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Listen To The Podcast!     Coach L. Albaugh      DBLITY

We all know about the 3 on 3 basketball leagues that have been going on for a number of years. BB lends itself to 3 on 3 type competition easily. Heck, we all played it as kids, 3v3, 2v2, 1v1, half court, 1/3 court, you name it – make up your own rules. Make it – take it, whatever, thats what kids do. Now they have “official” 3v3 rules. And have you seen Rugby Sevens? Rugby sevens is a variant of rugby in which teams are made up of seven players playing seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40 minute halves. Its a fast moving game thats fun to watch and because the games are only 7 min halfs you can play 3-4 games a day, hold an entire International Tourn, its great. Well how many of you know that back in the 50s and 60s kids in our neighborhoods and probably all over the country ( ever seen the movie THE SANDLOT? )  were playin baseball fives. Oh we didnt call it that, we just called it baseball. it was 5v5 baseball and we could play 4v4, 6v6, whatever. But Im callin it Fives cause that was a common number of guys that came together in our neighborhood, about 10 guys. So lets go with 5v5 and go over the rules. Hah, there are no official rules, we made ’em up! We played during the day, parents were at work or working in the home. They didnt have time to set up games or leagues for us. So what did a common game of Fives look like? Here are some basics.                                                                                                                                                      1)  We had a pitcher, 2 infielders and 2 outfielders. The team at bat supplied the catcher unless there was a play at the plate, then the pitcher covered home. The catcher just stayed back about 15 feet from the batter (foul balls) and his job was just to throw pitches that werent hit back to the pitcher. We had a shortstop and a 2nd baseman. We had a LC fielder and a RC fielder that usually shaded left cause most of us hit right handed. We shaded RF if a lefty came up.  We didnt need a 1st baseman cause we played pitcher’s hand is out. Whats that? There was usually a bare spot on our field where the pitcher pitched from. instead of having to throw a runner out at 1st, we just had to get the ball back to the pitcher before the batter got to 1st base. As long as the pitcher was in the bare spot, the batter was out, if the throw beat him of course. Because we had only 2 infielders it was a fair way to get batters out. In fact – its a heckuva good rule. If the pitcher was not in the bare spot, batter was safe. That way the pitcher couldnt run towards the fieder makin the play to make it a shorter throw. Did we have arguments? Heck yeah! But we would resolve them.  Balls hit to the OF were regular baseball rules. Caught fly balls were outs. We had no home run fence so balls over OF heads had to be run down, same as line drives to the gaps. Get the ball back to the IF or home plate as soon as possible. If hit to left, the SS went out for the relay throw. If hit more towards rF, the 2nd baseman went out ror the relay throw. The other IF or pitcher covered whichever base they thought should be covered. Common sense baseball rules.                                                                                                                                                                                2) The pitcher threw at batting practice speed – about half to 3/4 speed and tried to throw it right down the middle, nothin fancy. We wanted to HIT! There were no walks, the batter hit til he hit a fair ball or struck out (very few), normal rules. If the batter was too picky, we’d start to yell at him. …examples.                                                                                                                         3) Now heres the really cool part. With only 5 guys on your team you batted through the lineup a bunch of times. We’d play a couple hours and in that time get 10, 15, 20, maybe 25 at bats! Compare that to an 8-9 yr old little league game where you might get 3-4 at bats and maybe walk once or twice. You dont get a chance to really PLAY.  And remember the picture of the RF standing there pickin dandelions cause he might get 1 ball a game hit to him? Well not in 5s. Your always part of the action. So, when you play 5v5 your hittin, runnin the bases, fielding grounders, fly balls, popups, line drives, making throws all over the diamond. Its action packed and fun to play. Its how I learned. Hey, now that I think of it, we should make that the standard for kids play. No parents…just let em play. Parent story… But no one would go for it now, were in a different era. Too bad, the absolute best way to learn to play baseball as a kid. AND…THATS MY TAKE!

