The Difference Between a Cutoff and A Relay

A relay typically occurs when a ball is hit deep in the outfield and your outfielder does not have the arm strength to get the ball to the necessary base from where they field the ball. In this situation it is necessary for another player, normally a middle infielder to move into position between where the ball is fielded and the target base to relay the throw from the outfielder to the base. Outfielders making a relay throw should attempt to throw the ball chest high to the relay’s glove hand side.

A cutoff is a strategic play which usually but not always occurs inside the baselines of the infield. In different situations all infielders will become cutoff’s. The purpose of the cutoff is twofold. First if the throw is off line the cutoff can attempt to catch the ball to prevent the throw from going past the intended target. Second, If it becomes clear that there is no play on the runner which the ball is intended to get out, the cutoff can cut the throw and possibly make a play on a trailing runner. Throws should not be made to the cutoff but should be made through the cutoff to the base.

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