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Discussion: strike zone/mat

Posted Discussion
March 5, 2007
red from Wylie tx.
Men's 60
48 posts
strike zone/mat
The problem I see with making the mat wider is pitchers who will pitch outside will get nailed with more hits up the middle. I think making the mat longer would help the pitchers.
March 5, 2007
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
If you make the mat longer, batters will start all the way back. That will force you run up to hit the short pitch. Probably more shots up the middle. We don't want the pitcher to get hurt.
March 5, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
red from Wylie tx.: Your right. When I pitched in Canada with the wide plate for the first time I thought wow I can get the batters on the outside. I never seen so many balls go to right field. That was the end of pitching outside.

Remember if you pitch outside it gives the batter a better chance of extending and getting the meat of the bat on the ball.
March 5, 2007
Tater50
333 posts
I never liked the plate being a strike & do not like the mat either. I am not a pitcher, but there are some great pitchers, like WInkey Blackman of the old Faith Electric, that suppresses his great skills by having to hit the mat.

Would not like a longer mat.

John W. "Tater" Hayes
Tater50

March 6, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
I have to kind of disagree. I think it helps a control type pitcher who can hit the edges. You don't have to depend on a ump to call those strikes.

On the other hand you lose the advantage an ump that calls a wide strike zone who calls balls strikes. But I would rather take my chances with the Plate/Mat at least that is consistent and it comes down to my skills as a pitcher to hit the strike zone.

It really helps those pitchers that can hit the front and back of the mat at will. The batters in those case have a lot of strike area to cover. I can hit the front edge pretty good but haven't mastered hitting the back edge yet.
March 6, 2007
Longball12
23 posts
Dump the mat and plate as strikes and put the ball and strike calls back in the hands of the umpires. Lets play true ASA rules and strike zone!!!!!!!
March 6, 2007
Lecak
Men's 55
1004 posts
Let's play UTRIP pitching rules, give the pitcher back some control.
March 6, 2007
Longball12
23 posts
I'll 2nd, 3rd & 4th the USSSA strike zone. I'll take the USSSA strike zone over ASA and any other strike zone anytime, anyplace, and anywhere, PERIOD!!!!!!!!
March 6, 2007
Longball12
23 posts
I'll 2nd, 3rd & 4th the USSSA strike zone. I'll take the USSSA strike zone over ASA and any other strike zone anytime, anyplace, and anywhere, PERIOD!!!!!!!!
March 6, 2007
Lecak
Men's 55
1004 posts
Utrip has what you describe, it is 3-10. 3 being from the point of release. What I personally like about UTRIP is the pitcher is gven wide latitude, to make it easy to visualize there are almost no rewtrictions on release point, I have seen between the legs, windmill, 360's. Speed of the pitch is almost never called either, I have hit against some that approach modified levels. The point is ASA and NSA have a chuck and duck reputation, UTRIP at least gives back some control to the pitcher. As a batter if you can hit a top notch UTRIP pitcher everything else in my opinion is a picnic.
March 7, 2007
Shep
9 posts
Lets keep the mat and plate a strike the umps have
it hard enough calling it now. Try taking a 12' stick and
place it between pitcher and home plate upright and see how many umps will be amazed at how high 12' is.
A picture can use the wind, short pitch, long pitch, inside,
outside, curve. Does any one need a 79 year old pitcher?
Shep
May 31, 2007
BossBandit
Men's 50
55 posts
Rather than making the mat wider, I personally think that we should increase the maximum arc to better protect the pitchers. It stands to reason that if you give the pitcher the opportunity to move back farther from the plate for his protection then when he pitches the ball he will have to increase the speed of the pitch in order to maintain the same amount of arc. The effect of that increase, in essence, is a flatter appearing pitch. Compound that by forcing the pitcher to hit a path that is 17" wide and directly in the swing range of the batter and the ball will come back faster than ever through the middle. Give me 15 feet of arc and let's make it a challenge to hit effectively.
May 31, 2007
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
15’ of arc, a mat, AND BATTER-BOXES make for an unhittable pitch for anyone who is short. End of story. If the pitcher throws it deep on the mat, the only chance you have (if you are height challenged) is to hit to right. I don’t agree with the ASA on a lot of things, but they have the rule on what constitutes a strike right on the button. “Below the batter’s highest shoulder and above the knees where the ball crosses the plate” makes for a hittable pitch for everyone. They brought in the mat to make it easier for the umps to call balls and strikes, and it has. But I think you would agree with me that this is a hitter’s game, and if you think the game would survive the fielders standing in their positions watching a jarts contest, then you are, regrettably, wrong.
May 31, 2007
red from Wylie tx.
Men's 60
48 posts
I remember the young days with the ump having control of the strike zone and I don't want to go back. Any ball that hit right behind the plate was a strike no matter it did not get a foot high.
May 31, 2007
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
GARY 19: As far as the Bat problem??? Gary, there r several new articles that have looked @ bats from a 'New" direction.

