Cut-Offs and Relays
Every player must know where to go with, or without the ball. If cut-offs are done properly, you will be surprised at how many close games a team will win. It must be stressed that whatever you do defensively, someone is running against you offensively. It is important to communicate and not waste time in your defensive moves.
The main reason for having cut-offs and relays is to prevent runs from scoring, taking the extra base, and/or advancing into scoring position.
One of the main objectives in cuts and relays is to keep the double play situation in play.
Basic Rules to Follow…Infielders and Outfielders.
1. Always throw ahead of the runner
2. If you can’t get the primary runner, cut the ball and see if there is a play somewhere else. Never throw the ball unless you have a play.
3. All throws should be low, so fielders can handle them.
4. THINK baseball…Stay in the game.
5. Catch the ball with two hands on the proper side. (Glove side if relaying the ball or throwing side if cutting the ball and going to another base)
6. Communicate with each other. Verbal signals must be heard.
7. Be aggressive…Don’t worry about making a wrong decision.
8. Be Flexible…If the strategy changes during a play you must adapt. Nothing is definite in baseball cut-offs and relays.
9. When relaying the ball, or cutting and going to another base, always throw the ball from the position you field it from. (You don’t have time to straighten up and throw) Catch it and throw it.
10. Make the decision yourself. Try not to rely on verbal signals. If there is no play, don’t wait for someone to tell you…Make the decision yourself.
11. Don’t let the ball go through to a base if there is no play…Cut The Ball.
12. Make accurate throws. An accurate throw is better than a wild strong one.
13. When the ball is hit right at you in the outfield…Throw to get the lead runner.
14. When the ball is hit to your side at more than 3-4 steps…Throw to get the hitter.
Basic rules for each position…
Communicate! All throws should be low so the relay men can handle it properly. Get in position to catch and release the ball as quickly as possible. Always get in back of the ball so you are moving forward, catching the ball on your throwing side. Remember, anyone can catch a ball, but outfielders must be able to stop those runners from taking those extra bases and that takes a strong throw. Back each other up.
Communicate! Get to your defensive position as soon as you can. Get body in position to either relay the throw or cut it off. If you are relaying the ball, catch it on your glove side. If you must cut the ball and throw back to a base, you must now catch the ball on your throwing side. Always catch the ball with two hands, since your release will be quicker. Be Flexible…The defensive play might change, and you must react.
Communicate! Don’t sulk after a base hit. Back up the proper base. When backing up
a base, back up as far as possible…against the fence or dugout.
Communicate! Take Charge. You must run the entire defense. Always say something. Never say nothing. Be aggressive! Try to let the ball go through….Relay only when you have to.
“Use a #” Relay…Help the player to know where the ball \
should go, where you are, and keep yelling to
show confidence with your choice
* If nothing is said…the ball should be let through to the base it is attended to go*
Calls for Flyballs…
“ME, ME, ME” When you have the ball…
Remember to call the ball after it reaches it’s apex
“YOU, YOU, YOU” When the other fielder has the ball