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How to Select Team Positions in Tee Ball With Players New to the Game



Important aspects to take into consideration in selecting a tee ball team are the variations in age, physical skills and maturity of the players in your team. The age variation allows children to accept greater fielding and batting responsibilities as they get older. The players look forward to becoming the “bigger kid” and getting more “important” positions on the field and in the batting order. With these ideas in mind, these are the suggestions that were offered to new coaches on how to set up their fielding positions.

1. Younger, less experienced or physically immature players are put in the outfield. (The coach needs to keep them alert during the game as these younger players can lose concentration quickly).

2. Second base and catcher can be used to give to a younger, inexperience player with reasonable skills without greatly hampering the team.

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3. The pitching position should be given to your most agile player. He/she must be good at catching, fielding, quick off the mark and be able to throw accurately over short distances.

4. The regular short stop (I. e. a fielder between second and third bases) needs to field and catch well particularly with hard hit balls. He/she needs to be able to produce long accurate throws to first base. He/she also needs to be alert to the possibility of double plays to second and third base as well as tagging the runner going between these two bases.

5. The “short stop” between first and second base (when there are more than nine players on the field) needs to field and catch well but doesn’t need a strong throw as he/she only needs to throw short distances to first or second base. This is a perfect position for a talented younger player.

6. Third base needs to have the best longest and most accurate throw in the team to get an out at first base. Don’t neglect this position. As players develop and their batting improves, the batters will direct more and more stronger hits down the third base line to give them more time to reach first base. So third base will get more work and be able to influence the result of all games.

7. First base needs only to be able to catch well, initially. This is a good spot for a left hander as he/she can lean out to the ball with the right arm facing into the infield ready to throw after catching the ball to get another runner out. Other skills will come with practice. Tell the player always to catch or stop the ball at all costs. Forget the base and the runner if the throw is poor. Remind him/her they only need to catch the ball and put their foot on the base to get the ‘out’. With some experience, you catch teach them to tag.

8. The catcher’s position can be given to a younger player. Encourage him/her to be alert for mishits which must be fielded and throw inside the baseline to first base so as not to hit the runner. Secondly, he/she must be ready to catch a ball thrown to home base to get the runner coming from third base in a forced play remembering to have a foot on the home plate.

9. This was the order in which the coach was encouraged to select his/her fielding positions.

a. Pitcher;

b. Short stop;

c. Third base;

d. First base;

e. Short stop near first base if using more than nine players;

f. Second base;

g. Catcher;

h. Outfielders.

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In the 1970s, our author was one founders of a Tee Ball League where he had to introduce Tee Ball to many newcomers. This article summarises coaching advice on team selection given to newcomers. He published a book with coaching advice on Tee Ball designed for people with no baseball/softball experience.


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