Coaches are always looking for fun ways to improve their team's fielding ability. Here is a practice drill ideal for getting your squad to work on their reaction time, and have a little fun in the process.
Setting Up the Drill
This game requires two teams of five players. (It can be played with six players or more but each player scores for herself)
One team takes the field at 1b, 2b, SS, 3b and catcher. The other team is at bat. The batter hits a ground ball (from a tee, soft toss)
How the Drill Works
Fly balls are outs. An infielder catches the ball and throws to 1b.
1b then throws to one of the other infielders. That fielder throws back to 1b. 1b then throws to the other infielder (who hasn't touched the ball) who throws back to 1b.
The ball then goes around the horn (1b to SS to 2b to 3b) and then to the catcher.
Rules of the Drill
Each fielder must touch her base before throwing, except for around the horn and home. If the batter-runner can run all the way home before the ball gets home, one run scores.
If the ball gets home first, one putout is made. Fielders rotate one position clockwise and next batter hits.
Each fielder has caught three balls and made three throws. Every catch and throw must be accurate or a run scores.
Each team bats until three outs are made and then change sides. (Batters need to wear helmets.) With more than 10 players fielders can rotate in at 3b
Not clear? Here's a simple checklist you can follow:
- Ball hit to 3rd
- 3b catches batted ball, steps on 3rd, throws to 1b
- 1b catches ball, steps on 1st, throws to ss
- SS catches ball, steps on 2nd, throws to 1b
- 1b catches ball, steps on 1st, throws to 2b
- 2b throws to 1b (now around the horn), 1b throws to ss ss throws to 2b
- 2b throws to 3b 3b throws to c and c steps on home plate
Good luck running this with your squad.
Gary Shepherd is a high school softball coach in Fox, Oklahoma and has contributed many articles to the Active fastpitch community.