Tips for Moving from 60-90 Foot Bases

I work with many baseball players that are transitioning from the 60-90 foot bases. This occurs between 5th and 7th grades (11-13 year olds). This is a tough adjustment for your pitchers, catchers and 3rd basemen especially. Most players, unless they start going through puberty early, have trouble adjusting to the full size field. If your player is in this age group, I have some tips to share that should be very helpful.

Your Youth Baseball Organization Matters

First, try to play in a baseball organization that offers a gradual field transition from 5th-7th grade (11-13 years old). If your local youth organization does not offer this gradual transition, reach out to some of the travel organizations in your area. We are fortunate in my area of the country to have both local and travel organizations that offer this gradual transition from the 60-90 foot bases. It is a real turn off to a young player to make the jump from 60-90 and not be able to compete. It’s tough to see good kids, good players, “hang up” their spikes at 12 years old when they just needed a little more time to mature physically. That said here are some tips:


3rd basemen and catchers have the longest throws on the field. I see a lot of players develop bad habits (that show up in high school) from trying to overcompensate for an arm that is not strong enough to make the throw on the fly. This results in the at long, rainbow type throw promoting bad habits. The thing is, you are not really getting the ball to 1st or 2nd base faster by throwing a rainbow. Here are some pointers:

  • Play up. Position yourself closer to or on the infield grass. Gain ground or pursue the the ground ball. Anything you can do to make the throw shorter.
  • Take 2 shuffles instead of one and throw. After fielding/playing through the ball, the extra shuffle will make sure your body is aligned with the target. The key is to keep your hands and arms in a good separated power position. Instead of letting them hang.
  • Bounce the throw. For catchers and 3rd basemen especially, you may not be able to gain too much ground. Make sure you have a solid base, set your feet, keep your body aligned to the target. Make a throw on a slightly downward plane (relatively). Make sure the hop is a long one and not a “between” hop so the 2nd or 1st basemen can handle it.


This becomes a challenge for a 12-13 year old playing on 90 bases. The outfielders usually play shallow and the hitters try power up and hit fly balls…this is a bad combination. Too many fly ball outs, seen all too often. Here are some pointers:

  • Use an appropriate bat for your player’s strength. I have some charts posted on my article How to Choose the Right Bat. Many times I see a 6th grader using a bat that is way too heavy thinking they are going to hit the ball further. I say go light and stay short.
  • Keep a short, compact swing. Aim to hit low line drives and hard ground balls. Remember,the players in the infield are the same age, dealing with that long throw. If you have any speed, you can beat out most ground balls toward the holes.
  • Focus on the top half of the ball. This should level the swing a bit and dissuade the collapsing of the back side.
  • Be aggressive early in the count and attack fastballs. You may start seeing curve balls at this age and they are tough to hit.

In closing, I see way too many baseball players coming into the high school level with poor mechanics. Many of which were learned/ingrained when graduating to the “big field”. In high school, long fly balls are outs and long loopy throws are too slow and inefficient to get guys out.

Do you have some tips? Please share with our community below.

Stay on plane…

About CoachK

Owner and head instructor at Colonial Baseball Instruction. CBI serves Southern VA with baseball camps and private lessons. CBI also developed My Coach: Baseball App and sells a variety of baseball training aids.

Mark Adam says:

A great drill for adapting to the larger field is follow the ball or around the world. This drill not only conditions the kids to the longer throws but the longer run as well. It works as a great warm up drill as it gets all the players involved an moving.

CoachK says:

What a great simple drill to do with a team. Love it Mark! Thanks for sharing.