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Discussion: HEADFIRST SLIDING

Posted Discussion
May 3, 2008
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
HEADFIRST SLIDING
Got a couple Questions on sliding headfirst and running bases and team attiitude.
1. Do you think it would inspire your team to see 1 of your guys slide headfirst????
2. I.ve noticed in senior ball player gets a base hit and slowly jogs to first base instead of running hard and looking to take extra base; what is your opinion on that?????
3. what in your opinion (besides good offense and defense) makes up a winning team???

No big deal --- just wondering what someone elses opinion is on these subjects------------

SB
May 4, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
No one it is stupid to slide in head first and #2 I believe it is illegal to do so.

#2 - Your right in the older div but I don't see that in the younger div unless the player knows he is not a good runner and takes no chances.

IMO it would be Chemistry and a good defense. (I am assuming that everyone has offense)
May 4, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
No. One it is stupid to slide in head first and #2 I believe it is illegal to do so except in sliding back to a base..

#2 - Your right in the older div but I don't see that in the younger div unless the player knows he is not a good runner and takes no chances.

IMO it would be Chemistry and a good defense. (I am assuming that everyone has offense)
May 4, 2008
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
FRED-----thanks for input--and with all due respect i think maybe you have forgotten exciting part of game as far as sliding goes-----sliding is illegal in most league play----but not in most tournaments i have played in. At least on West coast. i also notice alot of men LOB due to lack of hustle and not taking extra base or should i say ---not wanting to take a chance. i guess base to base is part of the game also and i respect that. 3 more hits and u score if no DP. where as 1 hit and no chance of DP scores man from second. In all my 35+yrs of playing this game i dont think I've ever been called stupid for sliding head first or even heard anybody else call someone stupid for sliding this way. Might of been a stupid trying to take the extra base depending on game situation. I respect your opinion and wish you well in all your games to come. TC

SB
May 4, 2008
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2619 posts
1. Some are inspired by a headfirst slide, not me. I'm thinking that the slider is taking a big chance (espcicially at our age) of gettng hurt. If it's the last game of a BIG tournament I might see it, in a qualifier or rr game, no.
2. I look at the guy that hits a single to the outfield and just trots to first as not helping his team as much as he could. By hustling out of the box and taking advantage of a bobbled ball by the outfield and making it to second, you are taking the double play option away from the defence.
3. As for a winning team, I am comparing a winning team to a sucessful team. Teammates, coaches and sponsors must agree to have the same commitment and dedication as everyone else. Everyone needs to enjoy playing with each other and do what needs to be done for the enjoyment of everyone. If enjoyment means win, eveyone needs to know that. The expectations of all needs to be addressed.
May 4, 2008
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
BRUCE-------thank you for input----Very well put -----I respect your opinion and understand your opinion on this subject of sliding. I've even had my manager come up to me before tournaments and caution me or sliding headfirst. Its the only way i"ve ever played and have never (knock on wood) been hurt yet. Afraid if i go about it any differently thats when i will hurt myself. ----if i came home with a clean uniform afraid wife would accuse me of being else where-----lol----Again thank you Bruce ---stay health and play well ----Point well taken

