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  • Run-down assignments

    In a run-down, should the player who throws the ball circle back to where he came from, or follow his throw and switch sides? I've seen both styles advocated. What are the pro's and con's of each approach?

  • #2
    I will confess to not having a direct answer to your question. That won't prevent me from providing one anyway, however.

    In reality, if done correctly, the run-down shouldn't go past 1 throw so your question becomes moot. The player with the ball runs at full speed toward the runner. If the runner doesn't move he gets tagged out. If he moves to the base away from the player, the player waits until the runner commits then make the throw to the glove side of the other player covering. The other covering player, seeing the throw, closes down toward the runner so that they can apply the tag as soon as they receive the throw.

    The important thing is for the fielders to hold the ball high and not pump fake. That messes up their teammate as well as the runner.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Rufus67 View Post
      The important thing is for the fielders to hold the ball high and not pump fake. That messes up their teammate as well as the runner.
      You hit that nail right on the head. I couldn't have said it better myself.

      But in response to your question, follow your throw. If you circle back towards "your" bag, you could, in some way, interfere with the next man receiving the throw (at the bag you just came from), possibly interefere with the man YOU just threw the ball to trying to circle back to "his" bag, or worse, obstruct the runner in some way so that he gets the next base FREE. By "following your throw," you take yourself out of the play completely, and don't give yourelf a chance to interfere. As he said, though, it should never go more than one throw - but as this is not realistic, and the key to not letting a bad situation get worse is BEING PREPARED ANYWAY (so this is NOT a "MOOT QUESTION," but an often over-looked and under-practiced part of the game), that would be the best way to deal with the situation.
      "Coaches should teach people to play better baseball, not teach baseball to make better players."
      "In the Little League manual it says 'Baseball builds character' - that is not true. Baseball reveals character." - Augie Garrido

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      • #4
        The rule of thumb is to follow your throw if you are half way to the next base, otherwise circle back. An awareness of where your teammates are may cause an exception to the rule. One case in particular that I can remember was when we had a guy picked off at 3B, the pitcher crashed 3B rather than home. F5 got the ball to the plate early and was heads up enough to follow his throw as F3 was not backing up.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by StraightGrain11 View Post
          but as this is not realistic, and the key to not letting a bad situation get worse is BEING PREPARED ANYWAY (so this is NOT a "MOOT QUESTION," but an often over-looked and under-practiced part of the game), that would be the best way to deal with the situation.
          Straight
          Thank you for the correction. I sometimes get caught up in the theory of baseball and forget it actually has to be executed. Last time I checked most players aren't machines and can't execute perfectly all the time so being prepared for the eventuality is definitely good.

          To expand a bit, would you spend a majority of time on teaching the "correct" way (i.e., resolve in one throw or less) and a smaller amount of time on the "reality-based" way it happens (i.e., more than one throw), or the other way around? If you spend less time on the "reality-based" way are you preparing the kids enough to react correctly when it goes beyond one throw (knowing you can never prepare them for everything or practice enough)?

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          • #6
            my team follows their throws and make sure the run down takes place towards the best base. so if it is b/n 1st and 2nd, they throw it early to 2nd, follow the throw, and make sure the run down happens close to 1b.


            we practice it quite a bit and i was very proud of the kids in a tourney last year when we had a couple of run downs and they executed it perfectly. Lots of parents were impressed and i think it shows them that their kids are being taught some good fundamentals.

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            • #7
              I teach my kids (9-10 y/o) to follow their throw. However, I say the primary goal is to throw once, get the tag, or run him back to the orginal bag.

              At their age they tend to over throw when they get under pressure like a run down or pickle. I teach them how to do it, but stress that getting the runner back to his original bag is just as good.

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              • #8
                Follow the throw.
                "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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                • #9
                  If you get close to the other bag and have to circle back this can cause a runner to possibly out run the fielder or things like that ... haven't ever seen it actually used .... but following your throw creates a nice flow of traffic and nobody should ever get out ran or anything like that.
                  “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.” - Ted Williams
                  "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit." - Hank Aaron

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                  • #10
                    If a rundown is done properly it takes none or one throw. If you screw up and turn it into a circus, follow the play.

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