1) Feet closer together, roughly hip width apart.
The signs stances starts with the feet close together. A good measurement is about hip width apart, but the feet can be closer together so that the heels are almost touching if possible. The catcher should be balanced and comfortable.
2) Hand snug against cup.
The right hand should be snug against the cup. It’s important that the hand is not too high or too low otherwise the signs might be seen by the opposing coach in either 1B or 3B coaches box.
3) Glove extended from knee to protect signs.
The glove should be open and extended from the knee to further protect the signs from the 3B coach. The catcher should make sure that the glove is pointed straight out and not accidentally blocking the pitch signals from the pitcher.
4) Right knee pointed at pitcher to block 1B coach.
The right knee should be pointed directly at the pitcher. If the right knee is open then the 1B coach might be able to see the signs and tip the pitches to the batter.
5) Legs pinched together while still allowing clear view of signals.
The legs should be pinched together as much as possible while still allowing the right hand to freely give the pitch signals. The tighter the legs, the better the concealment of the signals to prevent signs from being picked.
Standard Pitch Signals
The image above displays what the standard pitch signals should look like. You can change things up with each pitcher (e.g. the pitcher throws a split finger and not a slider to the split finger is 3).
A few specific notes:
- 3: The catcher should always use the hand signal above for 3. If the catcher gives the signal with the thumb and pinky together (like the 2 sign), then it’s too easy for two of the fingers to be close together and look like a 2. This ensures that the 2 and the 3 sign are clearly distinguishable to the pitcher.
- Fastball location: The catcher should use the fastball locations signs above to indicate middle, inside, or outside. If a catcher puts down a 1 and then taps either leg to indicate location then a good opposing team will notice the arm moving and be able to tip location to the batter.
- Limit arm movement: All signs should be given with no arm movement. If a catcher moves his/her arm during certain pitches then a good opposing team can pick that up and tip the pitches to the batter.