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Wrist Bands Replacing Coaches Signals

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May 27, 2008 12:10 PM

I've seen them being used in college. I know traditionalists love the signs, but what do you think. Does anyone know how they are set up?
 
Coach Racey
 
 
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June 8, 2008 5:25 AM

These wrist coaches are set up very similar to how football coaches use them. Generally, they have a grid, ie: 1-5 vertically & 1-5 horizontally. In those 25 slots they have the play/pitch they want called. The coach will call out or signal a 3 or 4 digit number (with any two of those digits being "live")which correlates to the desired play/pitch. I have seen coaches use this for calling pitches to the catcher. I have also seen an entire team wear these and use this as their offensive system.

I am a traditionalist too, but these are very effective for two reasons. 1)Less likely a player will miss a sign. 2)Possibility of signs being picked are slim to none (with a band with 25 slots you can have 15 that read fastball, 5 that read curveball, and 5 that read change. You may have to use the same number only once or twice in a game.) And if you think they may have your signs just change the live numbers (odd innings = first two numbers & even innings = last two numbers.)

I am not a fan of the wrist coaches but I can see why some coaches are going to these especially at the college level.
 
 
 
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June 8, 2008 7:05 AM

give me a break. whats next have coaches in the field to tell the kids what to do if the ball is hit to them. You have heard about the dumbing down in america why not baseball?
 
 
 
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June 11, 2008 1:35 PM

I saw this recently in a 13U tournament. I was suprised to say the least. The problem in this case was it took too long for the coach and catcher to get the signs to the pitcher.
 
 
 
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June 11, 2008 8:15 PM

Used by a catcher in the SEC this season or at least when I saw them play. Have to admit I was a little shocked.
 
 
 
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June 16, 2008 9:58 AM

I umpired a game where I saw these for the first time. One team used them exclusively for taking the sign from 3rd base coach. It might have a place with the catcher but the batters took too long to figure out what the coach wanted them to do. Age was 12u tournament, timed game. Midway thru the second I stopped granting time for every player to cross check what the coach wanted.
 
 
 
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June 18, 2008 9:32 PM

Not surprising ... stealing signs is an art form for some teams. Pitchers, in particular starters who have the game off, get especially good at stealing signs.

In the NCAA tourney, we had a different "Card" for each pitcher. If a pitching change was made, the coach brought out the new "card" and gave it to the catcher on the mound. Indicators for the signals to the catcher can vary by inning or count. You can have alternate cards for a pitcher and swap them between innings, making it even more difficult to steal the signs. Just make sure the coach and catcher are using the same card each inning/pitcher.

Next to impossible to steal, if done well. Only our catcher had a card and it was just used for pitches.

- - -
We used to vary our indicator for base runners depending on who was on first. That works very well too and makes even a simple 3B coach signals very difficult to detect/steal.
 
 
 
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July 18, 2008 4:31 PM

i use it. occasionally the catcher forgets to get the sign and it takes a little long but it works great and no one can pick it.
 
 
 
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July 18, 2008 5:18 PM

Be careful to keep changing the cards - I was at a juco game this spring and the coach kept using the same 3-4 numbers for each pitch, simply calling out the numbers to the catcher. Took me about 2 innings to be able to tell you that 221, 314, and 123 meant curveball... etc...
 
 
 
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July 18, 2008 5:32 PM

they must have dont the system wrong....on my sheet it is literally impossible to pick the sign.
 
 
 
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July 18, 2008 6:01 PM

No question they were doing it wrong... I wasn't even particularly paying attention and still figured out the signs...

I have seen this work very well - just wanted to insert note of caution that, like anything else, if not used correctly, the system can fail.
 
 
 
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July 18, 2008 10:22 PM

I use them to signal in pitches and to give signs from 3rd base coaches box. Offensively I use them because the way I do it, I have 9 different hit and runs, 9 steals, 9 squeezes, 9 signs for each 1st/3rd double steal play, etc. Sure, you could guess right in a given situation, but you won't steal my signs. I'll change the sheet in the wrist coach every week or so and always have a different one when we play someone twice.

