To rehearse rundown situations for fielders and runners
Three baseballs, four bases, gloves
3 to 6 minutes
1. Divide the team into four groups of three players.
2. Two teams of three sit out.
3. The other two teams head to the field. Each team positions two fielders on one of the base paths (except between home and first). They should stand 15 to 20 feet apart from one another, and one of the players should have a ball.
4. The coach sends a base runner to stand between two of the fielders on one of the base paths.
5. On the “go” command, the base runner attempts either to advance to the next base or return to the base he came from.
6. The fielders throw the ball back and forth to one another as they try to tag the runner out.
7. After the team completes the rundown (which should take no more than 10 seconds), rotate in the teams that sat out. Coaches can also set up mock base paths in other locations away from the field so that every player actively participates at the same time.
This drill gives players a good taste of what it is like to be in a rundown. This drill can involve six players at once on the base paths on the field, and the teams that sit out are only inactive for a short time.
1. The fielders should force the base runners back to the base they came from. The infielder who catches the first throw should first walk slowly toward the other fielder to cut down the distance of each subsequent throw. This also decreases the distance that the base runner must run. Cutting the distance is important for youth players because the shorter the throw, the smaller the chance for errors.
2. The fielder should hold the ball at ear level so that the fielding partner can see it.
3. The fielders should not pump the wrist while holding the ball. Although it might fake out the runner, the player might drop the ball on the pump.
4. The fielder should squeeze the ball with the glove when tagging a runner so that the ball does not fall out of the glove.
The base runner receives one point for making it safely back to the base he came from and two points for advancing to the next base. The fielders receive one point for tagging the runner out before he reaches either base.