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Discussion: SSUSA Rule proposed rule changes

Posted Discussion
Jan. 20, 2008
Hit the gap
Men's 60
142 posts
SSUSA Rule proposed rule changes
It appears the proposed "DBO for hitting the pitcher rule" has received the most negative comment. If SSUSA is committed to moving forward with this idiotic rule, I HAVE A SUGGESTION: Let the pitcher have the option of playing with or without this rule. Let the wussies, whimps and whiners take the DBO.

If you are a pitcher and afraid of getting hit, #1 you should not be pitching. #2 buy and use protective gear. #3 Use the pitching from 6 feet behind the rubber rule to your advantage. #4 Use the hang time on your picth to reposition yourself in the event of a ball coming back your way (backup).

Just my 5 cents worth.
Jan. 20, 2008
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
HIT THE GAP: How about think' this out?
1) No matter which ball, a 50 cor, 47 cor, 44 cor, or even a 40 cor softball, will travel the 1st 60' to 70', in less than .4 of a sec.
2) At our present ages, most Seniors need .42 of a sec, to react to a ball.
3) Most Seniors & I am not
4) We r also, talk' about 1st & 3rd basemen, that play w/in that 75' area.

HTG, how about u start pitching? Then tell me that those that do pitch, r whimps.

I hope that u r just mad about this stupid rule. NO one needs to c another human hurt.

LAST THOUGHT:::: Have any of u great big Senior studs, seen a man killed? How many of u studs, have seen a pitcher killed on the mound? Had there jaw broken? Had their teeth knocked out.

As far as I am concerned, I never, want to c any, pitcher hit again. Any one out there, did u c Don C, hit & break Eistein's arm.
This is why, I hope that Thump's New 53 cor ball w/ a 260 comp, is "the real deal".

Good luck to all the PITCHERS, this yr. The STONEMAN
Jan. 20, 2008
Lefty
Men's 65
452 posts
I'm with hit the gap. If you can't play defense wear protective gear or put a SS on the mound. This is not suppose to be rec. ball. If it was we'd be playing ASA.
Jan. 20, 2008
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
LEFTY: Question 4 u? Why, do Seniors have 4 Divisions?( AA, AAA, MAJORS, & MAJOR PLUS)

Why, do we have 6 diff' age groups?( 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, & 80)

The diff' divisions & age groups, were devised to allow more older men to play Softball. The 4 divisions, were to allow players that may NOT have a great deal of talen, find a level were these players could play.

EXAMPLE: 50 M+ players, DO NOT want to play against 50, 55, or 60 AA or AAA players. 1 reason, safety.....

The mound is 50'-6" to 56'-6" from Home Plate. That means that a Batted Ball will get to the 60' area, in less than .4 of a sec.

Try NOT & blame pitchers....... What is SS-USA...... THINKING??????? I believe that it is time 4 seniors to call SS-USA or send E-MAILS......... to Terry & Fran...

I hope that I never c pitchers in full body Armor...

WOW .......The STONEMAN
Jan. 20, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
I got to strongly disagree with Lefty. It is suppose to be basically recreation ball.

ASA is just as if not more competitive than Senior Ball. It is only players with big egos that don't like ASA.

I play both and I don't see that much difference between the two. A home run over a 300' fence counts for the same whether it is an ASA bat or a Senior bat. Hitting a 325' home run count the same as a 300' home run.
Jan. 20, 2008
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
FRED: EGOS...... maybe, but, ASA, is directed toward Womens Fast Pitch. Is it players or ASA, that has the EGO?

JUST MY FEEL'......... The STONEMAN..
Jan. 20, 2008
Hit the gap
Men's 60
142 posts
Stoneman: You missed my point completely. I think it takes a lot of Cajones to pitch and I pitched for many years in USSSA from the time I was about 22 until the last tourny I played with the youngsters at age 54. It is just my opinion that any pitcher that wants to take a DBO if they are hit has no business pitching.