As for the catcher's, I have a grid with 60 fastball signs, 40 curveball, 40 change ups. Once again, our signs are not going to get stolen then relayed to the hitter. We do not say the numbers out loud, we signal them in. Had a coach say them out loud against us a few years back in the state semi-finals. My hitter figured them out and hit a 3-2 curveball out to win the game.
 
 
 
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September 7, 2008 8:28 PM

does anybody have a copy of what one of these wristband grids look like that you can send me? we are interested in looking into to using this system. i dont have to have your whole system and secrets - just a starting point - we'll do our own adjusting from there. my email address is coachd_04@yahoo.com
its something i think could be very beneficial.
 
 
 
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September 8, 2008 1:03 PM

We have used it last year as 14U. We found it to be a fast, effective way to signal our pitches. Of course, we encountered teams that were SLOOOOOWWW in getting the signals in.
 
 
 
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September 8, 2008 8:47 PM

quote:
Originally posted by raiderbb:
does anybody have a copy of what one of these wristband grids look like that you can send me? we are interested in looking into to using this system. i dont have to have your whole system and secrets - just a starting point - we'll do our own adjusting from there. my email address is coachd_04@yahoo.com
its something i think could be very beneficial.


The system we used last year at my old school is pretty simple (and I think all of them tend to be this way).

Let's say you throw fastball - curve - change - knuckle ball

You have 4 columns with each pitch at the head and then put 5 (we used 3 digits but I don't think it really matters as long as it's at least two) numbers in each column.

Then you call out a number and the catcher finds what it is and then signals the pitcher what to throw.

It might look something like this

FB CRV CHG KB
123 156 187 176
213 247 228 278
328 320 378 390
402 435 487 444
532 589 592 546

You signal in 390
Catcher looks down and find 390
Then he signals knuckle ball to the pitcher

You can have a 2 seam column and a 4 seam column at the same time.

I'm not sure (I let my catching coach control this) but I think we put every possible pitch someone could throw and put on the card. This way we didn't have to have a different card for each pitcher.

It worked for us and nobody came close to picking up our pitches.
 
 
 
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September 8, 2008 9:14 PM

thanks - that helps - but 2 questions.
what about location and pickoffs?
thanks - steve
 
 
 
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September 8, 2008 9:51 PM

I hope this does not upset you guys. I mean no disrepect at all.

Dont you think your making this whole thing alot more complicated than it has to be?

I mean seriously 9 different hit and runs? ETC ETC. Would you not be better off spending all that time actually teaching the game?

What levels of baseball are you guys playing?

If the other team is spending all that energy trying to steal signals are they really any good to start with?

I really thought this was a joke to start with but now I see you guys are serious.
 
 
 
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September 9, 2008 8:59 AM

I personally think they are unnecessary and complicated. We worked on using them and I believe they take away from the instincts of the game. I elected to forego the cards, I thought they Footballized the game too much. A good coach or player can steal signs from tendencies, they don't need to hear or see a sign. Many young pitchers will give away what they're throwing without knowing it. Catchers will often setup early and at the same location on certain pitches.
A team can always get a hitter to show bunt by stepping off or throwing to 1b.
When dealing with youth ball and high school, I think the play on the field can reveal a teams plans as well as a young player who doesn't hide the upcoming scenario.
I'm sure there are good arguments on both sides, but I don't think pro ball will ever consider them. And in that case, will college players become too used to them and then have to be retrained when they move to pro ball?
 
 
 
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September 9, 2008 10:59 AM

quote:
I mean seriously 9 different hit and runs? ETC ETC. Would you not be better off spending all that time actually teaching the game?


