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Discussion: Significant Rule Changes for SSUSA 2008 Season!

Posted Discussion
Jan. 18, 2008
bashbro1
Men's 60
266 posts
Significant Rule Changes for SSUSA 2008 Season!
I just received the following rules changes for 2008 from reliable sources here in the Pacific Northwest region that were taken away from the SSUSA meeting held last weekend and paraphrased here:

1. Plate mat will now be 2” inches bigger in width and length (nothing about thickness?)…now 19" by 36 1/2"…So now that the mat will be 2” wider and 2” deeper will mean a little more plate coverage for the hitter and bigger target for the pitcher obviously. There will be no white plate painted on the mat either—just a big fricken’ ugly old mat—The catcher will now be allowed to touch any part of it for a force play @ home, not just the plate as before—this rule applies to both the ISA and SSUSA associations.

2. Major Plus rule changes:

a. Home run rule - 50's 12 per game - 55's 10 per game - 60's 8 per game after limit has been reach then all subsequent HRs will be ruled “DEAD BALL OUTS”!

b. Runs per inning 7 (other divisions old rules apply)

3. Any batted-ball that strikes the pitcher on fly or the bounce will now be ruled immediately by the umpire as a “DEAD BALL OUT”…even if the pitcher is a crappy fielder period end of story. So, Joe (‘einstein’), if you get hit this year you can have the satisfaction that you “got the hitter out”! LOL

4. The current 5-runs given up to your opponent as a division equalizer will be allocated as follows:

1 run per inning starting in second, going through the sixth.
Example: If game only goes lets say 4 innings, the team giving will only be charged with 3 runs at that point in the game so you don’t put yourself in such a big hole at the start of the game.

I certainly welcome any and all legitimate corrections to my wording and paraphrasing of the above NEW rules of play.

Bash (Ruth 60’s Kent, WA)
Jan. 18, 2008
turn2
486 posts
Bash,
Does that mean the 60's will be able to score 7/inning now or will it stay like it was last year 5/ inning?
Thanks,
Donnie
Turn Two / Elite
60 Major Plus
Jan. 18, 2008
Hit the gap
Men's 60
146 posts
IT"S A SAD DAY FOR SOFTBALL !! if the DBO rule for hitting a pitcher goes into effect. As a guy that pitched USSSA for years, I took great pride in my ability to "field my position". Now, a pitcher could just stand there and never have to field a ball.
What happens if a pitcher takes a step or 2 to the side to field a ball and gets hit? What happens if a pitcher attempts to field a slow 1 hopper and gets hit? There are just so many scenerios that would require some kind of interpretation that it makes no sense.
If the associations are that concerned with pitcher safety, why not mandate some protective gear such as face masks, shin guards etc. ????
The middle is part of the game and I really don't think 99% of the players would intentionally try ot hit a pitcher.
SAD SAD SAD.
2. If the mat becomes wider, does the batters box get moved 2" farther from the plate to compensate or does it stay the same?
Jan. 18, 2008
bert55
Men's 60
24 posts
What happens if a ground ball simply hits the pitchers glove and rolls away. Yes Hit the Gap is right , interpretation by the umpire will be needed all the time. As a SS I guess I can now fill the 5-6 hole.
Jan. 18, 2008
AlleninGa
Men's 60
113 posts
What's next, hitting off the tee?
Jan. 18, 2008
sjuhoops
123 posts
im puzzled about the home run rule. as you get older you get less home runs.
Jan. 18, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
boy those are lousy changes.

The only thing the bigger mat does is help the bad pitchers. I pitched in Canada with the bigger mat and for the good pitchers with good control it is no advantage. In fact I found it a disadvantage.

I am not the greatest fielding pitcher but I don't like that hitting the pitcher rule. If the idea is to protect the picture to me the better way is to have the 11th fielder at all levels. That will cut down hitting up the middle through the pitcher. It also lets pitchers just get out of the way and let the middle fielder get the ball for easy double plays. I know the younger egos won't let this happen but it is better than the solution that they came up with.
Jan. 18, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
Forgot to ask. Are these rules changes going to be in effect for the TOC?
Jan. 18, 2008
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
399 posts
bigger mat is good
Jan. 18, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
720 posts
One run per inning is good when a team is spotting another team runs. The pitching mat is good. All of the other rules are a disgrace to softball and our ages for being able to play longer than everyone expected. It makes you not want to play and definitely not pitch. I think that I am going to go play again with the younger guys in leagues and play the game the way it was meant to be played. Pitchers have the option to wear gear or not, so what seems to be the problem. I like the idea of hitting off the tee, or why not play 2 pitch softball and pitch to yourself. LOL! Then the useless pitcher on the other team can go be the 11th fielder on the team. If you are going to take the pitcher out of the equation, then why not do it the way they did in Menifee this past weekend and use a screen. Anything that hits the screen is an out. The pitcher has the option to hide behind the screen or become an 11th fielder, his choice. It would be better to use a 16 inch softball, than these ridiculous rules. A total insult to the game and our abilities to play the game.

