HS coaches, HS and college 2b's, which flip were you taught for turning two on balls at you or to your right toward the bag - underhand or backhand? If both, which circumstance for each?
I prefer underhand the vast majority of the time, unless the ball is bringing the 2nd baseman into or near the baseline.
Either way, you want to make sure the flip is direct and to the player covering the bag. We had a SS who softly flipped the ball up on an arc (say 2 feet above the players head) towards the 2b during a state championship game two years ago. It cost us the DP to end the game with bases loaded. Got the runner coming into 2nd but did not get the third out at 1st. We were winning by 3 runs at the time with their stud hitter coming up to the plate.
Since it was a heart stopper for me as my kid was pitching, I will finish off the story...
So runner on 3rd scores, runners now on 3b and 1b. 2 outs. Stud hitter at the plate. Hit a homer earlier in the game and roped another one to the fence up the gap. We are now down by 2 runs. About the 3rd pitch runner on 1b steals 2b. So tying run is now in scoring position. A base hit wins the game. Kid ropes another down first base line. As he is running to 1st he slows his run to a jog and points both index fingers at my kid at the plate and mouths something to him. To this day my kid wont tell me what he said. Ump signals foul ball. Ball landed foul by about an inch. Of course parents are all yelling and screaming. Reset the field. I think the count was 2-2 on the batter at this point. My kid reaches back and fires the fastest ball I have seen him throw just above the knees on the inside corner to this batter. Batter never swings. He is rung up by the ump. Game over. Batter turns and starts unloading on the ump. Coach gets the kid off the field. He refuses to come out of the dugout to shake hands. Class player....
We teach the underhand as, for us, it tends to be more accurate although it tends to be slower. Also the player must "follow the flip" instead of being flat footed. This also tends to help with accuracy
Overall I'm with PW on this. I want the safe / more consistent flip to get the best chance at a lead runner getting out. As we all know getting that lead out is super huge and getting the second out is icing on the cake. But if you get good at it then you'll turn more double plays.
We do a drill that is great for working on double play flips, 1B flips to P and (it's a stretch) 3B flipping to C on bunt). We take all our IF and put them in a four corner box equal distance away. One guy starts with the ball and he starts down on the ground with ball in and throwing hand on top of ball (basic fielding position). They will work the flip to the next corner. Also, like PW says, they have to follow the flip to help with accuracy and getting it there with something on it. We don't let them take their arm above their shoulder because that is what puts humps on the flip. The corner receiving the flip will say "flip" as the ball is in the glove on the ground. We want the receiver to call out flip to get a flip OR say nothing and it will be a throw. This can be a pretty fast paced drill where you can get a ton of flips in a short amount of time.
Now if a kid comes to me who can do the backhand flip and is good at it by proving it in the drill as well as the other things we do in practice I'm not going to change anything. But overall I want a catch, pivot of the feet and underhand flip to the SS.