Live Rundown Drill
Live Rundown Drill

Baseball: Live Rundown Drill

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

This drill will give your players practice in rundowns—those situations in which a baserunner gets caught between bases.

All defensive players, including the pitcher and catcher, assume their positions around the infield. Place one baserunner halfway between home plate and first base, and another midway between first and second. The coach stands behind the pitching mound with a ball.

How to Play
On your signal, the baserunners begin running the bases. Whenever you feels it's appropriate, throw the ball to a defensive player. That player must then  make a throw so that one of the baserunners is caught between bases, initiating a rundown. Ideally, the play should be made on the runner who is closest to home plate.

Rundown Tips

  • The throw should be directed so the runner is sent backwards, not forwards along the base path. For example, the runner should be sent back towards first base, not second.
  • The defensive player with the ball should hold the throwing arm up and bent at a 90° angle. Players use a “dart throw,” in which they propel the ball using only their elbow and wrist while the arm is elevated. The action is almost like throwing a dart.
  • During the rundown, the two defenders should stand on the same side of the base path so they have an unobstructed throwing lane.

1. Jacquie Joseph, Defensive Softball Drills, Human Kinetics Publishers, 1998.
2. Pete Williams, Darrell Miller, Baseball: How To Play The Game: The Official Playing and Coaching Manual of Major League Baseball, Universe, 2011.

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© 2011, Physical Education,

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