Recreational Softball Leagues – Creating the Perfect Lineup

Everyone can rattle off the criteria needed to build a good baseball lineup, but what about single-sex slowpitch softball lineups? What you look for in a softball lineup is much different than a baseball lineup.

In a traditional baseball lineup, the leadoff hitter is a guy with speed, who catches pitches and can get on base regularly and shake up the pitcher. Typically, you have a contact guy hitting second, trying to get the leadoff hitter in scoring position … and then the center of your order. You try to have the guys with the lowest batting averages in the lineup, so they hit the fewest times per game.

It’s pretty straightforward, and aside from Tony LaRussa in St Louis, all major league managers follow the same basic guidelines.

But slow pitch softball is different and this article will help you create a lineup that will give you the best chance of winning so that when you check your league schedules on the online league management website, your team it will be floating near the top.

The first thing to understand is that, unlike baseball, in single-sex (non-coed) slow-pitch softball everyone generally has the same chance as a batter of getting a hit. Even the worst guy on your team should be fit enough for his rhythm to meet the ball. Even if it’s a slow roller down the line, every once in a while they should be able to get a hit. (In traditional fast-pitch baseball, these guys would be struck out every time.)

You should also have guys on your team who seemingly get a hit every at-bat. These guys can throw the ball up the middle with ease and grace, and their skills need to be used to their fullest. And if your team is even moderately good, you should have a couple of guys you can rely on in key situations.

So the first thing you need to do is write down the names of all your players, in no particular order. Next, what you need to do is put an asterisk next to each type that is like the first one described, the kicker. Next, underline the guys who fit the second bill, that is, those who routinely get on base. Lastly, circle the guys who have the power to hit the ball over the fence, or if your league doesn’t allow home runs, circle the guys who can usually find space and can hit inside of the HR of the park. Not everyone on your team needs to have a brand.

If you end up with an equal number of each you’re fine, if you have more of one than the other you’re still fine. (However, if you have more than five asterisks, you may want to find another team to play.)

The next thing you’ll want to do is separate out all the players with similar markings. In traditional fastpitch baseball, you want your two worst hitters to be at the bottom of the order, but you don’t in slowpitch softball. This isn’t to say you should hit your less skilled players leadoff or in the cleanup spot, but they shouldn’t always hit back to back. In softball, it’s all about getting guys to base and score runs. Consecutive lousy hitters will ruin any inning.

Now that you have separated all of your players, you can start making your lineup.

The assumption, for the sake of this article, will be that he’s hitting 10 and has 2 with asterisks, 3 with HR power, 3 that consistently get hits, and 2 that have no designation at all. If his numbers vary, adjust this accordingly. Also, it doesn’t really matter which players you select, and in fact you can vary it on a game-by-game basis, it only matters that they fall into the category you assigned them.

The first thing you’ll want to do is spread out your power hitters. Unlike baseball, it’s actually harmful to hit them consecutively. Grab your power 3 and put them on holes 3, 5 and 7. This will break up the power and give you a chance to hit one over the fence pretty much anywhere in your game. This will also keep them close enough that if one doesn’t jump over the fence at just the right time, you’ll have another guy around the corner with power.

Second, take your two worst hitters, the ones with asterisks, and put them in the 8th and 10th spots. This puts them low enough that they don’t get as many at-bats as the top of the order, but don’t get them one. side by side will stop rally killers.

Next, take an underlined name and put it at the top of the order and why not make it the fastest guy in your squad. They can end up at second after an infield grounder, which will help you later.

You should be left with 2 consistent hitters and 2 non-designated hitters.

Put one of the consistent hitters in the vacant 9th spot. This way, you shouldn’t go 1-2-3 when the bottom of your lineup should start an inning.

You should be left with holes 2, 4, and 6. As a confidence booster, you might want to put one of the undesignated guys in the 4th spot, just make it clear that they’re not there to hit HRs, as they’re labeled. assigned cleanup hitters from the past. The boost in confidence can take their game to the next level and get a base hit they might not have gotten otherwise.

The 2nd spot should go to your last underlined player and the 6th hole can be filled with your last undesignated player.

Your lineup should now look like this:

1- Consistent hitter

2- Consistent hitter

3- Power hitter

4- Average hitter

5- Power hitter

6- Average hitter

7- Power hitter

8- Less skill hitter

9- Consistent hitter

10- Less skill hitter

Looking at this, the weakest part of the lineup may be their 3-6 hitters, if their power guys aren’t also good hitters. If that’s the case, take your highest-powered guy, the one who hits a mile or not at all, and make him the seventh hitter.

Other than that one adjustment, this should result in a winning lineup, and you should see your team at the top of the league standings the next time you check your online league management system.

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