I firmly believe that 99% of the players do not try to hit the pitcher on purpose and should not be "punished" for doing so. I know you are probably giong to tell me all about the "middle wars" that go on in the younger divisions and possibly, possibly with some of the Major+ or Major Seniors. If that happens, that is when the umpires and UIC should take control of the game and start ejecting people like they do in baseball when opposing pitchers start head hunting.

I just think implementing this rule is a bad idea and as Lefty said there is protective gear that pitchers could wear if they so choose.
Jan. 20, 2008
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
HTG: How many Umps, have the guts to toss a player 4 hit' the middle? I was in Carson City last yr, & saw several players hit the middle 10 or more times in a row..... NO WARNing...........

As a rule, yes, it will suck! This past wkend, was the 1st time that I saw a Senior Tournament, inwhich, a Pitching Screen
was used. Saturday & Sunday, the 2:00 pm & 3:30 pm games, (the N.E. field) a Pitch' Screen was used.

This was a good idea, because the sun was right in the eyes of both pitchers.

How many Umps, know the rule that states......"do to wind or sun..... the pitching height, can be lower"?

As far as protective gear........ what will happen to pitchers when, pitchers r forced to wear all of their gear in 100 to 120 degrees?? Gear in hot or humid Cities?

I do understand...... what next??? Why, NOT make the plate & mat smaller? Why, 17 inches to 19 inches?

After all, if, safety is a "real" question..... does SS-USA, REALY believe that mak' the mat 2 inches wider, will help?

Most pitchers that get hit, r hit when the ball is on the out side or corner of the plate & the batter has 2 strikes on them.

What next??? Batters NOT allowed to Walk-the-Box?????

It appears that this Sumitt, is nothing but a joke. Rules were pre-made!!!!!!!

Good Luck.......... The STONEMAN....
Jan. 20, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4253 posts
Stoneman,
You might be right about the joke part. Especially if the 9 assn's can't agree to use the SAME rule for any particular one, and go about their own way, anyway. It seems to be more like a get together.
Teams and players alike suffer in the process.
I heard about the Manifee screen thing. I wonder how many hit it.
Jan. 20, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Stoney,
You da man.
Why wouldn't SSUSA use us, the message board brigade,
to poll or make meaningful input as to rule changes?

Why move to protect the pitcher and make a home run restriction rule for major plus hitters..
The biggest and strongest guys will now have a reason not to go yard
and will hit the ball down usually through the middle.
Do they/you/HTG think that making it an out will deter anyone from hitting the middle if they want to, or if they're up by a lot or down a lot
or if they've been charged to defend THEIR pitcher, or to get the best player on their team out of the game?

I like the bigger mat.
They should have gone 1 and 1 count, too.

And for the rule about the pitcher being hit and it being an out
you now put a ton of pressure on guys to interpret when a pitcher is "Blocking" the ball or being hit by it.
That's 50 per cent of my game when pitching.
Don't those 19 dollar a game guys have enough to worry about already?

It's not that I disrespect the intention to make/change rules to make the game better for Seniors, it's where are they getting their info
and what conflicts of interest may be involved with their decisions.

And Hit the Gap
you mentioned you pitched as late as 54 in USSSA?
Bravo but that was before the real onset of the lethal-bat wars.
Any infielder knows that Miken level batted balls travel super fast,
at major league speed, if you will.
It's like hitting against a guy with a 98 mph fastball, I.E.
It's really much more than a fast ball.
I will not not pitch if we use .47 525 balls cause I like the challenge
but Stoneman is right.
Too fast to protect onself is too fast for the game.
I saw Bill Ruth glove a ball last year
that would have killed him had it hit him in a vital area.
Jan. 20, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
678 posts
Gentlemen,

I pitch most of the time, and I want you to hit the ball at me. I am 57 and can still field my position when I am healthy. When I think that I cannot do that, then I will not pitch. I played 50's most of last year and pitched and played first.

