Monday, July 11, 2011

Youth Baseball: Nations Baseball National Championship (Part 3)

The Nations Baseball Premier National Championship Skills Competition

There were three skills competitions: Team speed base running, Team speed throwing around the horn and a Home Run Derby. This post gives you an idea of what to expect from the skills competition.

Team speed base running

Team Speed - Base running
Each team was allowed to enter as many teams of four players as they wanted. We have 10 players at the tournament so we entered 2 teams. The 4 players line up at home plate. An umpire officiates the event. The first player runs around the bases when the umpire says go. The next runner goes after runner number 1 crosses home plate. When the final runner of the four crosses home plate the umpire announces and records the time.

Tip One: Make sure all of the participating players bring cleats to this event. Our team came in second in the event by less than a second because one of our players ran in running shoes and needed to slow up on turns to avoid slipping. Our player was not the only participant to forget his cleats.

Tip Two: Your team needs to complete the circuit in under 59 seconds. 57.9 seconds won.

(Click read more for the Throwing and Home Run Derby)

Team speed throwing around the horn

Team Throwing - Speed and Execution
Each team was allowed to enter as many teams of four players as they wanted. We again selected to enter 2 separate teams. The 4 players are stationed on the infield at home, third base, second base and first base. An umpire is there to officiate. The catcher starts to action when the umpire says go. The catcher throws the ball to third, the third baseman throws the ball to second, the second baseman throws the ball to first and the first baseman throws the ball back to the catcher. The catcher starts the circuit again. The umpired captures the time for the team of four to two complete circuits and the catcher touches home plate. 

Tip One: The players do not have to touch each base on each throw, just the final throw to the catcher.

Tip Two: The team has the option to throw counter-clockwise but no teams did this.

Tip Three: Get to the skills event about 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time to warm up the kids arms.

Tip Four: Your team needs to complete the event un under 11 seconds to have a chance. 9.9 seconds won.

Tip Five: Quick transfers is the primary key to the event not strong arms. This is a good event to practice all season long because it helps kids practice quick transfers.

Home Run Derby

Home Run Derby
Each team was allowed to enter 3 players to compete in the Home Run Derby. Each participant gets 10 swings. The U14 competed first and needed to clear a 12 foot fence that was 300 feet away. Very few did this on a day that was humid and the wind blowing in. I believe that only two home runs were hit.  A tie-breaker bat off to determine the winner was done on 275 foot temporary fences. The U13 kids were suppose to use the 300 foot fences too, but the umpire wisely changed the event to 275 feet. Still only 3 home runs won it. 

Tip One: The key to the event is pitching. Find a coach or a player who can throw strikes with moderate pace. 

Tip Two: The pitching distance is from the mound 55 feet away behind a screen. If your BP pitcher is used to pitching from a closer distance it will take time to adjust.

Tip Three: If you decided to use a kid pitcher, count on them throwing around 60 pitches during this competition. Can your team afford for one player to pitch the equivalent of a game before the 7 game guarantee tournament starts. One team used a player, who did well in the beginning but began to tire and complained about his arm hurting as he was throwing to the final batter.

The Main Point

The kids had a great time competing in the skills competition. Make sure your kids know that this is for fun and not to take it too seriously. They are here to win games not skills competition. Our coach did a great job of downplaying this event.

1 comment:



Related Posts with Thumbnails