Do you believe The Jaguars just released Leonard Fournette? Isnt he supposed to be one of the top running backs in the league? Pro football has really changed. Can you imagine if the Bears had ever just released Walter Payton when he was in his prime? Or the Browns releasing Jim Brown or the Cowboys just releasing Emmit Smith? Its all about money and the cap I guess.

Make sure you check in on the Chiefpigskin Youtube show M-TH nights. Lots of football talk, Xs and Os, program development…its all there. Coach Nate Albaugh does a great job of havin fun and rounding up good guests.

Michigan reverses course, moves high school football from spring back to the fall. MHSAA approves football practice to start next week and games to begin on Sept. 17-18. Michigan was one of 16 states in addition to the District of Columbia to move football to 2021. It becomes the first to reverse course back to the fall, though other states are looking into it. The change largely has to do with the relative success reported from other states that are currently playing football, including Utah, which was the first to start play on Aug. 13. Are you listening, ILLINOIS?

One more thing…We lost 2 giants this week. John Thompson HOF BB coach at Georgetown passed away early this week. He put Gtown on the map. I diidnt even know Gtown HAD a BB team til Thompson signed on. Heckuva coach and always a gentleman. Classy guy. And then Tom Seaver passed away Wed. He had dementia or Alzh and retired from the public eye just over a year ago. I heard he was goin downhill fast. Seaver pitched for 20 seasons in the big leagues from 1967-86 and was, quite simply, one of the greatest pitchers to ever live. He retired with a 311-205 record and a 2.86 ERA. Seaver broke in with the Mets (1967-77) and also played for the Reds (1977-82), Mets again (1983), White Sox (1984-86), and Red Sox (1986). Seaver was named the NL Rookie of the Year after throwing 251 innings with a 2.76 ERA in 1967. He won three Cy Young awards (1969. 1973, 1975) and was selected to 12 All-Star Games. Seaver also finished second in the Cy Young voting in 1971 and 1981, and third in 1977. He was voted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1992. Greatest Met ever.

Wanna make a comment on anything I’ve discussed? Drop me a line at popsalbaugh@gmail.com. Wanna take a look at the transcript of this podcast? Go to the website at clinic.chiefpigskin.com and click under “more” then click on blog. There are more fun things to look at and read.

Hey, join me next week for another CP coaches podcast and we’ll see you then!

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.  Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.    Nelson Mandela

Sweet 16 Countdown: 51. Alaska -9.2   50. Vermont -1.7   49. North Dakota 3.3   48. Wyoming 5.2  47. Rhode Island 8.4   46. District of Columbia 8.4   45. Delaware 14.7   44. South Dakota 15.3   43. New Hampshire 16.7   42. Montana 19.2  41. Maine 19.5   40. New Mexico 20.5  39. Oregon 24.2  38. West Virginia 26.3  37. Nevada 31.2  36. Idaho 32.2  35. Nebraska 32.6  34. New York 33.0  33. Iowa 34.4  32. Minnesota 35.9   31. Kentucky 36.3   30. Hawaii 36.5  29. Connecticut 37.3  28. Massachusetts 38.3 27. Wisconsin 39.9  26. Virginia 40.8  25. Oklahoma 41.5  24. Michigan 41.53 23. Kansas 41.8 22. Tennessee 41.9  21. Washington 42.6 20. Indiana 43.9 19. Colorado 44.4  18. South Carolina 44.61  17. New Jersey 44.63  16. Arkansa 45.0 15. Arizona 45.2 14. Mississippi 45.6 13. Alabama 45.8  12. Utah 46.0  11. North Carolina 46.7  10. Missouri 49.0  9. Pennsylvania 49.9  8. Illinois 50.3  7. Louisiana 51.9  6. Maryland 52.8  5. Georgia 57.2  4. Texas 60.8 3. Ohio 61.0  2. Florida 62.5  1. California 69.4

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Coach Albaugh coached high school football in Illinois for 28 years. During that time he coached at every level and on both sides of the ball. He was the offensive and defensive line coach for four undefeated teams and was a defensive coordinator in his last 11 years, twice reaching the semi finals of the Illinois state playoffs.