Several of the Testing Labs, Engineers, etc, etc, have looked @ Bats & Bat Design & Testing. One result was, the follow': 1) light wt bats, that would be 24oz bats to 28 oz bats r what have caused the increased in Batted Ball Speed (BBS). 2) The light wt bats, gives players more bat speed, thru the "Hitting Zone". 3) This in turn, will cause a pitcher or infielder, to have less REACTION TIME. 4) Because of the greater Bat Speeds, rec players have the Bat Speed of an "A" player, but, r not able to control where the ball that they (the rec player) hits.

GOOD LUCK........ The STONEMAN.....
May 31, 2007
Rod Sweet
Men's 70
53 posts
I hope all these posts are from pitchers as they are the only one who should comment on this subject.
May 31, 2007
geezer#6
Men's 70
58 posts
What about the unlimited height leagues that around? I play in a over 40 league, and the hitting is just as furious as any others. The hitters must really watch the pitch and time it better. And they do, it is still a hitters game no matter how high they pltch.
May 31, 2007
Longball12
23 posts
USSSA, give the pitcher back the strike zone. A decent trip pitcher can make you hit what ever pitch he wants you to 90% of the time, the other 10% are walks. If seniors go to the trip, I'll start pitching again.
May 31, 2007
BossBandit
Men's 50
55 posts
I pitch, also. I just pitched a game tonight where the plate umpire was commenting on the fact that had the mat not been there he estimated that there were at least 25-30 pitches that he would have called strikes that did not hit the mat. 1/2 inch one way, 1 inch the other. Gary19, you are oversimplifying the whole thing when you say it can be cured by regressing to the bats of yesteryear. I have seen many more people hit by DW Demarinis and Worth ESTs than I've seen hit by the Ultra IIs. Perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that senior players are the only ones responsible enough to swing those bats with proper respect. We all know that people have to go to work the next day.

Longball, you really believe that what the pitchers are allowed to get away with in U-trip is a good zone. If I wanted to play the clown, I'd buy myself some big shoes, striped pants and a stick on nose. You just like hitting flat pitches.
June 3, 2007
Norq44
57 posts
Regarding the mat, I hav e been pitching now for (let's see, I started playing in 1969 and moved to Vegas in '73, and that's when I started pitching) , A long time. I do not like the mat, and I don't like the rules that go with it. As "Bossbandit" said, depending on where you stand on or off the rubber, a ball can cross the plate and NOT hit the mat. The real problem I personally have with the mat is that once a pitcher falls behind in the count he must then concentrate on throwing a strike, in some circumstances this can be dangerous, as that pitcher is sometimes not prepared to receive a ball back up the middle because of that concentration. I also don't like the plate being a strike. Those are the pitches that I hit up the middle, the short one on the plate. With the arc limits being what they are, that pitch on the front of the plate is low, and it gets hit back through the box low most of the time. Dangerous!
While I am on the subject of pitching, the other real problem we have is the bats. Due to the relative ease with which it is possible to "doctor" one of these new composite bats it has become a scary proposition to pitch. I recently moved to St. Augustine , Florida, and the only softball I am playing right now has been in a men's A league, a 6 home run league. I am currently sporting a black and blue mark the size of a basketball that I received from a one hopper right back at me. This was off a Doctored Synergy that the first 5 guys on the opposing team were all swinging, and once their home runs were up you know where they were going!. I don't know what can be done about the doctored bats, but in the young man's game I think the bat problem would be easier to fix by doing what Stoney has been saying, Add some weight to the bats, at least 10 ounces. Then it would be back to the real home run hitters doing their thing. Hey, sorry I got off the subject and started rambling.
June 3, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
What is it with Seniors. Have to complain about everything. What is the difference mat or no mat. He you can pitch and have good control what difference does it make.