As far as the screen being used last weekend in Menifee, that was a smart idea. The only problem was that the 2nd baseman and SS could not see the ball either. After the pitcher threw his warmups for the inning, the catcher threw the ball to second where the 2nd basemen and SS were waiting, and they both ran quickly away, because they could not see it. My question is, what the heck is wrong with SSUSA and their umpires, subjecting anyone to a hazardous situation as that. It would have been safer to play in the evening under the lights. My team played after that, and we ended up playing in the dark. I had one ball hit right at me in the dark, and barely saw it. I too am an idiot for playing under those conditions. Whgat do you do, take a forfeit?

My last comment is about players not trying to take out a pitcher. There are a couple of teams and/or players that will go for the pitcher. On my former team, I alternated with another player between 1B and pitcher. While warming up at 1B, I overheard players from the other team talking about taking our pitcher out. I informed my pitcher before he threw. Those jerks, called a team, tried to do just that, with every ball hit up the middle at the pitcher. When we came to the plate, I looked at the catcher and said what is wrong with you guys trying to take out our pitcher. He just smiled and threw the ball to his pitcher. I let him know that we were going to show him how it is really done and to let his pitcher know to protect himself. I said that I do not care if you hit the ball up the middle, but not purposely at the pitcher with intent to harm. Without going into any detail about our half of the inning, they agreed to stop. It did not continue past the first inning. Unfortunately, we had to retaliate to stop this situation. I am sorry tyhat we had to do that, but the umpire was not going to take charge to stop it. What is wrong with the mentality of some of these players?
Jan. 20, 2008
softballer
Men's 55
560 posts
wow one minute you are talking about ssusa and the umps next you are trying to hit the pitcher?
Jan. 21, 2008
bogie
Men's 55
141 posts
I see the young guys wearing body armor and face masks while pitching...I don't believe I have seen a senior do it in any of the national or regional tournaments I have been too. Perhaps its a needed necessity for safety.
I personally would be for keeping unlimited homeruns, cutting out the pitcher dbo rule for major plus. That said, perhaps the major plus hitters use the ASA bat list. They are so good they don't need the 1.2 bats. Not every semi powerful senior player should be a homerun threat.
Of course, until we get tamperproof bats, I guess senior bat doctoring would become rampant if the ASA bat list was used...its a tough call, isn't it.
I did hear that Anaconda has developed a high .cor, low compression ball that would let legitimate power hitters take it out...but would cut distance down and eliminate the cheaper mishit homeruns and extra base hits from good composite bats. Stiffer bats would perform better, for the ball would flex, not the bat. This would make some sense. I see way too many senior homeruns that go 400 feet with current good balls and bats.
Man, its a tough call to make. What I do like is the limit of runs per inning at 5. It eliminates having to make a whole host of other governing rules and it keeps games from being blowouts in one inning...and helps keep them on time. We always get at least 6 or 7 innings in our 50 major level games. The open inning at the end is full of drama. It can be argued that it does artificially keep poorer teams closer to the best ones, but parity is what keeps the game interesting in my opinion...and what the organizations try to do with age groups and classifications.
singles for homeruns over the limit, seem to make more sense to me than dbo.s
I think SSUSA is fair minded and does a good job listening, If the groundswell for any change is strong, they seem to want to make changes to keep the seniors happy. They do an amazing job overall and its hard to satisfy everyones agenda...but they ultimately DO listen to the players, which is GTG. JMO
Jan. 21, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
STONEMAN: It is the EGO of the Senior Players. What is the big difference between SSUSA and other org, the bats.

Why does the SSUSA need all those high performance bats. Players EGO.

Why won't they allow the 11th fielder in the younger div. Players EGO. With the 11th fielder they may not hit their 600-700 ave.
Jan. 21, 2008
softballer
Men's 55
560 posts
bogie
i would hate to be in front of one of your missed hit balls up the middle! but its a good thing you pull the ball around 400 feet! hope you new year goes great! best of luck

Monta
Jan. 21, 2008
southpaw
Men's 60
715 posts
Hey Guys, for us here in Birmingham, it is 4 weeks until spring practice, and 6 weeks until our March 1 practice tourney at Green Springs. Since we are so close to a new season, I wonder if that is why our juices are flowing so over this controversial issue--hitting at the pitcher.

