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  • No walks kids baseball?

    In our kids league (10-11u) they now have a new rule. It is kid pitch but after ball 4 coach comes in and side tosses to the batter.

    what do you think about this?

    I like it a lot actually. The pitcher still gets punished because the toss is easier to hit but the player needs to hit and the defense has a chance to make an out.
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

  • #2
    Maybe the skill level is different there. I know of kid pitch 7/8 leagues that did this. It sounded like a good idea. But not at 10/11. Our LL breakdowns were 9/10 and 11/12. Sometimes walks were an issue in 9/10’s. It wasn’t a problem in 11/12’s.

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    • #3
      We have a similar rule for 7-8 year olds. At 9 it becomes regular pitching with walks. That is for baseball and softball both.
      "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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      • #4
        Anything you can do to increase action is a good thing with kids. I'd make it side toss from the coach with the 0-0 count. But that's me.
        Major Figure

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        • #5
          a friend of mine was in a league that ran this way last year. i believe it was 9/10 year olds. worked well, apparently.

          the issue is in areas where select ball has taken over and kids are tiered. at 10, maybe 1/2 the kids could throw strikes on the rec league team i had that included the select/travel kids. probably the most valuable kids to get were the "rec only" kids who were reliable pitchers. they truly were the unicorns of the league though. even then our games were sometimes snoozers. i remember one game a kid threw 80some pitches in 2 innings.

          if you tier the kids and there isn't anyone left to pitch, this kind of hybrid approach makes sense. 11 seems old though.

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          • #6
            Definitely less skill here. Teams here maybe have one pitcher who can throw strikes and 1-2 walks per half inning.
            I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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            • #7
              Kid pitch starts at 9u (3rd grade) here. In 2019 we are considering starting all batters with a 1-1 count. When we've used that format in 10u (to speed things up on a tourney weekend due to weather) it has made the baseball soooooo much better. It forces action. Batters ready to swing and pitchers knowing they need to throw strikes.

              We have a rule in our In a rec league that if a pitcher walks 3 or hits 2 batters in an inning he must be replaced. If kids are going to walk 3 anyway, they may as well do it in fewer pitches taking less time. The format makes the games at that age far more fun to watch IMO.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dominik View Post
                In our kids league (10-11u) they now have a new rule. It is kid pitch but after ball 4 coach comes in and side tosses to the batter.

                what do you think about this?

                I like it a lot actually. The pitcher still gets punished because the toss is easier to hit but the player needs to hit and the defense has a chance to make an out.
                It's important to get the incentives right with the rules or all the batters refuse to swing until they get the coach comes in because they know it's so much easier to hit. With only 4 pitches, few pitchers that age will throw 3 of 4 pitches for strikes - so depending on how the rules are set up, the batters may learn it's best to never swing until the coach starts pitching.

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                • #9
                  By making walks hurt less, it will incentivize harder-throwing, wild pitchers over softer-throwing accurate ones.

                  Note that liberal base-stealing rules make walks hurt more and thus incentivizes the opposite.


                  The biggest concern I would have is that it might just slow the game down too much having the coach come in.

                  If the objective is the development of the youth, rather than the entertainment of the adults, it seems like it could be a good rule change to me.

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                  • #10
                    The two Little Leagues in which I have been involved do this with pre-Minor divisions (thus 7 to 8, some 9s). One version was that the coach only came into pitch if the bases were loaded and the pitcher threw 4 balls to the hitter. The other league did it after 3 walks in an inning. Each used an "assumed" count. Thus, if the pitcher had 4 balls and 1 strike, the coach had only 2 pitches (and if 2 strikes, only 1 pitch). I liked it, but part of me would allow the coach one free bad pitch per inning, as it was hard to come in and have to pitch 1 pitch without warmups. It is way better than allowing unlimited walks. However, it seems at ages 10-11, the coach should not pitch and a 5 run per inning rule would be better.

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                    • #11
                      It sounds good, but I would rather the coach pitched instead of side tossed. Also, I feel that some times these rules can actually promote poor play than keep it interesting. If a coach knows he can come in every 4 balls, nothing stops him from pitching players who can't hit the broad side of a barn. I wasn't accepting of that, even at the 9U level in house league. Every player I had eventually got mound time by the end of the season, but they had to demonstrate for me they could throw consistently to the plate. My philosophy provided an incentive for each player to work outside of team to improve.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheSummerMe View Post
                        Kid pitch starts at 9u (3rd grade) here. In 2019 we are considering starting all batters with a 1-1 count. When we've used that format in 10u (to speed things up on a tourney weekend due to weather) it has made the baseball soooooo much better. It forces action. Batters ready to swing and pitchers knowing they need to throw strikes.

                        We have a rule in our In a rec league that if a pitcher walks 3 or hits 2 batters in an inning he must be replaced. If kids are going to walk 3 anyway, they may as well do it in fewer pitches taking less time. The format makes the games at that age far more fun to watch IMO.
                        Yeah, starting with a 1-1 count is good. And forget about kids pitching- just use the Jr. Hack Attack pitching machine until kids turn 16.
                        Last edited by omg; 12-05-2018, 12:55 PM.
                        Major Figure

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by omg View Post

                          Yeah, starting with a 1-1 count is good. And forget about kids pitching- just use the Jr. Hack Attack pitching machine until kids turn 16.
                          I think I've posted about this before, but there was a league in our area that did something like that - they had kids hitting off of a pitching machine well into the teen years.

                          I had some escapees from this league on an 11u house team that I coached. FWIW, the kids who had started by playing in our league (kid pitching starting at age 8) were better in every part of the game than the kids who came in from the machine pitch league - especially baserunning and of course, pitching.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bbrages View Post

                            I think I've posted about this before, but there was a league in our area that did something like that - they had kids hitting off of a pitching machine well into the teen years.

                            I had some escapees from this league on an 11u house team that I coached. FWIW, the kids who had started by playing in our league (kid pitching starting at age 8) were better in every part of the game than the kids who came in from the machine pitch league - especially baserunning and of course, pitching.
                            Why were they better? Aside from the act of pitching itself kids in a machine league would get way more action and reps, especially with base running and fielding. Hitting too: in a two hour game kids would get 10 at bats with no walks.
                            Major Figure

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeG View Post

                              It's important to get the incentives right with the rules or all the batters refuse to swing until they get the coach comes in because they know it's so much easier to hit. With only 4 pitches, few pitchers that age will throw 3 of 4 pitches for strikes - so depending on how the rules are set up, the batters may learn it's best to never swing until the coach starts pitching.
                              Of course but the pitcher still has a chance to throw strikes before that and with walks you make it to first anyway. But of course if the pitcher throws no strikes at all it won't help much either.
                              I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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