I was asked if I could provide some help on rundowns. I will also include this in our Training section. The video here is for visual purposes…below are my takes on how to teach and execute.
One of two things should occur in a rundown:
- Result in an out (95% of the time). This is great! Best outcome
- Keeping the runner at the base they came from. This is okay. Next best oputcome as nothing changed from where you were…only lost opportunity is that you could have shortened an inning
There are many theories on how many throws it takes to complete a successful rundown. In my opinion, the max number is 3. It may take a throw to set up the run down, and including that, no more than three.
So, what are some of the basics you need to know to execute this successfully?
- Whenever possible, get the ball to the fielder at the advancing base ASAP. You do not want the runner going towards the next base if you can avoid it
- Show the ball. Hold it up in your “L” type position. Do not fake throws…just show the ball
- Run the base runner back where they came from as much as possible
- Make the runner commit
- Throw the ball in a “dart type fashion”…we are not trying to set speed records
- All players must be on their toes, ready to receive the ball and ready to sprint into action. Be in your athletic position. If a fielder is going to try and start from a stand still, unathletic position…you are asking for trouble.
- Throw the ball to your partner and go to your right…you will then go to the back of the line of the other base in case more throws are necessary.
- Close the gap…trap the runner as much as possible by the fielder from the advancing base coming towards the base the runner is coming from
- Either player can make the tag…the preference is whoever can make it if it results in an out
- Please remember…if you are going to CHASE a runner to makle the tag, chase them back, only ahead for a few steps to close the gap
- Tag with Two hands…do not do all this work for a runner to knock the ball out of your glove
Note…if you are a cut off person or infielder and have the choice of running at the runner to make them commit, take an angle towards the advancing base so they have to run back to the base they came from
Probably one of the most undercoached situations in our game…not that it is less important, but in organizations like ours there is only so much time to cover a massive amount of meterial. I encourage EVERY coach to review this with their teams as practices resume.