For me, love of the game is what keeps me going. I have pitched softball for 28 years and have been hit far too many times. Thankfully, hit less in Senior tourneys. However, I have been hit at and hit by at least one team from every classification! (Spa and USSSA)

Anyone over 50 who says they are not afraid of getting hit is either lying or has not taken their medicine that day! And every thing Stoneman declared, should be heeded by all. It is dangerous out there on the mound. And others' comments are correct as well. Ego's do get in the way, even with 50+ players who have lived long enough to know better.

It is sad that retaliation is usually the only recourse to correct a team's attitude.

I am in favor of protective gear for pitchers; I am not in favor of the screen. It is usually pretty obvious when someone is intentionally hitting at the pitcher. Hitting up the middle for a hit is quite different. TD's, umpires, and managers should have a strong responsibility in policing players and games. Thanks and God bless
Jan. 21, 2008
the wood
1071 posts
HR rule changes:
Why does the HR number decrease from the 50 to 60 divisions?... 12, 10, 8
This rule seems to have been made by a group of people that are not exactly in touch with the major plus game.
We played many years in the ASA 40/45 events and the rule was 3 HRs and then a DBO. We built our teams around versatility then and could do it now. But rule changes such as this should be made earlier in the off season.

Batted ball hitting the pitcher:
I'm all for safety and I hate to see any pitcher hit by a ball. But I think that there are a few guys that don't care about the safety of others. I would be surprised if this comes into play very often but it will still be nice if they would clarify the rule somewhat. Does it make a difference if the pitcher isn't behind the rubber? How hard is hard? i.e. can a roller cause the same result?

As far as we know at this time, SSUSA is the only assn to adopt this ruling (aside from ISA, which has already been deemed out of touch on most things). We all have the freedom to choose which assns to honor with our presence and our financial resources.
It has been said on here in the past but I'll re-state it. "SSUSA is the first assn to allow the Ultra 2". So it's good to allow the higher end bats (greater batted ball velocity and distance) but we will demonstrate our concern for safety by changing the rules of the game. This is a total conflict of objectives.

All in all, this really is a sad day for senior softball... at least for the assns that adopt these rules.
BW
Jan. 21, 2008
bogie
Men's 55
141 posts
Ditto to you Monta! Hope to see you and Cecil as umps as opponents this summer. Something to look forward to after the miserable packer game yesterday.
Jan. 21, 2008
Bob50
Men's 55
238 posts
Woody,

I know you have some say in SSUSA. It may be as an advisor. Have you been able to get your points across to the Summit Committee? Are you part of the Summit Committee? Can you give us more information on what we can expect? It seemed that many players on this site wanted to see a one and one count. I know this is not favored by many players on the west coast. Is there someone on the committee that tried to get this change made?

I think the rule about hitting the pitcher was created for the right reasons. I think it may be too idealistic. It will be intersting to hear how the rule is to be applied. The pragmatic side of me feels that we should leave it alone.

However, I too, pitch from time to time. I was hit twice in one game in a tournament two years ago when I played for the Chicago Classics. I was sure they were coming at me intentionally. The first surprised me and hit me. The second time their 4 hitter, a pull hitter, nailed me. In my humble opinion, no one I know would have been able to get a mitt on that hit. Two years later I still have the lumps from that swing. I was mad and got in his face to let him know what I thought of it.

The team that hit me was Travelodge. It's the team I play for now. They have sworn, to a man, that neither player intentionally tried to hit me but were forced to swing at outside pitches that I delivered.

This then becomes the question--will this rule change really accomplish anything substantial?

