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Competitive/Travel ball Coaches: A question on lineup philosophy ...

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  • Competitive/Travel ball Coaches: A question on lineup philosophy ...

    Alright coaches ... would love to hear your thoughts on how you handle your lineup in weekend tournament scenarios. Let's assume you have 11 players and have the ability to bat the lineup (continuous) if desired. You play two pool play games and then move into single-elimination bracket play. Do you ...
    1. Bat the entire lineup in both pool and bracket play games
    2. Bat the entire lineup in pool play, but only bat 9 based on pool play performance (as well as other factors: last week's practices, attitudes, etc.)
    3. Bat 9 in both pool and bracket play games ... each game (including bracket play) is a different combination of 9 players ... you rotate evenly who sits/plays ... same strategy every weekend regardless of a player's ability
    4. Other
    Would love to hear your strategies!

  • #2
    Below 14u hit the roster.... its all developmental baseball. Only kids that didn't bat on my rosters below 14u were the kids with attitudes I would not tolerate, and it was usually a short learned lesson.

    14u and up I would vote #2.... if I still Coached :-)

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    • #3
      Me as a young coach would want to bat 9 in bracket play and play everybody in pool. Me as a seasoned vet coach now realizes none of it matters until they go through puberty and if they are on your team you should be playing them. I was unfortunately on a team this year that had a difference of opinion on this and it completely tore the team apart. One over zealous parent though that we should be batting 9 thinking this was miraculously going to make us win more. It didn't and all it accomplished was making the kids that had to sit hate the game and the parents hate each other. Said parent even called and cussed me out over giving his kid an error on game changer. Don't be that parent. So in short my opinion is if you pick the kid up to play with you he should play. If he is not good enough then don't pick him up to begin with. This from a travel ball coach of roughly 8 years now.

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      • #4
        I always bat continuous (all) coaching through 14u. Probably less than 20% of the teams we face bat 9 in bracket play. It's so hard to predict who is on and who isn't for a given day. Sometimes it's that #11 guy who gets the rally going while 1-3 can't seem to put a decent ball in play.

        in terms of the field, i try to do equal sits for everyone, though pitcher/catcher changes not in the game plan certainly affect this sometimes.
        Last edited by bluedawg; 07-11-2018, 01:23 PM.

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        • #5
          My kids have been on teams that did both. Unless you told the kid up front he may not play in the bracket games, then you should bat them all, unless for disciplinary issues

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          • #6
            We played in a 12u "B" team tournament this weekend and there was a team only batting 9 with 3 bench kids. Was silly.

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            • #7
              If you want to develop the team you have long term you bat the roster. It is important to get the lower kids in the lineup plenty of at bats which will help the team in a few years. In 7 years of coaching below the 14u level I have only not batted the roster 1 time and that was an experiment that the kids were in on with using a guest pitcher. If I had it to do over again, I would have batted the roster that game also. Long term team growth is so much more important at those ages.

              I have assumed that you are talking about younger ages, because the older ages usually have pitcher only players and you are playing showcase ball where normal high school type rules are applied. Correct me if I am wrong.

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              • #8
                The following is what I did in 13u to 16u (fifteen year olds). We were a regionally ranked USSSA Majors. In pool play we batted CBO with one player held back. If anyone gets injured it’s preferable to have a sub rather than an automatic out when that spot comes around in the order. Everyone rotated being the odd man out. They typically pinch hit and played the last inning anyway.

                In elimination play we put our best foot forward. Typically the first elimination game was against a doormat allowing starting kids who might sit more later.

                In the big picture, with thirteen players by the time the season was over everyone played at least 2/3rds of the time. In 16u we added three pitchers who understood getting to hit would be a bonus.
                Last edited by JettSixty; 07-12-2018, 08:06 AM.

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                • #9
                  AAA 12u team of 12 players. 4 obviously weaker players both defensively and offensively (Also the only 4 that don't pitch).

                  Pool play: Bat and rotate all 12

                  Bracket Play: Bat 10 switching the bottom 2 with the other 2 weaker players after the 3rd inning.

                  Results: I think it got us a few more games and more ABs for our stronger hitters and not many less ABs for our weaker ones due to going further in the bracket. The weaker players still competed in bracket play and felt a part of the team. The stronger players (and their parents) felt like we were playing to win and we were more successful doing this as well. Best compromise I could come up with.

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