SB
May 4, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
I would have to say that seeing a teammate slide head first just might inspire me... or just taking an extra base with any slide (head first or otherwise).
Good chemistry, good fundamentals, timely hitting and defense are all necessary ingredients for a winning team.
Fred, why do feel that it's stupid to slide head first? Is it because you feel that it's illegal to slide? Not as smart as sliding feet first? Or is it the injury factor?
I cannot recall a tournament in which sliding was illegal (except for 1st base and home)... even ASA allows it.
BW
May 5, 2008
Downs
49 posts
Bones: it is each player's personal decision as to how hard he wants to play the game. I started playilng fastpitch in an organized youth travel league when I was 8 years old and now play senior slowpitch @ 71. As an Officer with ASA I unsuccessfully legislated to get the headfirst slide prohibited for the following reasons. 1. We played in a benefit fastpitch tournament with the proceeds going to a 22 year old father of two that slid head first into second base and while sliding the second baseman stepped between his outstretched arms to complete a double play and the slider's head struck the second baseman's ankle. He broke his neck was was totally paralyzed from the neck down. 2. While serving as the UIC for the NCAA Div. 1 woman's fastpitch, a young FSU lady player slid headfirst into home plate and her head rammed into the catcher's shinguards. I was an Asst Fire Chief and fortunately, one of my paramedics was in the stands and rendered first aid until the ambulance arrived. She was out for the year but did come back to play the following year.
Therefore, my question is just how hard you want to play and personally, I'm all for sliding, but prefer to see players slide feet first as it's just a game and not worth a serious injury. Professionals, well that's different. Baseball and football require full out ability or they lose their job. Further, us old guys don't bend according to my orthopedic doctor, we break. Lots of luck, however you elect to slide. Jim
May 5, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
Bones: I am not saying sliding is illegal just sliding head first is illegal.
May 5, 2008
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
Wood: It is the injury factor which I guess is why they made it illegal.
May 5, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
Fred, it isn't illegal for us (60+) and it wasn't for the 50 or 55 divisions either. Perhaps it is illegal at some point beyong the 60 division.
As far as the injury factor goes... I guess it depends on one's definition of serious injury. Obviously, the examples cited by Downs would be perceived as serious in anyone's book. However, sliding head first to break up 2 is rare (is it even effective?) and we cannot slide into home plate (shin guards).
I have seen several broken ankles, etc, caused by feet first slides... the most that I have personally witnessed with head first slides are jammed fingers, knee abrasions, skinned palms, etc.
Different people will view it in different ways... we have this very big galoot on our team (6' 4', 270 lbs) that goes in head first... of course, it usually requires some serious field maintenance immediately following. We have several others that slide rather nicely (feet first)... they're the ones with sore butts (strawberry).
BW
BW
May 5, 2008
4Four4
Men's 60
82 posts
Bones - Have seen many more guys hurt more seriously over-running bases than sliding in - especially when there is a play at the plate and not enough room between the scoring line and the backstop to slow down....chain links & poles don't give.....condition of the field and importance of the game provide the risk-reward rationale.
May 5, 2008
4x4
Men's 65
592 posts
After breaking an ankle sliding feet first years ago when I slide it's about 4-1 for head first. It's a lot easier to heal up a hand or arm than to fracture multiple bones in a leg.

Last year one of my team mates remarked they were giving donkey tours of the area after I slid (like the Grand Canyon) - but I made it and in made the difference in the team continuing on in the tournament. I'm not a small guy either.

Personally I think we should be allowed to slide in more tourneys. To change up from tourney to tourney, to me, seems to increase the risk of injury. Late slides, coaches calling too late for a slide, etc.

In some cases for s sure out it's better to forego and give up the out than slide. Hustle to 1st in order to advance is an elementary part of the game unless someone is hurt and has to stop at 1st. Lazy base running only hurts the team.