Ease up and just play the game whatever the rules are that day. Don't complicate a simple game.
June 3, 2007
Longballr9
Men's 40
48 posts
Very interesting comments here.

For my money, USSSA pitching with plate and mat. Unfortunately, the strike zone and height are very subjective or should I say they change from umpire to umpire. That explains the plate and mat....if the umpire can see!!!

I'm not a big middle hitting guy, however I will say that when you're full count, no waste...guess what? And it's a fact that when the ball comes back middle, the pitcher is half of that equation.

Always alot of good opinions here.
June 4, 2007
cpope
Men's 60
160 posts
JMO, but as for my self: I am 60 years old, play several Major teams, 50, 55 and 60. Also our 50 team plays in a flat bellie league and even we stay out of the middle.
Miken Bat:
Before the Miken I lived on the middle. When I needed to go long I would go out once in a while but the middle was where my 650 average came from.
Interduce the Miken and the middle (at least for me) went away. Now a few more HR and many more gappers, but never the middle. I think we seniors respect our peers and stay away from the middle. At least most do, yes, there is always a few that think it's cool to hurt somebody but that's a small percentage.
Home Plate:
As for the plate, it was stated before, It just a game we love, play by th rules, even when they change with each ump. Mat or no mat, ISA, ASA, USSA, just play the game.
I agree that more strikes would be called without th mat but with the mat there are less reasoms to argure with the ump.
Once an ump told me that if he could have a stool to sit in he would sit and could still call balls and strikes. Lazy, yes but the mats makes it easier and the ump only worries about the height. ( we all have seen that not being called correct many times)
Us players really need to stick together. With so many associtions holding so many tournaments (do you think they are making any money?) we do need to stick together and play the game.
The SPA widen the mat a inch or so this year and it helps the pitcher but I feel a good hitter should be able to hit most balls thrown close to the mat. Glld Luck all and have a great year.
Charles Pope
Suncoast Sunrays
Brix & Stix
BH Stingers
Kaysons Grill
See you on the field :)
June 4, 2007
cpope
Men's 60
160 posts
Gary you are correct, But I feel that I could place the ball anywhere I wanted to so hitting the middle without hitting the pitcher was no problem. Add the composite bats and just a small mistake could hurt a pitcher.
I am sorry to say some hitters hit the middle without thinking what could happen, maybe the win is just that important. I feel that staying away as much as possible helps me at cutting down on that mistake. I still get many hits under 10 feet high and between the 2b and ss that I don't call hitting the middle. I feel the batter knows when he hits the middle without any care of what may happen.
There are to many of these playes still out there.
Hitting the middle with out the intent of hurting the pitcher is part of the game.
June 4, 2007
Gary Heifner
248 posts
I agree with shep! Keep the plate and matt as is. The umps and players are used to it. It is hard enough for most of the umps to judge arcs. The 6 foot part it easy. They judge your pitchers height and can see that part well. I can throw a pretty consistant 11 foot arc and rarely do I get a strike call. Most umps call it illegal. In a majority of the tournaments over the last 3 or 4 years that I have played in, the umps have given about 4' over the pitchers head which is about 10 to 10 1/2 feet for most pitchers.
June 4, 2007
the wood
1071 posts
For those that want the USSSA or ASA strike zones:
You currently have the option of playing in either/both of those assns. Judging from their lack of participation (number of teams) their strike zones do not seem to be that well received. USSSA is not even into senior softball enough to be a part of the summit.
To me, this sends a huge message... 'we don't care what seniors want, we'll continue to do things our way'.
We have the choice of playing in 9 different assns as seniors and they all have salient points.
in the 55 major + division, of the 4 most popular assns (based upon number of teams), only one uses ASA rules but they do use a mat (SSWS). None of them use USSSA rules.
I personally like the uniformity of the strike zone rules, which was one of the original purposes of the summit. I am speaking of the SPA, SSWS, LVSSSA and SSWC. But the umpire's interpretation varies from game to game... in every assn. This is the human element and this is true in MLB as well. It behooves us to make the necessary adjustments.
Bob Woodroof
June 5, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4253 posts
I've seen them all and pitched to them all: extra wide mats, longer mats, shorter mats, no mats, plate\mat combos, strike zone with and without a mat. And then some.
Their like some base runner rules, they change according to the assn putting it on. As a pitcher and batter you just make the adjustment, like you do for wind or anything else.
Just another part of the "game". We all make the adjustment, even when we don't like it.
Play ball.
June 5, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4253 posts
For myself what is worse than those mentioned plate mat items is a poor batters box. One that is uneven or has a hole, and too soft to fill in, so you don't screw up your ankle comming out of it.
June 5, 2007
the wood
1071 posts
Gary:
The 'uniformity' point was about our team experiencing the same conditions from tournament to tournament, not the height of the strike zone/batter. We like the fact that the mat is a defined area and the absence of it allows for too much subjectivity.
As I stated, USSSA and ASA is available for you if you wish to play in their events. We prefer the ones that I mentioned but the strike zone isn't the primary reason.
It boils down to a matter of personal preference.
Again, senior softball offers choices to all of us. Play in the ones that you like... avoid the ones that you don't. But don't expect to modify the ones that you don't like.

