Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tee Ball

A friend of mine is coaching tee ball this year and asked if Libby, my 8-year old daughter wanted to play. She did, so now I'm the assistant coach of a tee ball team. The ages run from 5 to 9, with 8 and 9 year olds only allowed if they haven't played ball before. It's fun and frustrating at the same time.

We've had several practices and the kids are getting better at hitting and throwing, but holy crap, they can't field worth a damn. Watching them try to run down a fast grounder is like watching the the keystone cops. It goes under the shortstop and whizzes right by the left and left center fielders and the second baseman who decided to run out and go after the ball instead of covering the bag. Then they throw back to the pitcher (actually a kid playing a position called the circle, as the coaches pitch in tee ball). Play stops when the ball gets into the circle. But most every time it flies right by the kid in the circle and ends up near the dugout.

I look at these kids, nearly all who have never played and I know they're mostly having fun, and they really only signed up to hit the ball anyway; fielding is the price they have to pay to get up to bat. But it's a funny sight. And of course, while the ball is flying around the field, four or five coaches are yelling instructions at the same time to kids who really aren't listening to them.

Our first game is Monday. Libby is pretty excited. As long as everyone has fun, it'll be worth it. But it would be nice to see someone get thrown out at first.

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Toast said...

The ages run from 5 to 9

Uh, dude? Don't think you're going to see any Gold Gloves out there. ;-)

John Howard said...

They may not be able to field very well, but I'll bet if they had a 7 game lead with under 20 games left, they could hold it.

Chris Howard said...

Uh, dude? Don't think you're going to see any Gold Gloves out there. ;-)

Hey, we played a practice game against another team last night, and they had a shortstop who was stopping everything. But, yeah, they're all learning, or picking their noses, whichever.

Chris Howard said...

Oh, and Toast, did you see that semicolon? I put that in there just for you.

Mr Furious said...


Why is there pitching in tee ball? Aren't they hitting off a tee?

michelline said...

They only hit off the tee if they miss the first couple of pitches. The coach pitches underhanded.

Chris Howard said...

Why is there pitching in tee ball? Aren't they hitting off a tee?

That's a common misconception, I find. Or maybe it's done differently elsewhere. Ever since I was little, this is the way they've done it down here - the batter's own coach pitches twice to the batter. If the kid doesn't get a hit, then the tee comes out. In this league, they get two swings at the tee if they're younger. As kids get better, some of them don't use the tee at all. The idea is to get them used to watching the ball and hitting in the air.

Mr Furious said...


We bought Kid Furious a tee this summer. She loves to go out and play "tee."

She's still too young for any leagues here. Next summer she'll be five.