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Evan McDermott

Tactical Presentation: Bunting

SES 240

2/11/17

Bunting in the game of baseball or softball is a simple concept, but if executed correctly,

can put a lot of pressure on the defense and have a major influence on the game. A bunt can

turn into a hit, get your team out of a double play situation, and/or move a runner into a

scoring position. These outcomes can be achieved by bunting the ball on the ground and away

from the pitcher, either down the first or third base line. Any bunt can turn into a hit because it

puts the ball in play and forces the defense to make a play. If the batter is attempting to move a

runner from first to second to move a runner into scoring position and/or get out of a double

play situation, the ball should be bunted down the first base line because the first baseman will

have a harder time throwing the ball to second base, allowing the runner to advance safely. To

move a runner from second to third base, the ball should be bunted down the third base line.

This will force the third baseman to field the ball leaving no one to cover third base and

allowing the runner to advance safely. It is important to remember that bunting the ball foul

with two strikes counts as a strikeout and that the batter should only bunt strikes.

For this lesson, the teacher will need four cones, a home base, and a strip of tape or

other flat marker, three softball-sized foam balls, and two bats. Before the lesson, the teacher

will place a home plate at a 90 degree angle in the lines on the gym floor, with a flat marker
about 2 feet in front of the plate on both sides. The teacher will put a cone about 10 feet down

the lines from home plate and another cone five feet away on the inside of the lines. The

teacher will stand in the batters box area with the students in a semicircle in the infield and

demonstrate the teaching cues. The teacher will explain that the batter should move up in the

box to give themselves more space to bunt the ball, bend their knees and keep the bat level to

be able to bunt strikes that are higher or lower in the zone, keep their back arm locked to bunt

the ball down the first base line with a runner on first, or the third base line with a runner on

second, and to bunt the top half of the ball to keep the ball on the ground. The teacher will

explain that bunting the ball back to the pitcher or up in the air will result in an unsuccessful

bunt and possibly a double play for the defense. The teacher will then arrange four students on

the infield with one student batting, and one catcher to throw the ball back to the teacher, and

one student on deck, explaining that students will rotate counter-clockwise. After third

base, that student will become the catcher, the catcher will become the on-deck hitter, the on-

deck hitter will become the bunter, and after bunting, that student will go to first base. Each

student will have three opportunities to complete a bunt from an underhand toss before

rotating. If students are proficient, bunting the ball between the cones will get you one point,

and students will keep track of their points. If the original cone placement is not challenging

enough, the cones on the infield could be moved closer to the foul line. The students could also

be given an objective, either runner on first or runner on second to make it harder to earn a

point.
Timeline

Minutes 1-2: Demonstration, organization

Minutes 3-6: First round

Reassessment, possible difficulty increase

Minutes 7-10: Second round

Minute 11: Assessment questions

Teaching points

1. Move up in the batters box

2. Bend your knees, keep bat level

3. Keep your back arm locked

4. Bunt the top half of the ball

5. Don't bunt it back to the pitcher or in the air

Questions

1. Where can you never bunt the ball?

a. In the air

b. Back to the pitcher

2. Why do you bunt the ball down the first base line with a runner on first?

a. It will be harder for the first baseman to throw out the runner at second

3. Why do you bunt the hall down the third base line with a runner on second?

a. To make the third baseman field it so he can't cover third base