Andy :-)
Jan. 18, 2008
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2663 posts
??????????
I thought SSUSA had a reputation of listening to what players wanted?
Bash, I'm hoping you are mistaken.
Jan. 18, 2008
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
PLEASE TELL ME THAT THESE NEW RULES ARE A JOKE AND WILL REALLY NOT BECOME A PART OF THE 2008 SEASON, I HAVE ALREADY TALKED TO SEVERAL PITCHERS AND THEY DON'T WANT IT !!!! PLEASE RECONSIDER !!!
Jan. 18, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Unless there were two meetings, post on here state the meeting is this coming weekend.
If this was to incite us, it's working.
Jan. 18, 2008
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
If they make the mat longer, they HAVE to make the box longer too. If they don't, the shorter guys are at a distinct disadvantage. What a bunch of baloney.
Jan. 18, 2008
leftyodoul
Men's 60
99 posts
The pitching rule is ridiculous! If I were pitching I would wear shin guards and protection on my arms and just let the ball hit me. I wouldn't try to field anything, there's no benefit! If I was a pitcher I would practice my "kick saves" during the off season. Here's a suggestion - Let's just forget about softball and start a National Whiffle ball league. That way no one will get hurt and we can better protect the pitcher.
Jan. 18, 2008
leftyodoul
Men's 60
99 posts
The pitching rule is ridiculous! If I were pitching I would wear shin guards and protection on my arms and just let the ball hit me. I wouldn't try to field anything, there's no benefit! If I was a pitcher I would practice my "kick saves" during the off season. Here's a suggestion - Let's just forget about softball and start a National Whiffle ball league. That way no one will get hurt and we can better protect the pitcher.
Jan. 18, 2008
AlleninGa
Men's 60
113 posts
Why do we need to keep changing the rules? Has anyone not been having fun. This is a great game like it is, don't keep putting restrictions on it. We are grown men playing a game that has served us well for over half a century, leave the damn thing alone. PLAY BALL!!!!
Jan. 18, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Bad idea on the HR's Why the H... would you allow less as you get older. If anything it should be more.
Seem as though the majority of post since all this came about was concerning the M & M+ teams.
WHY. Don't bother to reply on it.
I like it, but why are two assn's the only ones for the mat plate combo rule,
Here is another example of everyone going their own way.
Would be nice to see a batters box rule (not that we don't have one already) lengthened i about six inches to counter a 2 inch length. But ENFORCE the darn rule.
The equalizer as you mention would be fine except for the shortened game, especially if that caused a loss ie; not getting the other runs you lost because of the loss of innings.
Teams know they are going to be behind because if it so live with it and play harder.
I didn't thing 4 inning games were considered a game, it used to be 5.
And they call this progress. not
Jan. 18, 2008
kbl
Men's 60
529 posts
i would like to think that someone is pulling a fast one (likea joke) on us. hope so!!
Jan. 18, 2008
GeHall44
Men's 55
92 posts
Bashbro,
Hehehehehehe, you got us bro. April fools day came early this year.
Joe (Einstein) must not be at the coffee shop with his laptop yet or he would be all over this.
Good one.
Jan. 18, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
If it is a joke it is a sick joke from a sick mind.
Jan. 18, 2008
jrhunch
96 posts
what batters box rule?in vegas and kc teams were almost ontop of the pitcher and all the umpires new it and did't call it once.and these assc. call this safe?they don't enforce the rules they have now how are they going to enforce new ones?
Jan. 18, 2008
softballer
Men's 55
560 posts
rule 12.3 senior rule book
and also read 12.3.1
and i heard last year well the guys back east never call it ! but it is in there to go by! more ump do need to use the rule and settle things down b4 a pitcher does get killed
Jan. 18, 2008
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
SUMMITT MEETS THIS SATURDAY, in Phoenix.
Jan. 19, 2008
hombre
Men's 60
220 posts
Rule # 3 (hit pitcher rule), changes the game from the game of softball I love to play. I'm only speaking for myself when I say that I will not play in any SSUSA event if this rule is ennacted. If you do not like the rule, you can do the same. There are plenty tournaments to play in other than SSUSA. SSUSA is a business run for profit. If they find that they are losing enough teams because of this rule, it will change back to real softball.
These senior softball organizations exist only because we senior ballplayers and our sponsors pay them big bucks to provide a venue in which we can play. Since the game is for our enjoyment, we should be able to control how the game is played. If enough players do not like a rule, they should contact the organization and if the situation isn't rectified, don't support their tournaments. It wouldn't take long for them to get the message. Just my thoughts.
Jan. 19, 2008
kbl
Men's 60
529 posts
BASBRO---great work. you should have been a phsycologist!!!!
Jan. 19, 2008
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
A bunch of BS if this is the case!
Jan. 19, 2008
olddude
7 posts
There you have it. The "dumbing down" of softball. I have found, generally, these decisions come from people who have too much time on their hands and couldn't/wouldn't play competitively. I have also found over the years that when a longer /wider mat is used the batter's box doesn't change one iota. The hitter just has "to deal" with it. As far as protecting the pitcher, the "powers that be" most always overreact. Yes, there are inherent dangers being on the mound, but there are inherent dangers in everyday life. No one is forced to pitch, most oitcher take it as challenge.. Soon they'll be trying (under the rules) to protect players to point where softball will be like ballroom dancing. This is a symptom of the state of society. We now have "nanny" softball where no bump, scrape, pulled muscle, etc., will go unnoticed and will be regulated for. Go luck to you all and don't pull up lame. Big Brother Softball is watching.
Jan. 19, 2008
mad dog
Men's 60
3936 posts
only change i see that is worth anything is a bigger mat.
please don't let hitting a pitcher be an out,that is stupid.i'm 58 and pitch also(mostly for the kids )not as much for seniors(still play pretty good inf) and don't like the rule.
the hr rule would be ok for the m+ and m div,except for the age thing.why would u do that?
the equalizer rule was put there so if you play an upper div team to help the lower team,the runs should be given right up front.this crap of 1 per inning starting at the 2nd innig is BS.like someone said in a prev post what happens if ya don't get 7 inning in.
Jan. 20, 2008
bashbro1
Men's 60
266 posts
Boys! First off, I would never post erroneous or purposefully misleading material to incite this board as I have the utmost respect for the guys and the opinions made here. I’ve been entrusted as the W.E. Ruth 60’s Communication Officer and that job has the inherent responsibly of maintaining personal integrity. I like to kid around just like the next guy but would it would be totally inappropriate here regarding the seriousness of subject matter.

