Everyone can swing a bat or catch a ball, but do you know which position you and your teammates should be playing?
In our Slo-Pitch leagues, a full team would consist of 10 players on defense:
- 4 Infielders
- 3 Outfielders
- 1 Catcher
- 1 Pitcher
- 1 Rover
A diagram of where these positions tend to lineup can be seen below:
Each position has a specific set of skills and traits suited to it. By reading this guide, hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of where to line up on the diamond, come game-time.
As mentioned above, the infield is comprised of 4 positions. These are First Baseman (1B), Second Baseman (2B), Third Baseman (3B), and Shortstop (SS).
- First Baseman- This player is often catching the majority of balls. Once a player hits the ball in play, a significant percentage of the time it is fielded, then thrown over to first base. Therefore, it is wise to have someone capable of catching balls from different heights and with awkward bounces. Not everyone can throw a perfect dime to first base every time, so sometimes you will need to reach far for balls.
- Second Baseman/Shortstop- These tend to be your most skilled defensive players. As they are playing up the middle of the infield, they are forced to field the majority of ground-ball hits. As such, they are required to be adept at fielding the ball quickly, as well as throwing accurately to first base.
- Third Baseman- The Third Baseman has to have quick reflexes. With 90% of people being right-handed, a lot of hits are hooked down the third base-line. Quite frequently, you could have line drives heading right towards you. So, you should be able to handle hard hits and be a quick decision maker. You often have to decide whether it’s better to throw to second base or to first base, on a dime.
More often than not you will have 3 players in the outfield. You have a Center Fielder (CF), a Left Fielder (LF), and a Right Fielder (RF).
- Center Fielder- The Center Fielder is more than likely one of the best athletes on your team. The CF needs to cover the most ground out of the outfielders, and their range can cover the majority of the outfield. A lot of fly balls will be coming that way, so it’s important to be able to read the flight of the ball and make the catch.
- Left Fielder- Similar to third base, the Left Fielder will see a lot of action, purely because a large majority of players are right-handed. Thus, hitters hook most of their shots down the left field line. Along with the Center Fielder, the Left Fielder will probably see the most action in the outfield and consequently should be adequate at catching fly balls. Furthermore, a lot of balls that make it past the infield will bounce along to the Left Fielder.
- Right Fielder- The Right Fielder doesn’t tend to see too much action. As previously mentioned, most balls will head over to the center field or left field. Therefore, if there’s a member of your team who isn’t as confident with catching fly balls, hard ground balls, or isn’t able to cover large distances, then Right Fielder is probably one of the safer positions for them.
In Slo-pitch, playing Catcher is not quite as intense as in pro baseball. You’re not required to call pitches and memorize signs. However, there are 2 primary responsibilities for a Slo-Pitch Catcher. The first of which, is fielding balls that clear the hitter. If the hitter swings and misses, or a strike is thrown, then the ball will likely bounce back to the Catcher. They then field it and throw it back to the Pitcher. Their other responsibility is to field balls thrown home. You are the last line of defense to stop a run from scoring. Once a player turns to round third base, your teammates could throw to home plate in order to get a last ditch out. At that point, they may be relying on you to make that catch to save the day!
Everybody loves an Ace. Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Madison Bumgarner….and maybe you too! Pitcher is probably the most familiar position on the diamond. As we all know, this position requires you to loft the ball just right, and land it right on the strike mat. Hopefully with enough deception to stop the opposition from crushing it. It may look easy, but it’s tricky. It can be really tough to get the right spin, height, and distance for a decent pitch. You will likely want to play someone here who has had a bit of experience pitching in the past. You want to give the opposition a fair chance to hit the ball without walking them every time. Remember we all want to hit the ball at some point; that’s where the fun’s at!
This is perhaps one of the least familiar roles out there, as it tends to be exclusive to Slo-Pitch. Let’s face it, we’re not MLB caliber players out there. As such, the Rover exists essentially as an extra body to help cover the field and aid with fielding. They tend to roam between the Shortstop and the Centerfielder, and act as an additional barrier to stop ground balls or short fly balls. Rovers tend to have quite an all-around game, as they may be required to do the same things as an infielder or an outfielder, depending on the situation.
Now get out there, turn some double-plays, crush some dingers, and have some laughs!