We are not going to talk about the Better Business Bureau. We are going to talk about the three Bs of playing defense the right way.
One thing I have learned over the years is that little sayings go a long way in helping kids understand different concepts of this game.
So whether a player plays in the infield or outfield, we have the same three Bs. Ball. Base. Back Up. And no matter where you play on the field you need to be aware of the order in which you follow the Three B Rule.
Infielders should always go in this order: Ball – Base – Back Up. The first priority is always the ball so a player should always try to field every ball they reasonably can attempt.
So both the third base and shortstop should attempt to field a ball hit in the 5/6 hole. After an infielder determines that they are not going to be attempting to field the ball then they immediate move to the second B, Base, which means covering whatever base they are closest to. Using our earlier example of the ball in the 5/6 hole, if the third-base player fields the ball, the shortstop would then go to cover third, the second-base player covers second and the first-base player covers first.
If a play develops where an infielder has moved past the first B, Ball, and the second B, Base, they should then look for a play to Back Up.
Outfielders use the same three Bs but in a slightly different order. Outfielders always start with Ball. If a fly ball is hit in their area, or a ground ball comes into their area, they’re always going to play the Ball first.
Once they determine the they are not going to get the ball because it is played in the infield or because it is hit to another outfielder then they immediately move to their second B, which is Back Up. Anytime an outfielder is not making a play on the Ball they have Back Up responsibilities, ALWAYS!
Outfielders should only be involved in covering a Base in rare instances. We have to understand that if an outfielder is covering a base that base can not be Backed Up correctly.
If we keep the simple rule of the Three B’s in mind our teams are already on the right path to playing high-level defense.