Baseball Drills: Infield : Carnival Grounders

Drill: Carnival Grounders

Purpose:
Players get practice fielding grounders while moving toward the ball. Helps them concentrate on fielding and making an accurate throw.

Equipment:
balls and cones or other equipment to mark off starting and scoring area.

Setup:
Players will start at a specific spot, outfield grass will work if you have it. Otherwise use a couple of cones or something else to mark the starting spot.

Scoring area for younger players will need to be set up similar to image 1 below.

Execution:
This is a fun game to play with 2 to 4 players at a time. Emphasize with your players to work on the rhythm of moving toward the ball, going down to field it, and making the throw in a smooth motion.

First player up will start on line and coach will hit or throw a ground ball (ball should be hit at a speed that will allow the player to move toward the ball).
Player will move in, field the ball and make a throw to first base.

Scoring
Younger players should have multiple ways to score points (See image 1 below). You can modify the scoring based on the skill level. Tee ball kids for example you may allow the ball to roll between the cones and get full points. Coach pitch, you could give them more points if it's in the air. With older players, that you expect to make accurate throws, just use a player at first base.

  • Young Players (image 1)
    • Use 3 lines and cones that narrow as they get closer to first.
    • Player throws it between first set of cones they get 1 point. Second set 2 points. Third set 3 points.
    • If the ball gets by them, they can still make a throw from the starting point, but they get 1 point taken away.
  • Older Players (image 2)
    • Player or coach can play first base.
    • Player bounces it to first base, but on target, 1 point. Player throws it on target in the air, 2 points. Overthrow or pulling the first baseman off of first, no points.
    • With older kids they cannot make a throw if the ball gets by them. Take 1 point away from the total if they don't field the ball cleanly, but keep it in front of them.
Play complete rounds, until a player reaches a score of 15 or 20 depending on skill level. If more than one player is tied at the end of the final round, all players continue 1 round at a time until 1 player wins. This will keep everyone involved throughout the entire game and could allow a player to catch up in the extra rounds.

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