Skip to comments.Softball Question (vanity)
Posted on 05/02/2012 4:35:14 PM PDT by MacMattico
Hi, with all those I chatted with about sports in the last few days or others I have a question, and as the mom of the girl involved I don't want to go off half crazy.
My daughter was put in to play second base, starting. She's in jr high and plays at the JV level. She's normally a Pitcher but was obviously not Pitching. That's no excuse but here's what happened : (note: they ended up winning the game so that was good.).
The score was 2-1 and the coach yelled out to check the runner back and go to first. The girl hit a hard line drive toward second, and immediately the girl on third took off. My daughter charged the ball. There was no looking her back. So my daughter fields it and throws a perfect throw to the catcher, and she would have gotten her out, had the catcher not dropped the ball.
End of inning the Coach unloads on my daughter and takes her out. "If your going to make mistakes, your not going to play...etc." for everyone to see.
This coach brought up four girls from 8th because he didn't understand (his words to me one on one) why most of his team last year didn't even come out for try outs this year. It's becoming apparent why. My daughter plays on a club team this year and LL in past years where "look the runner back" meant look them back and then take the lead force out, unless the girl they were looking back takes off running, which this girl did. My daughter was so upset, she usually doesn't make mistakes. She has the first or second highest batting average on the team. And if the catcher could of held on, the out would have been made at home. Thoughts? My daughter has played softball and loved it since she was 5, and couldn't wait to get to high school ball, and now half the team wants to quit!
Coach is an idiot. The point of girls junior high softball is to have fun and get some exercise. Nobody on the team is going to ever win a multi-million-dollar pro contract. What is he so high-strung about?
So the runner scored, and the batter (the sure out) was safe at first ?
My understanding of “check the runner” is the same as yours. If the runner on third breaks for the plate, that’s where the throw goes!
I would encourage your daughter have a conversation with the coach to explain her interpretation of “look the runner back”, and suggest the coach reinforce “his” interpretation with the rest of the team. A great learning experience for her & the coach.......
When I was growing up, I was super-sensitive to criticism and injustice. Then I enlisted in the Marine Corps and four years later, I had a thick skin that would serve me well for the rest of my life.
I have a daughter that plays on High School varsity for 3 sports and she has had to learn that even the best coaches can sometimes make a bad call. Since you saw the play and thought she did the right thing I would simply tell her the play was good and that is just part of the game. Team sports like softball are tough because you usually have several players involved in each play. Personally I always look forward to individual sports like track where the stopwatch makes it clear who performed well.
Yes, but it was 2-1 with the other team leading late in the game and when my daughter had charged the ball she was closer to home plate and made a perfect throw to get her out if not dropped. The girl took off from third at the pitch so there was no “looking her back” which was the instruction.
She made the right play and did well playing a new position, She deserves a pat on the back. The catcher dropped the ball and errors are part of the game. Your daughter did not make a mental error on the play and should realize she did the right thing. A good learning experience in more ways than one.
Welcome to youth sports with morons coaching. It won’t be the last time. Just the way things go. She should just put her head down and focus on the goals she has.
Your girl did the right thing. I played softball for 25 years in various orgs. and your daughter’s momentum was clearly carrying her toward home. It would be more difficult to twist and turn to First and because the runner wasn’t stopping, there was no “checking” to be done. I’m sorry the catcher dropped the ball.
That’s funny. No. He’s a big guy who’s coached Varsity football to about 10 losing seasons in a row.
"Checking the runner on third" only works as long as the runner holds. Since the runner broke for home, your daughter did the absolute right thing in throwing to home and she should have been praised by the coach in doing so.
Judging by the coach's reaction to your daughter's decision, he would have likely admonished her if she had thrown to first too.......
My personal advice, if she were my daughter, I'd pull her off the team and find another one for her, one where the coach encourages fun over win at all costs. A young girl her age should not have to put up with such ignorance from an obviously clueless coach.
I've been playing softball all my life and coached girls fast pitch for a number of years too. I've encountered many coaches such as your daughter's and all they accomplish is to intimidate and chase away the talented but timid players who are unable to deal with their idiotic attitudes.
Do your daughter a favor, find her another team.............
A good coach would have done the same..........
I would say that this can be a very important lesson for your daughter. Not so much about softball as about maturity and developing a thick skin to real and imagined slights.
Result: Coach wins
Result: Coach wins
All other permutations: Coach wins
Your daughter will live. And she should know that she did the right thing. And that in the end, that doesn’t matter if the coach is an idiot.
And pray tell what would the coach have said if the runner was cut down at the plate?
Runner was not looking at 2nd baseman so there was no “looking the runner back”. If your daughter just threw to first base she would have been chewed out for not getting the lead runner at the plate. If the throw was good to the plate then the play should be scored E-2 and the runner at first safe by fielders choice and not awarded a hit. Sounds like the catcher is the goat on that play.
The coach is a sharp shooting hind-sighter and there will be no satisfaction to be had. Just tell your daughter to suck it up and explain to her that she did the right thing but her coach will not accept that since it is more important for the coach to always be right even when the opposing team does not cooperate with his/her plan for the current situation. Oh, and by the way it’s a game but good preparation for high school, college and life where even if you do the right thing you can still get punished. If she wants to play high school ball then she needs to put up with this until she makes the varsity. Best of luck to you and your daughter.
check the runner:
When the pitcher looks in the direction of a runner on base and thereby causes him to not take as large of a lead as he would otherwise have taken.
look the runner back:
1) When there is a runner on first base, a pitcher who has already gone into the stretch may step off the rubber and either threaten a throw toward first base or just stare at the runner to encourage him to step back toward first. In either case he's said to "look the runner back" to first (rather than throwing over to first in an effort to pick the runner off).
