs. give this glove what it takes to come back year after year. It will require a 30% player break-in according to Easton but a little love for your glove and she is all yours for years of playing pleasure.


Product: Wilson® A1K DP15 11.5

Review: If you aYouth baseball glove reviewre a young player who is going to spend some time on a baseball field and would like to announce your presence with authority, this is your defensive weapon of choice. It looks like it’s ready to play with its black and silver coloring.

Technically this glove is everything you want. Based on Dustin Pedroia’s game glove this glove gives a snug fit and the control a player dreams of. The top shelf leather gives you the quality to make this glove last for years of high level use. Looking good and performing better set this glove apart. That and the $199.95 price tag, but in this case you will get what you pay for.


Product: Mizuno® MVP Prime 11.5

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: The MVP Prime is a good quality glove. The black glove with contrasting gold stitching really makes this glove pop. The price of $105.00 makes it jump off the shelf.

It has all the quality of the other gloves at this price point. Good leather, strong lacing and comfortable feel. The one thing this glove does not take into consideration is smaller hands. So if you are looking for a glove for a younger player with small hands you are going to want them to try this on before you buy it. A loose fitting glove is hard to control.


Summary of Mid Level gloves

In this category the Wilson® takes my recommendation hands down. If the price has you frowning then the Rawlings® is a great runner up. I would put the Mizuno® third if your player has a hand big enough for it. Finally the Easton® it is a great glove I am just not sure the players will like the look of the glove.



Top Level

In this category is a review of gloves for serious players as they will require some time and effort to break-in. You can’t go from store to field with these bad boys. In some cases these gloves will require a couple of weeks to a month of serious effort to bend them to your will. Once you get them where they need to be though, oh man, what a piece of leather you will have!


Product: Rawlings® Heart of the Hide 11.5Youth baseball glove review

Review: Stiff is the first word that comes to mind when I look at this glove. It is a very raw glove that will require a considerable amount of love to break in. Sharp as a tack black and red with the popping lighter lacing. Brrr, it sends chills down the opposing team’s spines.

You are not going to find better materials used to make a glove. These gloves have been used to define the careers of some of the greatest to ever play the game and you could be next. With a narrower hand opening and slightly less padding in the heel making this glove easier to close you will fall in love with it. I am sure that is why they named it Heart of the Hide.

For just $249.99 this glove is not cheap but you will get everything you pay for with it.


Product: Easton® Mako 11.5

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: The Mako 11.5 is made to stand out in a crowd with the black base and brown accent leather on the base of the fingers and web and the accent orange logo’s. The look is catchy and so is the glove with kip leather and SYNTECH HIDE™ construction giving this glove a softer pro level feel. Easton® also added padded pinky and thumb loops with their molded back of hand pad to give the player more control.

This glove breaks in quickly for the price point. A couple of weeks of work and it is ready to go. You can roll out onto to field with this quality piece of leather for $249.99.


Product: Wilson® A2000 Dustin Pedroia DP15 11.5Youth baseball glove review

Review: When you walk out on the field and see this glove on someone’s hand you don’t have to ask if they are a ballplayer. It is like a billboard screaming watch what I can do. This black glove with gray lacing and white logo’s just yelling from your position, “Hit it here if you dare!”

Top end materials are used to construct this work of art. Rolled dual welting help with quicker break-in and that is a good thing because without it you would take a year to break-in this beauty. Wilson® has used extra long laces and Double X lacing to connect the web to the pocket. This is the Dustin Pedroia model, so feel free to get it a little dirty once in a while, it will hold up.

This model goes for $249.95 so you can save four cents compared to the other two we have reviewed so far. With all you get in this package that is quite a savings.


Product: Mizuno® Classic Pro Soft GCP66SBK

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: In my eyes Mizuno® has a hidden gem in this glove. I don’t know why you don’t walk out onto every ball field in the world and see players from the age of 12 up using this glove. This glove is a great looking piece of leather. Top quality construction that will last for multiple seasons. Everything that goes into all the other top end gloves is in this Mizuno® product. The one thing that is not in this product is cost. This glove is $190.00. That is right, I repeat, $190.00.

You get all the quality of the other top end gloves for about $60 less.