Taits:
We played in Carson City this past weekend and we only played on two fields. We played 5 games on field # 7 and the batter's box was great (right handers). But field # 6 was deep sand... needed a canteen and a camel to get out of it. :-) This didn't seem to bother the other team but I don't like this type of condition.
Bob Woodroof
June 5, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4253 posts
the wood:
I left thurs, we were done, didn't have another team to play with for the weekend.
Perhaps I'll get a chance to meet you & some others in Reno next month.
I played on 3 fields. Moved once due to a sprinkler going bad. Played on same fields as you did and did notice the box but it was managable for myself. I did have a problem with the mound on one. It seemed it was higher than the field on the left side.
Still, it was a very good tournament.
June 5, 2007
the wood
1071 posts
Gary:
Comparing the strike zone of fastpitch and baseball to the senior softball zone is akin to comparing Toti Fields to Demi Moore. One is vertical and one isn't... there is also some commonality between them... both have had extensive surgery. It doesn't matter which you prefer as the real important point is that you're free to choose.
I play senior softball so all of the other softball (non-senior) has become 'increasingly irrelevant' to me. The way that the other organizations do things just doesn't interest me. When in Rome do as the Romans do... if this doesn't work, a fellow might look for a nice place in Athens.
I am more attracted to brunettes than blondes. I have seen some very pretty blondes but I never considered asking them to darken their hair. If I travel to Denmark I will find a way to enjoy the trip despite the ratio of blondes to brunettes. This strategy has worked for me as my wife has dark brown hair... or perhaps it's a forced behavior. :-)
Bob Woodroof
June 5, 2007
Dale
Men's 50
76 posts
Wow! A Totie Fields reference.
How old are we?
June 5, 2007
the wood
1071 posts
Dale:
very old... getting older by the minute.
Just returned from BP today... 1) took 800 mg Motrin 2 hours prior... 2) wore knee brace... 3) showered myself with sunscreen... 4) put 'liquid heat' on my lower back... 5) take joint Rx (OTC) twice/day... all this for 50 swings (w/o the pitching mat, which reminded me of Gary19). :-)
BW
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