How to Make a Double Play in Baseball

A double play in baseball occurs when the team in the field records two outs on a single play. Sometimes called a "twin killing" or "turning 2," a double play is an important defensive feat that can kill a rally. If you want to know how to make a double play in baseball, follow these guidelines.


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    Understand the different ways of completing a double play. A team can make a double play in baseball in several different ways.
    • Ground-ball double play: This is the most common double play because it usually is executed by forcing out both runners rather than tagging out one or both. If a ground ball is hit to an infielder or the pitcher with a runner on first base, the fielder will throw the batted ball to a player covering second base. The player must catch the ball while in contact with the base, and then throw the ball to a teammate covering first base before the batter reaches it.
    • Ground-ball double play with tag: A fielder can elect to tag the runner instead of throwing to the base the runner is approaching to record the first out and then throw to first to complete the double play. Sometimes a first baseman step on first base after fielding a ground ball, and then throw to second to record the double play. In this case, the runner is no longer forced to run, so the player receiving the throw from the first baseman must apply a tag on the base runner to record the second out.
    • Unassisted double play: An infielder can turn an unassisted double play under certain circumstances. This occurs most often when a player catches a line drive near an occupied base. If the defender is able to touch the base or tag the runner before he safely returns, the double play is recorded.
    • Fly-ball double play: A double play can be made on a fly ball to the outfield. Normally, this occurs when a baserunner tags up and tries to advance after the ball is caught. If the outfielder throws the ball to a teammate covering a base or home plate, and that player tags the runner before he reaches that base, the double play is successful.
    • Strike-out, caught-stealing double play: If a batter strikes out and a baserunner is caught stealing on the same play, a double play is recorded. Fans call this kind a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out double play.
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    Practice turning ground-ball double plays. Ground-ball double plays are the most common and easy to practice. The key is for all the infielders to move in simultaneously as the play unfolds.
    • On balls hit to the left side of the infield, to either the third baseman or shortstop, other infielders must get into position to turn the double play. The second baseman must move to cover the base as the ball comes to the fielder. Ideally, the second baseman will be at or near the base before the throw is made.
    • On balls hit to the right side of the infield � to either the first or second baseman � the shortstop must rush to second as his teammate fields the ball.
    • If not making the play on the ground ball himself, the first baseman should move to cover first base immediately, getting in a comfortable position to receive the throw. A relay throw can be errant on a double play because the baserunner is sliding hard into second base, trying to disrupt the fielder's effort.
    • A middle infielder � shortstop or second baseman � sometimes will field a ground ball in close proximity to second base. The fielder may elect to carry the ball to the base himself, touch it, and throw to first to complete the double play. This reduces the chance of an error occurring on the relay exchange.
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    Get in optimum throwing position before catching a fly ball. An outfielder can ready himself for a throw to any base by practicing a few simple techniques.
    • Move to the area where you will catch the ball.
    • As the ball starts its downward trajectory, glance at the base you plan to throw to.
    • After picking up the flight of the ball again, edge closer to where you're going to catch it.
    • Catch the ball while moving toward the base you're going to throw to. The momentum will put more power behind your throw, helping you to cut down a runner trying to advance.


  • With a runner on first base, the middle infielders should move a few steps closer to second base and in from the positions they take when the bases are empty.
  • Deliver a chest-high throw to the player covering second base. This makes for an easy catch and swift transition to the relay throw.

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Categories: Baseball