2) When there is a runner on second or third base (but not first) with fewer than two outs, an infielder fielding a sharp ground ball briefly stares at the runner to discourage him from trying to advance. The fielder then throws to first to force out the batter.
Of course, at the level your daughter is playing, it would have been just as wrong for the coach to berate the catcher as it was for him to lay into your daughter.
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Good players often go by instinct — it seemed to be a bang-bang play, and her action was warranted. Chalk it up to a life lesson...
Your daughter made the right play, and the coach doesn’t know much about the game. With a man on third, the second baseman is either playing in or back. If playing back, your daughter should of been told to get the out at first. The runner will break for home on grounders hit to the right side,and the run is conceded. If the coach is telling the second baseman to check the runner, then I assume the infield is in. In that case, the whole point of playing the infield in is to get the runner at home. If the coach did not want the play at home, he should of had your daughter playing back. The term “looking her back” means after fielding the grounder, look at the runner at third. If the runner is going, throw home, if the runner is not, go to first. I hope this answers your question. My baseball background is a pitcher in NCAA Div I, and briefly Low A. Also coached HS.
The intent was to prevent the runner from scoring and tying the game so getting a "sure out" was not the issue.............
And "checking the runner" would only apply had the ball been hit to the left side and it likely would have worked.
However, the runner obviously had the go sign to break for home with the batter being instructed to hit to the right side........
The third base coach was right in giving the instructions to go, the girl's coach who told her to check and throw to first was wrong, the girl throwing to home when "checking the runner" was not an issue, was 100% right..........
Talk it out with your daughter.
I would not bring up the subject of leaving the team until she does.
Again talk that through. Let her make the decision on her own, and back her up whatever she decides.
BTW; Loud, abusive, gesturing coaches are usually ill-prepared to coach young people. If he, too, is not having fun, he should find a new vocation.
She tried to stop the run from scoring and would have done so had not the catcher made an error. First base wasn’t a sure out at this level either. She should have been commended for making a good play.
Timely thread for me. I have an old mans softball league game in about one hour.
Sorry your daughters feelings were hurt but these things are going to happen in organized sports. She will get over it and maybe next time not take it so hard when something unfair happens to her. Personally I think your daughter made the right play. Maybe the catcher is the coach’s pet and the coach needed someone else to blame.
To add, when playing back, the fielder doesn’t even bother checking the runner when playing middle infield.
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So sorry to hear this. This coach obviously does not understand the dynamics that go into making a successful team(note, I did not say a winning team).
Unwritten rule #1 in baseball or softball is never give up a run that you do not have to.
Having the ball in front of her, your daughter had the ability to judge whether or not she could make a throw home and get the runner. Since her throw beat the runner to the plate, she made the correct choice. Allowing a runner to score from third on an infield ground ball is never a good thing. It sends the wromg message to the opposing team and before you know it you will have singles turning into doubles and walks into triples. The opposing team needs to be afraid to take a step off the bag much less take off running on the pitch.
The ‘coach’ in this situation forgot what the roles of players and coaches are. Once the team takes the field, he has to rely on the judgement of his players based on what they have done in practice to carry the day and to get the job done. To chew out a middle school student for having made an instinctive play on the field,(which was correct by the way) is inexcusable and has to make one wonder just how in the heck did he get the job in the first place?
I would hate to see your daughter’s enthusiam dampened by this experience. I am thinking that a request to have a private meeting with the president of your school board might be in order. You might contact the parents of the girls who did not return this year and see if they had similar issues.
This ‘coach’, needs to go.
Tell your daughter to hang in there. There will be better days.
I think there were no outs, maybe one.
I agree with you 100% and the infield was in.
Played all forms (hardball and fast-slow pitch softball) myself for 30 years and coached Bobby Sox and American Girls in Cali for 10 + years. Not an expert, just want to assure you I know and have played the game.
Per coaches instructions you relayed, I offer your daughter and you a different perspective. The “norm” is to check the runner back to occupied base preventing the run to score, then go after the best chance at an out at first.
As you explained, the runner “bolted” and your daughter made a “judgement call” by throwing home. Had the catcher held the ball, there’s no issue...
Out at the plate or out at first, the coaches instructions would have been met. Throw beat the runner! Your daughter did her job under the instructions given!
However, “coach” did not specifically “state/insist”, runner at third cannot score”! In the absence of this specificity, coach was clearly willing to concede a run scoring but “hoping” and I say, leaving the decision to chance...piss poor coaching decision IMHO.
Catcher dropped the ball, E-2! Error to the coach for not teaching, instructing and wrongly berating your daughter for making a judgement call based on the lack of coaching/instruction!
More troubling, coach grinding an axe even though the team won! Nudder example of coach being weak and out of place! Maybe coach had bad day, but the game is fun...allow the kids to enjoy the game, teach them the fundamentals and rejoice in developing their decision making processes.
It is only a game.
For someone who asked, there was 1 out, we were down 2-1, only the runner on third and one running to 1st. Getting the out at home would have set up the third out as a force at first or second with no run being scored.