In Tucson in the championship games two or three of my team mates broke up double plays sliding so we could continue to score. That's playing ball.
May 5, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Stupid, Fred?
Rickey Henderson, the greatest base stealer of ALL TIME
and in my lifetime, the most dangerous offensive hardball player
I've ever seen,
slid head first, exclusively.
I find that guys that do stuff like this, like
diving for balls, sliding head first, going all out to win
are the most important players on the field
as they raise the level of all players by their passionate involvement.
May 6, 2008
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
Great reply's to this post. I respect and appericate each and everyone---
WOOD---all i can say is you need to bat me after that big Galoot you were talking about because we would have 1 hell of a trench dug buy the time we got done running the bases. Always liked your style of play in the old days and see you still have that fire and desire to win playing the game hard. I like you --have seen more ankles and legs broken by late feet first slides (which is a pretty slide when done correctly) Skinned up elbows is all i've ever had ---the beauity of that is mixing a little blood with the dirt on your shirt---kind of feels like your in the game----sort of speaking.
EINSTEIN-----Very well put and my exact feelings on pumping up your team. I have seen the results of these almost forgotten or banned aspects of the game win way more games then have ever been lost. Being aggressive is good ----being smart and agressive wins games
DOWNS---With all due respect---its true it is a players personal desicion on how hard he wants to play the game. i agree conpletely. But i feel if he has to think about how hard he wants to play then that takes away from the team. if he plays to the best of his ability--what more can u ask.
PLEASE dont ever ever take sliding out of the Tournament play as it has in some association already. League play i can except that and understand(even thou i dont agree) this is where the players that still enjoy the game and love to play should and do play---but keep competitive tournaments competitive with whats left of go old school softball.---------- tc ----stay healthy and play well.
4FOUR4& 4x4------thanks for reply ---and input ---points taken and thank you for support
take care and stay health
SB
May 6, 2008
cpope
Men's 60
160 posts
Being 61 and playing for a loooong time, From 15 to 25, I slid feet first, keep shinning my skinny knees. Went to head first until 57, my team mates always got a boost when I ended up at second or third on my belly. My uniforms never stayed clean. I think it can pick up a team. But from 57 to 61 I have abusived my body long enough. Altho I still will dive after a ball or two. I try to remain on my feet while running the bases. But, Hey chit does happen and much to the wifes dismay, sometimes I end up on the ground. And now a days the fields are darn HARD.

Hi Bruce, long time no see.
May 7, 2008
surf88
Men's 60
862 posts
Was glad I pulled this up today. Not sure where Fred got his info but I've been sliding all my life and still slide head first when I feel it is the quickest way to get to the bag. Not being a power hitter, I have to rely on speed and clean slides to beat the throw or break up a double to keep the team alive.

Hustle was how we were taught in the 60's and I believe it really helps a team to success. In South Carolina, if you didn't run in and out every time, you sat down.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts. It made me think about some things I had not really thought of earlier.

Hope your doing well Charlie. Come see us in Colorado!!

E. Andrews
May 8, 2008
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
well i'm with ya charlie and ed,i use my speed :):) to get to first and stay there.i used to do head first as a youngster but with a couple of shoulder prol's i decided if i can't make it standing up i don't go.i did slide about 5 times last yr,but only in big tourney's.
May 8, 2008
Sisavic
134 posts
It's time to confess my most embarrassing softball moment.

I was taking an extra base going to 3rd because the SS muffed the relay when my (stern, but loveable) manager indicated "Slide! Slide!" I knew I was in trouble.

I learned the game in NYC concrete school yards, and never slid min my life. But, because of my manager's "sternness" I slid headfirst hoping not be balled-out.

My slide was beautiful with a big cloud of dust and dirt. I heard the ump yell, Safe!" I felt great! But it didn't last.

When the dust settled, EVERYONE noticed my outstretched fingers were 4" from 3rd base. It was the loudest "You're out!" I ever heard.

At our year-end team party, I was awarded the Super Slider - a vest with small training wheels attached at the chest area.