Respectfully,
Bob Schulz
Travelodge 55's
Jan. 21, 2008
GT
Men's 60
162 posts
Have these rules been formally adopted? As for pitching, I would sure like to se more pitchers, from all divisions, reply with their thoughts. I know a lot of hitters have replied and some pitchers. Just not enough of the total amount of pitchers that play SSUSA. So, managers, get your pitchers on here and lets hear from them. I pitch for a 60 AAA team. I am done with any association thats puts up a screen. I've played in many games where at least 10(this is no exaggeration) balls have come up the middle. LIne drives, ground balls. Some you catch some you don't. Couple years ago I put the shin/knee guards on for protection. I never want to see a screen. Hope to see more responses from pitchers. Just my 2 cents and its free.
Good luck to all this year.
GT
Houston
Jan. 21, 2008
the wood
1071 posts
Bob 50:
I am somewhat ashamed to say that I wasn't at the meeting this past weekend. We had a tournament in So Cal and I had a wedding to attend.
I really don't have much influence with SSUSA because, if I did, I would have advised against the HR rules... at least in their current form.
As I said earlier, we really only act as an advisory committee and that each assn, as well as the Summit itself, has the right to tell us to 'pack sand'.
Since I wasn't there, I cannot comment on the 1-1 count issue... whether or not it was a perceived issue for the sub-group or whether the assns didn't like it. I'm totally in the dark on this. Therefore, I can offer nothing on this.
I feel that the DBO matter might discourage certain head hunters but that it won't come into play very much. This is just my hunch and I might be very wrong.
BW
Jan. 21, 2008
Bob50
Men's 55
238 posts
Woody,

Thanks for being honest and letting everyone know about your personal imput to the committee. If advisors have little control over rule changes, can you explain how the summit members determine what rules to review and/or change?

Is there someone on the message board who can give some explanation regarding what occured at the summit regarding the thought process on various issues that were raised on this board?

Bob Schulz
Jan. 21, 2008
the wood
1071 posts
Bob 50:
The HR rule changes as well as the DBO change was not a function of the Summit, as I understand it. They were rule changes that occurred within SSUSA itself (and ISA, some common players) prior to the Summit meeting. I cannot begin to tell you the 'why', 'how', etc. because I wasn't a part of it. It was an 'in house' decision.
When I was there last year... our sub committee met for 3-4 hours and discussed many issues. We then determined the ones that had the best chance for 'being heard'. We presented them to all of the assns at one time (i.e. Summit) and they met without us in an effort to choose (the issues that we brought to them.) which ones that they would consider and which that they wouldn't. Why they picked the ones that they did or didn't is better answered by them.
BW
Jan. 21, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4253 posts
GT
Most know I pitch. Have been hit 3 times and I know 2 were intentional. I wear leg protection but haven't gone to the mask or chest protector which I have seen two senior players use. How do I knoW? One told me, another laughed after tagging me in a way it was obvious. You just don't know ahead of time and even if you did, sometimes that isn't enough.
Personally I can take it or leave it if it becomes RULE. But will it be enforced, and what if anything, will be subjective or objective, or even how the ump see's it.
IMO head hunters are too afraid of playing straight up. It's a win at all cost game for them.
Too many variables and I doubt the rule was addressed to any depth. At least it wasn't when posted.
But it was good for us to prepare for the mess it WILL bring.
As for a bounce and hitting him goes, one hoper, ok, two+, he should of fielded it. A direct shot, maybe a stiffer penalty. I hit the middle almost all the time. I try to go over head but almost got a guy in Vegas last Nov.

Another part of the pitching rule was the mat. I can hit it as it is, but a larger one will help on a windy day to some extent depending on direction\speed. It will also help batters. It's fine either way.
Jan. 21, 2008
4x4
Men's 65
590 posts
Concerning the DBO.

The way I read this it is any ball "striking" the pitcher. If the definition of "striking" is used it would mean a ball used to "attack" the pitcher - or "cause to collide" with the pitcher. This tells me that these are not balls that a pitcher would normally have a chance to field = they should be played out as they are now. These are the laser shots that hit the pitcher before he/she can react to the ball and thus become a DBO. As I see it any ball that a pitcher has a chance to field should be playable. The scary thing here is the Umpires will have to interpret this rule weeding out the pitchers that "take" or get to glancing blows to force the DBO to be called.

