New technology has drastically changed the way baseball and softball bats have been produced over the last decade or so. Bats are no longer made of just Aluminum or wood like the old days, but now include Composite Technology which allows the barrel to compress more which in turn allows the ball to trampoline further. Walking into a store or searching online for a new baseball bat can become very overwhelming with bat sizes, drops, sanctioning, and barrel sizes. The bottom line is that we want these kids to easily handle the bat. Bat speed is incredibly important. While additional length and weight can add distance, that benefit won’t help if the player isn’t making solid and consistent contact.
Here are a few rules of thumb to consider when shopping for the right size baseball bat for your child — including length, weight and drop…
Know the Rules!
Understand that your league or tournament may have restrictions on the allowed drop. For example, your Little League may not allow a drop 3.
Similarly, before you invest in a bat make sure that the composition (alloy, aluminum, or composite) is allowed by your tournament or league. If you check their website, they should include very specific guidelines — maybe even a list of makes and models they allow
Of course, the length of the bat is only one half of the equation. You might find the right size bat for your child, but it may actually be too heavy for him. The ideal bat weight is actually a bit trickier, and we should approach it differently depending upon the age of your child.
The distance from home plate to the pitching rubber for ages are
b. 12U- 40ft
c. 14u Up- 43 ft
One key distinction between interference and obstruction: Interference is defined as a violation of either the offense or the defense; obstruction can only be committed by the defense.
Obstruction describes an act by a fielder, who is not in possession of the ball or in the process of fielding it, that impedes the baserunner’s progress.
Interference can also be called on the offensive team if a batter hinders the catcher after a third strike when the ball is not caught, a batter intentionally deflects any foul ball, and a baserunner hinders a following play being made on another runner after having scored or been put out.
Important Concept: The Protected Fielder The protection continues until the fielder makes a play or makes a throw after fielding the ball. From beginning to end of this sequence, the fielder has the right of way and runners must avoid impeding the fielder
Catchers or player can only block the base if in possession of the ball! If they do not have possession of the ball, they must provide the runner with a lane!
Runners are not required to slide but must avoid contact!!
Infield softball gloves usually range from 11.5-12.5 inches. Outfield gloves are larger than infield gloves to enable more range and reach in the large space being covered. These gloves have a deeper pocket, and usually have an H-web or an open web
Some Pitching Experts recommend pitchers 12 and under 500 pitches per week – this includes full pitching at practices and lessons.
Pitchers 13+: 700 pitches per week – this includes full pitching at practices and lessons.
With over 30 years of Softball coaching experience, I would encourage each coach and each parent to consider the length of the softball seasons while determining pitch count for your player(s). I believe it may be more reasonable to limit all pitchers to no more than 500 pitches per week. It is important to remember this does include full pitching at practices and lessons. In addition to these recommendations, my research leads me to recommend no more than 300 pitches (-3 games) over 2 days without at least 1 day of rest. Very young pitchers and early pre-season work may need to decrease these numbers as well. Coach Tim
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