Fly Ball Priorities Are a Must
One thing that needs to be worked on every season is fly ball priorities. These are important because they will help you:
- reduce “campfires” – those times when everyone goes for the ball, then stops and lets it drop
- allow your players to go hard for the ball without worry
- make more catches which in turn means more outs
- reduce the chance of collision
- keep your players safe
If you don’t have fly ball priorities, bad things can happen:
- sure outs fall in for hits
- injuries to players
- the beginning (or extension) of the dreaded “bad inning”
- more opportunities for your opponent
- more pitches for your pitchers to throw
- etc, etc, etc
I’ve heard of not only season ending injuriescaused by unnecessary collisions on the field, but collisions that have had LETHALconsequences in the game of baseball. Granted that’s extreme, but why take the chance? Make sure your players are protected and give them the best chance at getting those outs on defense by setting up those priorities AND practicing them. Simply “having” them is not enough!
Going by the “whoever calls it louder gets the ball” method isn’t good enough. You will come across those times when two players are both calling for the ball loud and clear. There has to be a clear rule that both players understand to determine who gets it and who backs off to cover.
So how do you set up fly ball priorities? Well, a common guideline goes as follows:
- Outfielders have priority over infielders
- Middle infielders have priority over corners
- Corners have priority over the catcher
- Everyone has priority over the pitcher
- Center has priority over Left and Right
Now, this is not set in stone. It is not the ONLY “right” way to do this. This is just a general guideline that can be used and implemented with your team. HOWEVER, you may also alter, tweak, and adjust it so that it works for you and the personnel you are working with. Hope this helps!