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Discussion: ASA to change mound distance

Posted Discussion
Nov. 16, 2007
SouthernLeather
22 posts
ASA to change mound distance
Heard a rumor second-hand, couldn't find anything on the ASA site....

I heard that there was a strong possibility that the distance from the plate to the pitcher's mound was under discussion to be increased in length next year....and possibly there would be a heighth limitation change.

Any truth or info from the group? Or strictly some chatter....

Thanks, appreciate it.
Nov. 16, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2665 posts
I read this week at asasoftball.com that the senior ASA rules would be changed to allow the 6' pitcher's box and also go to the mat for stirke zone. I didn't see anything about the distance or height.
Nov. 16, 2007
floo56
Men's 50
37 posts
The following is under discussion:
* 53' mound distance/ currently 50'
*Pitch height 4' to 15'/ currently 6' to 12'
* Use of a mat for balls and strikes
*Pitcher's box under discussion
Information obtained from softballfans.com ASA forum...Aloha, Fabe
Nov. 16, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
I can't see them changing the height rule especially if they go with a mat. A 4' min would be devastating to the hitters. Imagine a 4' pitch off the front edge of the plate?????
Nov. 16, 2007
Gary Heifner
248 posts
A 4' arc would be close to fast pitch. There isn't an ump in the know universe who knows what a 12' arc is. At the winter worlds our pitcher is about 5'10". Anything above 3' over his head was called illegal by all umps. He still had at least 3' to work with. I would almost like to see the arc reduced to 10' on the high side. The ump shold be able to judge 3' or so over most pitchers head.
Nov. 16, 2007
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
401 posts
Another reason we are all lining up to play ASA
Nov. 17, 2007
lazer larry
Men's 50
96 posts
they are trying to save the pitcher, but we all know where short flat pitches go and that is up the middle with out trying to. my 2 cents worth. larry (lazer)vogel coors light 11
Nov. 17, 2007
Hit the gap
Men's 60
146 posts
If they are considering 4', it would have to be like USSSA and that is that it would have to travel a minimum of 4' up from the point of release. Unless you have a pitcher that can really get low on their delivery that would still fall in the 6' to 12' range. 15' is way to high.

A 53' rubber would be alright by me. Most pitchers I see just pitch the ball and stand there anyway. No backward movement.
Nov. 19, 2007
SouthernLeather
22 posts
Thanks for the info guys......I appreciate it...
Floo56, I will pass that along....

My Christmas prayer,
Dear Lord,
Please let the 15' arc get approved...... I do love to hear the big guys whine.....

Thanks again....
Nov. 19, 2007
Gary Heifner
248 posts
If they go to a 15' arc in senior ball, it would be best to take the plate out as a strike. I played in a 14" league this year with unlimited arc. Unless you are an accomplished walk up hitter (shuffle step}, you will find it very difficult to defend the plate and mat on a 15' pitch. I also believe that the bitching as to whether it is 15' or 17' + would be endless. I personally can hit a mat at both a 15' or 30' + unlimited arc. High arc softball can be very low scoring and very boring.
Nov. 20, 2007
4x4
Men's 65
595 posts
The rules in place would work a LOT better if the Umps were trained to recognize a 12 foot pitch and let the pitchers employ them. I play the corner infield positions and am over 6' tall. I watch a 6 foot batter hitting off of a 6 foot pitcher (being judged by a 6 foot umpire). It seems any pitch more than 4 1/2 feet above the batters head is called too high consistantly by the Umpires. Watching from an angle looking up at the 2nd rail of the backstop (usually 2 6 foot sections) the ball does not clear this but is called too high. This ball should go twice the hight of a 6 foot batter and be a valuable pitch for the pitchers arsonal but it's not being called correctly by the Ump's. The pitcher is then forced to lower his arc - which in turn is more dangerous for the pticher. This simple rudimentary change would make a big difference in helping the pitcher(s) stay healthier with more control of "their" game..
Nov. 21, 2007
VegasPaul
Men's 60
30 posts
ASA rule changes for 2008 are now posted at
http://www.softball.org/umpires/rule_changes.asp
They did not change the distance of the senior softball pitching plate but did incorporate the 6 ft box behind the plate.
Vegas Paul
Nov. 21, 2007
softballer
Men's 55
560 posts
hey pete d
stand back 26 ft from the mound and look at 12 ft it not as high as people think! and yes its 12 ft
Nov. 21, 2007
4x4
Men's 65
595 posts
Hi Monta - I agree 12' is not a real high pitch. It should be about the same height as the top of a basketball back board at the apex (12 feet). What we're seeing is a lot of pitches that would hit above the rim at the highest point and not near the top of the back board being called too high.