Summary of Top Level gloves

this category is where the player makes the final decision. I would push hard for the Mizuno®. I really love the glove and you save enough money to buy half a pair of cleats. If you are the kind of player whose game speaks for itself give it a try. If you have to go with the glove that will speak volumes for you though you can’t go wrong with either the Rawlings® or the Wilson®. Both are great quality gloves that will give you a lot of bang for your buck. The Easton® I rate last only because I can’t get over the reputation of Easton® as a bat company. Don’t get me wrong Easton® has made some good gloves I just don’t put them up there with the other guys yet. I will have to see some Mako’s out on the field in five years still kicking up dust before I go all in.



Food for thought

Overall I think you have some food for thought here when you start looking for your next glove. There are gloves out there that are less expensive than the ones I pointed out in this review. I would not recommend them because they are throw away gloves. You will be disappointed in them and if you are buying them for your child, you will be disappointed in the fact that they don’t help your child become a ball player.

I chose to try and review similar models from each company. I tried to keep the size and web style as close to the same as possible for the purpose of comparison. All of these gloves come in different sizes and with different web styles. As a player, or someone purchasing for a player, you will need to decide which is best for you, or the player, at the time of purchase. Feel free to drop a comment or an email if you have questions about what web style or size is best for the position played.

Parents keep in mind that most pro infielders are using gloves that are between 11.25 and 11.75 inches unless they are first baseman. Pitcher’s are somewhere between 11.5 and 12 inches and Outfielders go anywhere from around 12 to 12.75 inches. Knowing that will help you when your 10 year old tells you they need a new glove because theirs is too small. They may need a new glove but if it falls into that size range mentioned above, it isn’t because the outside is too small.

I hope this is helpful and look forward to fielding your questions about your youth baseball glove purchase.

Thank you,

Coach Wood

 

 

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Little League Baseball Rules- Part II

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Little League Baseball Rules- Part II

In this second edition of Little League baseball rules we are going to go over some things that happen to batter’s. There are a lot of things that can happen in a batter’s box besides hitting. I hope this helps you get through some of those things if they happen to you or your player’s.



HBP

Getting hit by a pitched baseball is one of the most traumatic things that most young baseballlittle league baseball rules players have to deal with. As a coach I have always addressed this with my parents before the first game of the year. It is going to happen and when it does the last thing the player needs is to have the spectators add to the perceived pain with all of their, “Ooh’s and aah’s.” If the parents just cover their mouth’s and wait for a second the player will get up and run to first base most of the time. Very rarely is the player truly hurt by a pitched baseball it stings and if you can get your parents to react as if it were a base on balls the player will usually do the same.


Enough of that on to the rule. If a player is struck by a pitched ball and it is not in the strike zone or offered at by the batter the batter gets to advance to first base without the possibility of being put out.


little league baseball rulesThat is easy, or is it. When a young player leans into a pitch he can be hit by an inside pitch that would have been a strike. In this instance the umpire should call it a dead ball no runners may advance and the pitch should be called a strike.


A player can also be hit by a pitch that they do not make any attempt to get out of the way of. I have even had a few players figure out if they lean in a little the pitch will hit them and then they get on base. In some cases the only way that player might reach base other than by a walk so they lean in. When a player does this the umpire should call a dead ball and the batter has to continue the at bat but the pitch is called a ball if it was not in the strike zone.

little league baseball rules


Finally and probably the most controversial situation that can occur is when a player gets hit by a
pitch that they are swinging at. As much as it stings to get hit by a pitched baseball, the sting is worse when you swing at that pitch and it hits you. Unfortunately this is a strike.



When is an out not an out…

An out is not an out when on a third strike to a batter with less than 2 out and first base unoccupied or with 2 outs even if first base is occupied, the catcher does not catch the pitched ball.


little league baseball rules
The batter then must be forced out or tagged before reaching first base. The best part of this rule is that the pitcher still gets credit for a strike out. The bad part is that the catcher gets charged with an error, or the pitcher gets charged with a wild pitch if the runner reaches first base safely.



So as a kid you were told that nobody bunts with 2 little league baseball rulesstrikes…

Do you know why nobody bunts with two strikes? The reason is because if you attempt to bunt with 2 strikes and the ball goes foul you are out. That seems like enough of a reason for most coaches to take the bunt off with 2 strikes. If a bunted 3rd strike goes foul the ball is dead and no runners may advance. Better off just letting them swing it. A sac fly will at least give the runners a chance to move up with less than 2 outs.



