Source: ABCA, Skills and Drills
Things to remember
- Every player has a job to do on every play.
- Fielders generally throw the ball one base ahead of the lead runner.
- Fielders must think about what they may have to do with the ball before it comes to them.
- Players should communicate confidently and loudly with teammates.
- Outfielders should try to make all throws to bases using a ball trajectory that will allow the ball to be cut off by an infielder. The throw should also have enough carry to reach the base (if not cut) on a line or only take one long hop.
- The throw to the cutoff man should be chest to head high.
- The relay man should have his hands in the air to give a target to the outfielder.
- The cutoff and relay men should be in a position to make a perfect throw to the intended base if needed. They should never position themselves farther from the target than their abilities allow.
- As the ball is released in his direction, the relay man should move to keep the ball on his glove side and the ball about head high.
- As he is about to catch the ball he needs to turn his lower body to line up with his target (see photo).
- His hands should not drop below his chest because he must throw the ball quickly.
- As he makes his throw, he makes a right foot left foot shuffle step (for right-handed thrower) towards his target.
The Call Men
The First Call Man (Outfielder)
- Is always the outfielder closest to the outfielder making the play.
- Calls the base the fielder should throw to.
The Second Call Man (Infielder)
- Lines up the cutoff man in a straight line to the intended base and then calls the base number.
- If the second call man yells “Cut” the relay man looks for a back-side play or runs the ball back to the infield.
- If the second call man makes no sound at all, he wants the ball to travel through to the base without being cut-off.