Chadwick McCrea Graham is an attorney with Graham Adair, Inc., in San Jose, California. When he is not working, Chadwick McCrea Graham contributes to a number of youth activity groups. He coaches weekly practices and games for his son's little league baseball team.
The primary role of a little league baseball coach is to keep each player safe and free of injury. Coaches are further tasked with teaching children the basic fundamentals of baseball and should spend a fair amount of time teaching players about the strike zone, so that players understand when and when not to swing at a pitch.
Generally speaking, the strike zone can be defined as the area directly above home plate, extending from a batter’s knees up to their armpits. However, players should be made aware of various circumstances that can lead to changes to this definition. For example, some batters assume a crouched position in the batter’s box, which theoretically shrinks their strike zone. A smaller player taking such a stance may further minimize their strike zone. It is up to the umpire to consistently enforce a reasonable strike zone, while it is the coach’s responsibility to explain strike zone changes to their players.
Younger players may also experience larger strike zones. For instance, children between the ages of nine and 11 rarely possess the pitching skills necessary to hit the strike zone with any consistency. Umpires are advised to enlarge strike zones for younger players in order to run games at an acceptable pace, and to keep defenses engaged. Similarly, coaches should encourage children to go after pitches they think they can hit, rather than wait for four balls.
An attorney with more than a decade of experience in the field of law, Chadwick McCrea Graham currently holds a partnership in Graham Adair, Inc., in San Jose, California.