2 hits are worse than one…

Two hits are worse than one when you are the batter who just hit the ball and as you run down to first base the ball hits you. In this instance the batter/ runner is out. You can not make contact with the baseball outside the batter’s box until it has been touched by or passes a fielder. The pitcher a does not count as a fielder unless they touch the baseball.


A side note to this rule is that if the batter has at least one foot in the batter’s box and the other foot has not touched the field outside the batter’s box when they are hit by the ball it is a foul ball.



You hit don’t hit it again

If a batter hits a ball or bunts a fair ball and the bat hits the ball again in fair territory the ball is dead and no runners may advance. Of course this is baseball and very little is black and white. So if the player drops the bat in fair territory and the ball hits the bat but the umpire decides that it was not intentional the ball is live.


But wait there is more because part of this rule states that if a bat is thrown into fair territory and interferes with a players attempt to make a play the batter is out. It does not matter if the interference is intentional or not.


I would strongly recommend that you teach your players to discard the bat in foul territory.



Foul tiplittle league baseball rules

A foul tip is when a pitch is contacted by the bat and goes sharp and direct to the catcher’s hands and is caught by the catcher.  A foul tip is a strike. It is not a foul tip if the ball is caught on a rebound unless the ball first hit the catcher’s mitt or hand. The ball is live on a foul tip. If it occurs with 2 strikes the batter is out. Runners may advance on a foul tip.



Batting out of orderlittle league baseball rules

I would strongly recommend for any coach out there keep a score book and keep score for both teams even if you are not the home team. Once you read this section on batting out of order you will understand why. Game Changer is a free app that is good for this. The rules for batting order are simple. Both teams have to submit a line-up to the umpire before the game. All batters will follow the order of the line-up until the end of the game. Substitutions will be announced so that the official scorer can keep track of the batting order.


For a team to bat out of order a player must complete a turn at the plate. If an improper batter is discovered in the middle of an at bat the correct batter can assume their place in the batter’s box and the count that exists for the improper batter.


What that means is if the other team sends Timmy to the plate when Johnny is supposed to be up and you as the opposing coach say, “Hey Johnny is supposed to be up,” 2 pitches in with 1 ball and 1 strike on Timmy, Johnny grabs his bat and a helmet and steps up to the plate with the count 1- 1 and nothing happens.


If you wait until the end of the at bat when Timmy rips a single to left and is jumping up and down on first pumping his fists with excitement. Johnny will be called out and all of the runners that advanced on Timmy’s hit will be sent back to the base that they started from. The next batter will be the batter that follows Johnny. This can only happen if you appeal this to the umpire before another pitch or play is attempted in the game.


This is where it gets really fun. If you are not paying attention to the other teams batting order the following scenario can take place. Follow along closely because it gets confusing.

THIS IS PARAPHRASED FROM THE LITTLE LEAGUE RULE BOOK

Assume the first inning batter order to be A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I.

  • D walks but he was an improper batter
  • A comes up to the plate and takes a pitch (now D has become a legal batter and the proper batter should be E)
  • A flies out
  • B comes up to bat and takes a ball (now A has become a legal batter and B is the proper batter)
  • B walks
  • C comes up to bat as the proper batter. (D is on 2nd and B is on 1st. There is 1 out)
  • C flies out.
  • D is the next batter and he is on 2nd with 2 outs.

What happens at this point is exactly why both teams should keep independent score books during a game. Because all of this happened and nobody on the defensive team made an appeal all of the batters in the inning became legal and since D is on base for his turn at bat he is skipped and without penalty E becomes the legal batter. little league baseball rules


As a coach if this situation happens to you during the course of a game I can only imagine that it would be very embarrassing. Please keep score for both teams or designate a parent or coach to do it. An even better idea would be to teach your team how to do it and have a player that is not playing keep score. What better way to keep a player paying attention to what is going on out on the field.



Summary…

I hope that you have found this informative. If you haven’t been stumped by one of these rules yet good for you. If you are questioning your expertise on the subject of baseball rules I would suggest you spend the $5 it costs to purchase a little league rule book. If you are not playing in a Little League sanctioned league then get the rule book for whatever governing body you play under.


Most of the rules are the same but you don’t want to get caught on a technicality. In the final post of this 3 post series I am going to address a couple of more major division rules and dip into a couple of the Intermediate/ Junior/ Senior division rules.

Thank you,

Coach Wood

 

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