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Discussion: New Mat Size

Posted Discussion
June 13, 2007
JTS2
Men's 55
88 posts
New Mat Size
Have you played with the new size mat that SPA uses. They have increased the size from 17" X 33" to 19" X 35". We used it this past weekend in Columbus, In and I think it helped the pitchers some. There wern't as many walks,
June 16, 2007
OLDBUCK23
Men's 60
62 posts
They are actually 21" x 35". There is 2" black on each side of the white painted home plate.
It helps pitchers get strikes called on pitches that used to cut the corner of the plate but were seldom called as strikes.
June 17, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
I pitched with the larger mat in Canadien tournaments and I don't like it. IMO it helps the batter more than the pitcher.

I found that more balls were hit to right field till I stopped using the outside of the plate and concentrated on an area about the size of our current mat.

I agree that if a pitcher can't find the plate/mat now maybe he/she should find a new position.
June 18, 2007
Leoslocks
Men's 60
45 posts
[quote]IMO it helps the batter more than the pitcher.[/quote]

I do not see it hurting the pitcher at all. Yet hitters are far more agressive facing good pitching. The slightly expanded strike adds credibility to location pitchers that nibble on the corners. I see it as helping the hitters pull the trigger on good pitches.
June 18, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
It dosen't do any good to nibble on the outside edge as that is right in the power zone of batters going to right. It gives them batter full extension on their swing.

I have good enough control to live on the edges of the plate and mat and after a couple of games I abandon the idea of pitching on the outside edge. It may cut down on walks of pitchers who can't it the plate/mat consisitenly but it gives the batter more balls to hit to right and right center.
June 18, 2007
OLDBUCK23
Men's 60
62 posts
I don't think that pitchers over 50 have as much trouble finding the strike zone as the umpires have in being consistent with what they determine a batter's stroke zone to be.. The strike mat brings a measure of consistency to umpiring.
The umpires in our city leagues differ so much from one to another in what they individually call as a strike zone, you can't even remotely be sure what they will call a strike. To find one that is consistent during a game is a real bonus. The mats would help our leagues. We start batters with a 1-1 count. A bad strike call can put a batter in a real jam.
As always, a batter should be ready to hit.
June 19, 2007
Leoslocks
Men's 60
45 posts
"The mats would help our leagues."

Our league as well. We have some consistant umpires that call balls 4 feet behind the plate strikes. Some of us smaller players do not look for strikes to hit either. Consisant calls do more for my average than the size of the strike zone. Then again, I can hit with a broom stick. I do not need a stinkin Ultra II
June 19, 2007
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Leos....Hope to see you at SPA in July. I've never seen someone use a broomstick in softball. I'll bet that pitchers
love to see you come to bat.
June 19, 2007
OLDBUCK23
Men's 60
62 posts
Gary19,
It's obvious that softball players don't need mats to play.
I expressed an opinion that I think that a mat brings more consistency to umpiring, period.. I am quite happy to play with or without a mat. Lighten up.
The sky is not falling !
June 19, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Glad to hear about the increased mat size used by SPA.
I'll be going there this year and can't wait.
The larger mat does 2 things for me that I like.
First, as a pitcher, throwing angles and curves
it gives more opportunities to get strikes
and raise the anxiety level of the batters.
And second, it makes me more aggressive as a hitter
which makes me better and more dangerous at the plate.
A couple of inches left or right or short or long
doesn't mean much to a batter who is confident
and ready to swing.
Again, a good move by SPA.
June 19, 2007
Cognac Lite
Men's 50
32 posts
I have an opinion and a question. I don't feel that expanding the width or the length will make that much of a difference. I can say that because I am 6'5" with long arms. As I stated, I am 6'5", and I have also played in Canada. Twelve feet is twelve feet, whether a person is 6'5" or 5'6". If adding inches to the mat is there to help the umpire, why don't they put a wire up near the backstop and allow the base umpire determine the legality of a pitch as it pertains to the height/ceiling? Now, that would help the umpire. I think that's where the inconsistencies lie.
June 19, 2007
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
EINSTEIN: Forget that mat crap. The mat may help some UMPs & some UMPs, noth' will help. I have seen many balls hit the mat & the UMP, call that pitch a ball.

If it is windy & the wind is blow' across the plate, a ball can be 12" to 14" inside the plate; where a batter is stand'. I believe that when most of us grow up, a thrown ball had to cross our shoulders & or the front knee.

Again, if, one is a lefty & the wind is blow' from the 1st base area, a pitched ball call never come close to cross' the plate. It is possible, that w/ the right conditions, that a pitched ball can hit the far back corner of the plate & be 12" or so to the right of a secured plate. Again, I am talk' about where , if, a batter was stand' even w/ the plate.

Joe, r u sure that u want to give SPA..... THANKS?? I have been told, by several of the games best players, that SPA, will be us' socks this yr. Several of these men were sent balls from SPA, to test & report back on these SPA BALLS!!!

LET'S C.... 100 SWINGS & only 6 Home Runs.
GO......... JOE........ The STONEMAN.......
June 20, 2007
Leoslocks
Men's 60
45 posts
salio2k, I am playing AAA 50's so for me, SPA is in September. I will be in Marietta this weekend with Monster Softball. Blue Knee brace on the left leg carying a broom stick in my right hand (;>)

Quality hitters deal with the situation (inconsistant umpiring, poor pitching, et al) Developing players (Pitchers as well as hitters) benefit from the use of the Mat. Using the mat allows me to pass on swinging at an Umpires marginal pitch with the count against me. It doesnt make me a better hitter, it helps me make better decisions.

Back in April we played in Birmingham in some tough wind. The wind may have taken about 5 runs a game from the score but the Mat is a stabalizing influence. Throw one pitch and the wind pushes it inside off the plate. Throw the same pitch and it lands just outside. An extra couple of inches would have been a welcome sight to the pitchers.
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