So, now you know how to identify me on the field. Look for the bright orange Super Slider vest!
May 9, 2008
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
SISAVIC-------I applaud your adventrure and will be looking for 1 of a kind vest you won for your gallen slide-----
And yes i will admit to coming up short a couple of times myself---Very very lonesome feeling being so close but yet so far
Then theirs the slide on wet ground ----where your chest stops and your feet want to go over your head---have done that a couple of times ----you'd think i would of learned the first time ---lol ---believe me i know better now--lol
The one i always remenber happened about 30 yrs ago and i will never forget it. This is when you could slide in at home plate-----Playing a team called Capital Instalation in tournament----they had a catcher named Frank Rodriquez--- big boy i would guess 280 to 320lbs---me 170 to 180lbs---coach waving me around 3rd base ---on deck hitter yelling down down ---just as i dive headfirsts i see him kneel down in front of plate 3rd base side -------flash goes though brain and it sez'z this is BAD-----WELL HANDS HIT HIS LEG AND FOLDED UP LIKE OLD NEWSPAPER---HEAD AND SHOULDERS HIT BODY AND STOP DEAD -----I LOOK UP AT HIM WITH MY HEAD IN HIS LAP AND HE SEZ TO ME-----NOT ON MY WATCH----LOL
well anyways thanks for your input love your attitude and know where your coming from---------play well and stay health
SB
May 10, 2008
cpope
Men's 60
160 posts
I even felt thru the years you might get the close call when you slide head first.