I did returned to my sources and the rules changes are correct as posted. And yes to ‘taits’ question, in essence there were (2) meetings this month. The first last weekend was the meeting of the SSUSA 2008 advisory board members that drafted and ratified the new rule changes. These are rules changes pertain only to the SSUSA softball association The SSUSA advisory council is a group of (~10) or so hand picked SSUSA reps from around the country.

The meeting this weekend in PHX is the “Summit” of about (9) or so different softball associations that strive to make common between the associations whatever they can agree upon which is a difficult undertaking. The “Summit” has no real jurisdiction on what any of the individual softball associations choose to implement as their own rules. SSUSA allows us to have the bats we most desire to use, whereas some of the other esteemed associations like ASA, for example, would stand in the way of that as we all know.

Bashbro1 (Ruth 60’s Kent, WA)
Jan. 20, 2008
Gary33
143 posts
Hey Bash, what would you think the best way to respond to SSUSA on this matter? Can we contact them directly on this site? I think the pitching rule was not given any logical thought. Spock where are you when we need you?
Jan. 20, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Bashbro1,
Thank you from all\most of us on clarifying.
At leas we know where the buck started and is going to have to stop there as well.
Best game (assn) around but I think with some of these new rules they hit a black hole.
At least teams have choices; to either seek other places to play of put up with them. If no one shows, perhaps a point will be made, but would take another year for a meeting to come about it seems.
But to restrict Hr's for the older you get isn't right. I'd venture to say that came from the ones younger, and the older if any, were playing the good guy, may need to whipe their noise.