Hits the nail on the head. Hit pitch run throw catch
when your players have proficiency in these you can work on the 9 different hit and runs.

the game is tough enough dont try to reinvent it.
 
 
 
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September 9, 2008 1:07 PM

My high school coach has used the same signals in junior high for 18 years. Yes, most of the other coaches know them. But the opponent still has to execute.

He has changed most of the signals in high school but still uses a couple of the same signs still. In a regional game last year, he adjusted one because the opposing coach knew it and if needed, the play really needed to be surprise Wink
 
 
 
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September 9, 2008 3:57 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Coach May:
I mean seriously 9 different hit and runs? ETC ETC. Would you not be better off spending all that time actually teaching the game?


Maybe I'm wrong but I think it meant he had (because of the system) 9 different ways to call for a hit & run, squeeze, steal, etc.
 
 
 
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September 9, 2008 6:57 PM

some of you are getting this all wrong. we are looking to simplify. not get all fancy. im looking at wristbands to really simplify not complicate. the belt is still bunt with us, swipe down the leg is steal, etc. cant get anymore simple than that on offense at the high school level. im trying to get defensive signals as simple as our offense. im looking to simplify defensive signals by combining pitch calling, pickoffs, positioning, etc into one signal. in my opinion it cant get any simplier than putting it on a wristband and calling out some numbers.
im a play catch, throw strikes, make contact type of coach - and when we do that we are successful - i just see this as a another way to simplify the game.
 
Last edited by raiderbb September 9, 2008 7:05 PM
 
 
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September 10, 2008 9:52 AM

We started using the wristband coach because our kids saw it at a UT/Vandy game when we were 13U. Our team got to talk to the UT players and they were telling them about it. They asked if we could try it. So, I made the grid like this:

1 2 3 4 5
1 FB in FB away CB CU FB in
2 FB away CB CU FB in FB away
3 CB CU FB in FB away CB
4 CU FB in FB away CB CU
5 FB in FB away CB CU FB in

To be honest, we used it only when we heard other teams calling out our signals. Our catchers called 90% of their own pitches so we used it as a decoy as well. I thought it was wise to expose them to yet another way to play the game.

NOW...the interesting part of this is that we started using it on offense as well. Mostly, just baserunners and which pitches to steal on.

I know U of Texas uses it on offense as do a few PAC-10 and ACC teams. Most of the ACC, SEC and PAC-10 schools use it on defense.
 
Last edited by redbird5 September 10, 2008 9:54 AM
 
 
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October 16, 2008 11:00 PM

I know there are some computer programs out there that makes this easy to print and change. I can't remember the name of a coach I saw discuss this at a coaches convention. Also I saw it in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper a few years back.

Anyone know where I can find one?
 
 
 
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November 12, 2011 1:11 PM

I know this is an old thread, but I've got some new software that will make these type of wristbands. Check out the tutorial video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrfdpWE83TQ
 
 
 
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December 1, 2011 10:07 AM

I went to wristbands on both offense and defense last year. I loved it. I was reluctant because I felt like the biggest thing I wanted out of the defensive ones (beyond calling pitches, picks, and pitchouts) was to be able to identify the exact location (not just fb in or out) and call timed picks. After bouncing a lot of ideas off my assistants and spending a lot of time thinking about it, I came up with my own system to do just that. It took some teaching and, like everything else, we have to practice with them throughout the season, but it worked great last year and the kids bought into it. Had a guy sitting in my dugout observing me at a couple of games last year looking at my call sheet and he couldn't even tell what was coming. I really think it's pick proof. The only drawback is my voice takes a hit from calling out 3 - 2 digit numbers on every pitch and calling out a 3 digit number on almost every pitch on offense!
 
 
 
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December 1, 2011 11:10 AM

JMW i saw some of the college coaches use fingers, so i decided to do the same thing and yes much easier on the voice but players had a hard time focusing in on my hands, so i always wear our dark color shirt, jersey or BP jacket and wear white batting gloves and since i have done that the players find it easier.
 
