As a softball team, executing a double play can significantly change the game’s outcome and momentum. A double play involves recording two outs during one play. It requires coordination, communication, and quick reactions to make it successfully possible. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to execute a double play, including various sub-questions such as what is a double play, how to set up for it, and different types of double plays.
What is a Double Play?
In softball, a double play occurs when two outs are made during one play, usually the fielding team’s defensive play. The most common way to record a double play in softball is by getting the runner out at first base, followed by a throw to a second baseman or a shortstop covering second base to get the lead runner out. There are different types of double plays, but this is the most common one.
Setting up for a Double Play
Setting up for a double play requires coordination and communication among the infielders. The shortstop and the second baseman usually communicate to determine who should cover second base. As the ball is hit, the middle infielders run towards second base to set up for the double play, while the first baseman covers first base.
The middle infielders need to be ready to pivot once they catch the ball, quickly assess the situation, and make a throw to second base to get the lead runner out. The pivot also enables the position player to turn themself towards second base while holding onto the ball and making the throw to the second baseman.
Different Types of Double Plays
There are different types of double plays that teams can execute to get two outs in quick succession. These include:
1. The Standard Double Play
The standard double play involves getting the runner at first base followed by a throw to second base to get the lead runner out. It is the most common type of double play and requires excellent coordination, timing, and communication between the infielders.
2. The Tag and Throw
The tag and throw is executed when a ground ball is hit to a base runner. In this case, the fielder tags the runner before throwing to first base to get the first out. After this, the fielder makes a quick throw to the second baseman who’s covering second base, and the lead runner is tagged out.
3. The Reverse Double Play
The reverse double play involves getting the lead runner out first before getting the runner at first base. This type of play is executed when the base runner is trying to take a double on a ball hit to the outfield. If the outfielder throws the ball to the second baseman, who then throws it to the first baseman to get the lead runner out, it is a reverse double play.
4. The Fly Ball Double Play
The fly ball double play occurs when the batter hits a fly ball, and the fielder catches it for the first out. The fielder throws the ball to the infield to get the runner out who left the base before the ball was caught.
5. The Triple Play
A triple play involves getting three outs during one play. It is a rare play, but it happens. For a triple play to occur, there must be two runners on base. Once the batter hits the ball, it is caught by a fielder for the first out. The sudden catch startles the base runners, so they get out of their bases to run. The fielder throws the ball to second base to get the runner at second out and then quickly throws it to first base to get the batter out before they can make it to the base.
Executing a double play requires coordination, communication, quick reactions, and split-decision making. While there are different types of double plays, the most common type of double play involves getting the runner at first base and then throwing the ball to second base to get the lead runner out. Setting up for a double play involves coordination and communication between the shortstop and the second baseman. In summary, team effort, quick reactions, and effective communication are often the difference between executing a double play and leaving the inning with just one out.