As for contacting them, they read these more than we do. So it's not like they do not know, they do. But toe ole saying may have to be applied, actions speak louder than mere words. But what action(s) ?
Jan. 20, 2008
lazer larry
Men's 50
96 posts
SSUSA you just shot yourself in the foot if you implement these rules. Now turn the gun upwords and put one in your head, because it's hollow. Don't ruin the game. I was looking forward to going to PHX this year. But, not anymore.
Jan. 20, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
bashbro1: Good Job. Never doubted your info as being right on. In fact I sent it to all the leagues that I am involved in right after I read it. Not to many happy campers out there with those changes.

Does anyone know if they will be in effect for the TOC in Feb. We have a team going down and if they will be then we want to incorporate them into our practice sessions.
Jan. 20, 2008
J R
182 posts
chest protector,Barry Bonds arm protector,hockey mask,shin guards up to the knee,and bring it on.The pitcher will become a goalie trying to get everything, i wonder if SPA was in on this,they use the larger mat but have plate painted on it.The problem i have with this is is different from league play, alot of teams use league play as practice for tournaments.I feel a circle or a defined pitchers box will be a part of it. I do not think you should limit older teams on homeruns if you are 65 and can hit out of the park go for it,
Jan. 20, 2008
SALSAKID49
Men's 55
117 posts
On Number 3 we will need some clarity on this rule... does that mean...............
-If the ball hits the ground before the rubber will it be a "LIVE" ball...?
-will there be a 6-8' box behind the rubber?
-If a line drive ball goes within the box is it ruled a DBO?
-will the pitcher need to have both feets inside the box should the ball strike the pitcher on a line for it to be a DBO?

"3-Any batted-ball that strikes the pitcher on fly or the bounce will now be ruled immediately by the umpire as a “DEAD BALL OUT”
Jan. 22, 2008
pappou
1 posts
The pitching rule serves no purpose other than to alter the game. The pitcher can protect himself using masks etc. Rather than eliminating the pitcher form potential plays, including the double play, you should just go back to wood bats or use a pitching machine!
Jan. 22, 2008
DesertGuy
Men's 60
224 posts
SAL- I just read the ssusa posting on the rule changes. It sure looks like the rule is to protect against the line shot back at the pitcher. It looks like a DBO if it nails him, even if he throws his arms up to protect himself and it hits his arms. Pretty simple from what I read. And a good rule IMHO.
Jan. 22, 2008
4x4
Men's 65
595 posts
I agree, this rule will cut down on the "head hunting" that has incited many stressful discussions/threads/arguments on this board.

In Menifee last Sunday I hit one as described in the rule (accident) and would not have been unhappy about a DBO call. Fortunately the pitcher got his glove in front of it and I couldn't get everything on it because I kept slipping in those batters boxes (wrong cleats for the surface). Once he tracked the ball down it was an easy out anyway as I was still picking myself up in the batters box but a DBO would have been appropriate under the new rule.

The first thing I did was let the pitcher know it was not intentional and he was OK with that.
Jan. 22, 2008
4x4
Men's 65
595 posts
As Bruce pointed out this seems to be an M+ only rule.
Jan. 22, 2008
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
PETE D & OTHERS: QUESTION?? Why or better what have we, the Major Plus players, DONE?? to get our just dessert!!!!!!

1) Stolen too many Home Run Balls?
2) Cried or whine too much?
3) Taken too long & or caused to many Tournements to run far behind?
4) Made Umps unhappy about the longer than 60 mimute games? After all, these umps r paid only $20 to $24 / game & want more money....... etc....?
5) SS-USA.........., ONLY THEY KNOW.....

The STONE DWG.....
Jan. 23, 2008
Airbosn
Men's 65
321 posts
I never give "Hitting the Pitcher" much though...I pitch in open leagues, over 30 league, over 55 and 60 when not playing the outfield. To me hitting middle has always been a part of the game. I sometimes throw a pitch a little outside hoping the batter will come middle for the double play. (Will not pitch middle to Clatter, LOL) BTW...The pitching -box behind the rubber gives a good fielding pitcher time to pitch and break down for the batted ball. IMO, the pitcher can wear as much or little protection he / she desires. We don't need a DBO rule for the pitcher.
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