 
 
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December 1, 2011 11:29 AM

JMW37 and Right Arm of Zeus would you guys be opposed to emailing me a copy of what you guys do? I'm leaning towards going to a wristband system and I'm wanting to look at several kinds and either pick one or develop my own.

My email is coach2709@embarqmail.com

I appreciate it if you do and understand if you're not comfortable doing it.
 
 
 
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December 2, 2011 7:05 AM

quote:
Originally posted by right arm of zeus:
JMW i saw some of the college coaches use fingers, so i decided to do the same thing and yes much easier on the voice but players had a hard time focusing in on my hands, so i always wear our dark color shirt, jersey or BP jacket and wear white batting gloves and since i have done that the players find it easier.


I do that on offense sometimes when crowd/opponent noise is too much and I know one of my district opponents does that exclusively on offense.

How I call stuff on defense would be harder with hand signals I think for several reasons. Biggest reason is that everyone on the field (except the pitcher) has a wristband so they can all know what's coming. If I run into a problem with noise, I just go to old fashion touches for my catcher and move on!
 
 
 
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December 5, 2011 12:53 PM

quote:
Originally posted by raiderbb:
some of you are getting this all wrong. we are looking to simplify. not get all fancy. im looking at wristbands to really simplify not complicate. the belt is still bunt with us, swipe down the leg is steal, etc. cant get anymore simple than that on offense at the high school level. im trying to get defensive signals as simple as our offense. im looking to simplify defensive signals by combining pitch calling, pickoffs, positioning, etc into one signal. in my opinion it cant get any simplier than putting it on a wristband and calling out some numbers.
im a play catch, throw strikes, make contact type of coach - and when we do that we are successful - i just see this as a another way to simplify the game.


Own the Zone has worked out best for us. We change cards frequently and it don't skip a beat. We only use it for pitchers/catchers but played against Anderson Co in TN and they used it for both. Coach Downs seemed to like it.
 
 
 
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December 5, 2011 1:34 PM

Right now there are only 2 options for software:

NeverMissASign.com: $124.95 one time fee, is internet based so can be used from as many computers as you want, works on Mac and PC, works with any device with an internet connection (including smart phones). I'm a little biased because I developed this software, but I think there are A LOT of advantages to it. Check out the website and demo video at NeverMissASign.com

OwnTheZoneSports.com: $249.95 initial setup and $49.95/year after that, can only be used on Windows computers, must also have Microsoft Excel. Will only work on 2 computers. This has been very popular over the past few years, but it's expensive and has to be renewed every year. They were the first to develop this type of software though. Check out their site at OwnTheZoneSports.com

Check out both of them and see which one is right for you!

If you have questions about how the whole wristband system works check out the example sheet I have on my website: Catching-101
 
 
 
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December 5, 2011 3:03 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Catching101:
Right now there are only 2 options for software:

NeverMissASign.com: $124.95 one time fee, is internet based so can be used from as many computers as you want, works on Mac and PC, works with any device with an internet connection (including smart phones). I'm a little biased because I developed this software, but I think there are A LOT of advantages to it. Check out the website and demo video at NeverMissASign.com

OwnTheZoneSports.com: $249.95 initial setup and $49.95/year after that, can only be used on Windows computers, must also have Microsoft Excel. Will only work on 2 computers. This has been very popular over the past few years, but it's expensive and has to be renewed every year. They were the first to develop this type of software though. Check out their site at OwnTheZoneSports.com

Check out both of them and see which one is right for you!

If you have questions about how the whole wristband system works check out the example sheet I have on my website: Catching-101


Mad

You're killing me coach.
 
 
 
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December 5, 2011 3:50 PM

JBaioni,

Ha! Why is that?
 
 
 
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December 5, 2011 4:01 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Catching101:
JBaioni,

Ha! Why is that?


$125 < $250
 
 
 
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