Without seeing the actual verbage it's difficult to access exactly what we are looking at here. There are many aspects to consider including the area near the pitchers "mound" that this should take place in. If a pitcher is moving in the direction he/she thinks the ball is going (side to side/backwards) all bets should be off.

If there is a DBO it should be basically an "unfieldable (if there is such a word) ball" that the pitcher is vunerable to and defenseless against.

In this context it would make sense. Headhunting should be a different interpretation/judgement by the Ump.
Jan. 21, 2008
audieh
Men's 60
240 posts
Pete, good to hear you are out there! I heard from a member of the senior advisory board that the 1 and 1 count and the 12 home run and a out rule were pre-decided and he was told that there would be no wasting of time and not to bring up these items. This being the case, it does not seem to me that the Summit organizations appreciate the time, effort and money spent by those on the advisory board.

Now, I am somewhat OK with the rule protecting the pitcher as I want everyone to go home safely. However, the 12 home run limit for major plus is a joke, especially when after the limit, it is an out. As one of my favorite characters said, "pity the poor fool," who plays third or first now!

By making the 13th home run and out (and bear in mind sometimes 12 home runs are hit in 2 to 3 innings) you are forcing the biggest bombers in the game to hit down! THIS IS A STUPID RULE . I repeat, THIS IS A STUPID RULE.

Seriously, if safety is what we are seeking then please have the foresight and repeal this rule before somebody is seriously hurt. Please listen to your seasoned major plus players as they know the game and are looking out for the good of all!
Jan. 21, 2008
Norq44
57 posts
I don't post very often, but on this subject I feel I must speak up. Having pitched at every level of senior softball over the course of the last nine years I feel qualified to speak. Actually I am left "speechless" by this DBO rule. This rule effectively takes the pitcher out of the game. We might as well have some kind of pitching machine out there. This rule means that I don't have a position to play anymore. I love pitching. I love to be hit at. It's exciting! I love to pitch in the wind. It's a challenge. I have been hit a few times, but only below the waist. I have always defended my upper half. I have only been "hurt" twice, both times in batting practice, and that was 20 years ago or better. All of this being said, I would not want to be pitching against ANY Major + players that are intentionally hitting the middle with the senior bats we are using these days. All Major + players are good to great hitters. All of them! Thus, I cannot endorse home run limits. ( actually I never did. ) In my opinion home run limits have ruined the game. There have always been other ways of controlling the percieved problems. The wider mat? I average one walk every two games anyway, so I don't like that one either. I do believe in the 1&1 count, I do believe that we don't need to see but one good pitch in slow pitch softball. So while I can live with the wider mat, I like the 1-1 count, I don't like the home run limits, and I can't even play with the DBO rule. I guess I won't be playing SSUSA softball. Makes me sad.
Jan. 21, 2008
4x4
Men's 65
590 posts
It seems pretty evident it's about getting games over with more than wringing/bringing out the very best level of competition. Both of these moves inhibit/stifle the competitive aspect of the game effectively snuffing out the flame.

As Audie has pointed out it's stupidity to limit home runs to 12 when at the highest levels that is a very easy number to reach. PLUS + + when the sights come down people are bound to get hurt DBO or no DBO. Clearly this is a "dumb and dumber" knee jerk attempt for "Safety???"(translated to more games = more $$$$$/profit).

The one and one count would be fine if we were given one foul to use. Otherwise stay with the 3-4 count.

If these rules are indeed installed the associations that install them are going to see a decline. What the Hell is there to aspire to?

LEAVE THE GAME ALONE AND LET THE PLAYERS PLAY - WE SPEND GOOD MONEY AND DESERVE THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY AGAINST THE BEST PLAYERS PLAYING THE BEST GAME AND COMPETITION NOT SOME DUMBED DOWN CONTRIVED/FORCED VERSION.

We already have the coed line at home and the orange bag at 1st base. Let us play the game the way it should be played between those foul lines. ASA is learning the hard way where the Senior money goes. It's hard to imagine Senior organization(s) committing suicide.
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