The real reason I (Use to) slide head first I got a lot more padding on my belly than my legs. You should see my legs now, Battle scars forever. :)
May 11, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
I had not seen this guy (Bones) for 30 years or so. Well, he played with us today in a non-sliding senior league. He dove for at least 4 balls in a 7 inning game... I would not want to do his laundry... and he's lying about the 170 pounds... perhaps back then he really was 170... but he's more than a cab ride from it now... still, I am impressed with his love for the game.
Now that I've seen him again after all of this time, I went back and re-read his posts on this thread. The man plays very hard and it was/is apparent to him that not everyone else did/does. Some guys pick their spots of when to dive (usually not in a local senior league) and still others never dive for a ball.
I recognize that the primary emphasis in this thread is about sliding head first. We can't slide in our local leauge so I focused my comments on diving for batted balls... after all, he's the initiator of this post.
One of his original questions was 'do you think that it would inspire your team'... I would say 'yes' to that, Sonny.
However, in order to play this game a lot longer and at least similar to how you've always played it , you might consider picking your spots. I have had to deal with the same concept for various and sundry reasons... knees, hip, back, etc.
It's a bit like a theoretical pipeline... you can decide if you want a thick one that only goes a few miles (years) or a thinner one that lasts indefintely... clearly, this analogy needs some work but it helps a bit. Whichever choice you make is fine by me as I enjoy playing with people that really do give a damn... just don't get lost again for 30 years again. :-)
Big Frank (Rodrigues) will be happy that you remembered him and particularly excited that you remembered his line... he had/has a million of them... and you had the correct weight range for him... leaning toward the upper number.
Stay well.
BW
May 12, 2008
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
THE WOOD----
After looking up the word theoretical and giving this a bit of consideration-------i will be the THICK ONE. Reason for this choice is simple----Ineed to get to where you and i would think most of the senior players on this site have already been to.That is playing with/against the best of the best and playing in world/national etc. championship tournaments. Being a late addition to all this senior play and being very lucky to be picked up and given a chance to play By So. Cal Gusto60 and a great bunch of guys( thank you Larry S.) is a beginning . Must chase the dream ----sort of speaking. Dont expect most people to understand. Dont even know if i have the talent to play with/against the best of the best. But i do know i have the desire and hustle and what will be will be. I like most conpetitive players love this game and all i can do is use what Junks in the trunk to get.their. Might blow a head gasket(heart) or take out a tire(knee-leg)---in that case its the THIN one. But until then its dirty laundry for me. Thats my opinion on enjoying whats left of my lifes adventure. think i'd better shut up before someone calls me a head case--lol-- have in fun at 61
Bob thanks for support and saturdays game ball was appericated----checking out CAB RIDE comment as i sit here---lol
SB
May 12, 2008
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
SCOT TAITS------A SPECIAL THANKS TO YOU FOR BELIEVING IN ME AND DRAGGING ME--SORT OF SPEAKING TO THE 90 MPH WINDS OUT OF THE NORTH BRENTWOOD TOURNAMENT--WAS A TOUGH TO PLAY IN TOURNAMENT. THAT WAS MY START IN CONPETITIVE TOURNAMENT SOFTBALL. YOU WERE THE ONLY PITCHER WHO WON A GAME FOR US. HOW YOU CONTINUED TO THROW STRIKES IN THAT GAME WAS AMAZING. ONLY PITCHER IVE EVERY SEEN WITH A 2 FOOT BREAKING PITCH ----LOL---WIND ASSISTED BUT ON THE MAT. THANKS FOR LESSON ON ATTITUDE. SOME PEOPLE MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND BUT THATS THEIR PROBLEM. PLAY WELL STAY HEALTH AND HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN. THANKS AGAIN TAITS
FRIEND DOWN SOUTH
SB
May 12, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
Sonny, your response isn't exactly a shocker... maybe it's the old dawg and new tricks thing... :-) you have to do things the way that you feel they best suit you... for what it's worth, I have come to realize that 'picking your spots' is easier said than done... I mean that you can mix in the thinner pipeline and all but, when you really need to dive, it may not be there (the mental reflex)... essentially it becomes difficult to turn it back on... for most, this is a small price to pay for the privilege of continued particiaption.
As far as getting to 'the place that you think that most of the senior players have been'... most really haven't been there as the major + division is the extreme minority... but this doesn't really mean much because MOSTplayers enjoy playing at whatever level they are on... I wouldn't make too much of this part of things... just enjoy the ride wherever you are... besides not ALL of the guys that have played major + enjoyed it all that much... if they had, there would be more guys playing at that level.
Again, it's very refreshing to see players that really do care about it...
:-)
BW
May 13, 2008
beachbum
Men's 50
23 posts
This is not the exact same thing but is is along the same lines. I am one of the pitchers for out team. The other day I had a hard grounder of the glove and it bounced out in front of me, after tracking in down I had only one play and that was to grab and throw in one motion. The problem with that was I came down on my knee and landed awkward. It was a that point I realized WHAT AM I DOING. I'm not 25 and heal as quickly as I once did. Why purpose did it serve to get the runner out and get hurt in the process. I'm here to get exercise and to enjoy myself not be put in traction. Did it inspire my team, probably but how long does that last. Sorry I just don't think it is worth the possibility of injury.
May 13, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4318 posts
beachbum,
I'd say it is somewhat relevant. But that was also playing with dedication to the team playing your position to the best of your ability and not thinking about it at that time. As a pitcher, it is what makes the difference between one who just pitches, or moves about covering the bases in case of a bad throw or coverage period, as well as going for the out as you seen to have done. Far too many guys just pitch but do not do anything more.
But true, nothing to do with a head first of legs first slide...I do it both ways.
May 13, 2008
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
BEACHBUM-----I wasnt going to comment anymore on the sliding---diving ---or playing hard. And this will mostly be my last comment on subject. I applaud your effort and iam sure your TEAM MATES do also. You did what you were suppose to do--- make the play---Very sorry you were hurt in the process and hope you a speedy recoverer. You have 9 guys playing behind you that count on you to play to the best of your ability(which you did). Nobody wants to see you get hurt. But no matter what kind of rules they make getting hurt is a chance you take everytime you step on the field. You can step on crack in sidewalk and twist ankle---bend over to pick newspaper up and trek back. i think what you did was a instant reflex from years of playing the game and how can you fore see getting hurt. If you have read the many many opinions and comments on this tread you will see many different thoughts on playing the game. From being--- stupid to-- picking your spots--depending on importants of game ---to game situation--to inspiring your team mates.-- to going down and dirty--or staying up and clean. Many different styles of play. All are worth putting in memory bank and respected opinions. anyways again i applud your play and sincerely wish you a speedy recoverer. take care and thanks for input.
SB
May 21, 2008
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Since diving dangerous? I suppose.

Is sliding dangerous? Sure, I guess.

If the runner goes head first will anyone be hurt besides him? Probably not.

So who is anyone else to legislate how he plays the game?
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