A pitcher should be able to double a six foot batters height at the highest point of the arc. Most Ump's aren't giving that.
Nov. 22, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2665 posts
Pete, my experience is just the opposite, very few umpires call a 12' high pitch too high. I see a MAJORITY of umpires not calling a 15-25' pitch illegal especially the 15-18' pitch. I too play a corner position.
Nov. 22, 2007
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
the way i see it,its a hitters game already.the pitcher in ssusa has to throw to a postage stamp anyways(most all of the other assoc have bigger mats to throw to by 2-3 inches wider and longer),let them go up,or as low as they can as long as they hit the mat, anotherwards no height restrictions.let the pitcher come back into the game instead of just having him out there throwing bp pitches.
Nov. 22, 2007
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
To all you pitchers, the higher the arc, the more the ball is hit up the middle.
Nov. 22, 2007
GT
Men's 60
162 posts
Jawood, I hope that is true.
Greg T.
Christian Bros Auto
Houston, Tx.
PS you will never hear me complain about guys hitting the middle. All part of the game.
Happy Thanksgiving to all
Nov. 22, 2007
softballer
Men's 55
560 posts
you are right it is part of the game!
but why do they protect the 40's with a dead ball out if it hits the pitcher on a line drive and not the 50,60s, 70 and so on with the same rule?
Nov. 23, 2007
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
jawood.i do pitch upon occasion and if i'm allowed to throw from 4-15' i don't care where they hit it.the way it is now, u have to basically throw bp for the batter,and end up taking the pitcher out of the equation,what fun is that.yes i do like to hit as much as anyone,but let the pitcher be able to help himself out (by being able to go 4-15')besides trying to get out of the way.maybe make the mat larger also is another idea.i just hate it when teams start crying about pitches that even get close to 6-12' limits,(lo and hi).
Nov. 23, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Gary,
Great post and it got me going.
(For some a dream:
for others a nightmare)
I think that lowering the arc is more better for us
than raising it to kingdom come.
Something like 12-3 with strikes called both when
striking the plate or the mat AND, here it comes,
when the ball crosses between the knees and shoulders
and is over the plate, called by the ump.
That would give an advantage to the pitcher without
taking away all the thunder from the batters by throwing
15 feet plus balls coming down with snow on them.
As a pitcher I would love this and as a hitter
I would rather swing at a flatter, fatter ball than a higher
loopy one.
Nov. 23, 2007
audieh
Men's 60
242 posts
I'm a little torn by this one but here goes my thoughts. Slow pitch is a hitters game so pitchers quit crying. The game is not about you. You are one tenth of what it is about. Yes, yes, I know you are the type A personality that loves everthing on the field to go thru you and you want to control every aspect of the game. But if you want low scoring boring games that you can dominate then go play fast pitch! Ooch! Wang bang, Batman! :)

OK, there I said it. Now let me explain a little bit. I occasionally pitch as well. I am a toss it and run back as far as I can pitcher. If you hit me it is going to be in the butt! If anything, let me throw from 50 to 65 feet from the plate and then my 12' high pitch will have some zip on it. I'm further from the batter and I am able to throw a faster and flatter pitch because of the longer distance covered!

But hey, why mess with a great game that has reasonable rules. I will agree with Pete and others that most umps do not realize how low 12' is. Just for fun take a 8' step ladder to batting practice and place a 4' tape measure on top of it and then practice some pitching and you will be amazed! Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday to all of my senior softball buddies out there!
Nov. 23, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Audie,
Type A personality who wants every ball hit to him?
I must say I resemble that remark.

Changing aspects of the pitcher's dynamics, however,
as to why this thread and ASA are here seems to me to be
about the PITCHER and NOT the hitter
presumably to save the pitcher from getting things
like a broken arm.

No team scared me more since I've been pitching
than the Hollis team you guys showed up with
in Vegas 50's this year.
What a team of monster bats.
You certainly know how to find great hitters.

Happy Holidays to you, Audie
and to Mike, Gary, Bobby and all the rest.
Nov. 24, 2007
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
ASA should add, plate matt as strike, 6' picthers box behind the rubber, USSSA bats, and play ball.

Pitch height has always been umpire opinion so 12' or 15' is moot.....See it, hit it.
Nov. 24, 2007
olddude
7 posts
Of course slow pitch is a hitters game, it was designed to be such. My experience has been that umpires have a tendency to err on the high side (up to 14 ft) and no lower that 8ft. 6 feet is a lot lower than people think, same with 12 feet. When I attended UIC-led umpire meetings we were instructed that if the pitch wasn't "hissing" it wasn't low. As a player for 25 years, I wanted consistency and not a continully changing zone from inning to inning or even pitch to pitch. As an umpire I wanted the pitch hittable within the minimums and maximums of the rules so the game was played as designed. Head honchos need to quit tinkering with the game and wanting to micro-managing it. Let the pitcher throw it and the batter hit and we'll go from there. Play Ball!
Nov. 25, 2007
audieh
Men's 60
242 posts
Einsteen, could you send me the key on finding some hitters that can play defense? My gosh, that Perez guy, you know, the human vacuum cleaner on third, sure taught us a thing or two about defense.

My infielders, affectionately known as the hands of stone boys, have all begun taking infield practice in a crouched over manner. Humm, doesn't seem to help them though! Maybe that fellow was just an incredible player!
Nov. 26, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Audie,
That was the best 3rd base I've ever seen played
since I been playing softball.
Those shots were hit with Mikens and a live ball
by your gang of monsters
and he was gloving everything.
A truly sensational performance.

RIck is one of the best players in the country
who has since retired from senior softball.
He's captained all the Kelly's teams he's played on,
usually hit 800 plus with a ton of bombs
runs as fast as anyone and
has a cannon for an arm.

I hear he's serious about retirement
but if there's some way you can get him
back to play
you'd see that the way he played was no accident
and would inspire any team he plays for.
Ask Bobby about Rick Perez.

Happy holidays Audie.
I'm happy to say
my arm is getting stronger
and I'll be seeing you down the road
at some nationals.
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