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Discussion: First Taste of PPR it was BITTER!

Posted Discussion
May 17, 2009
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
First Taste of PPR it was BITTER!
Michigan team playing first qualifier.We played 7 games of which the opposing team hit 23 shots back thru the middle (all these are just the ones below the top of the pitchers head) we hit 13 shots back thru the middle over the coarse of 7 games.No batters called out.except one of ours for a one hopper that the pitcher swiped at hit his glove,batter called out.The weather was cold and wet with a 30 mph gust coming straight in from LC field.We being major plus having to play all major teams and having only five HRS and give up runs,You have a situation were some pretty nasty hitters were left with few alternatives but to keep the ball down.(very scary stuff)These new rules SUCK,called inconsistently and unless you are blown up on the mound they can pound it at you all day long with no consequence unless your head gets knocked off.HR limits add to the problem.I would like the author of this bit of genius to pitch one of our games after we run out of HRS if they think this is safer.It is very easy to see why M+ is almost extinct,with the run rules and HR limits playing against lower rated teams is a waste of time and not any fun or worth the 25 to 30K we spend a year.This is my observation after one tourney as M+,I can only imagine the frustration of those that have been doing it for + years.This will be my last. After years of building a team to get to the M+ this your reward (we started AAA in 06)what a disappointment,reconsidering Midwest tourney for ISF World Cup.Will forfeit entree.Thanks for nothing.
May 18, 2009
wagon487
Men's 50
530 posts
I agree, between the hr limit and PPR, it's killing the game. The problem was that you had to play down. If you played Major + teams, would you have the same problem? Come down to salem, they are using senior bats and dudley advance balls. And you know how nice the fields are.
May 18, 2009
Michigan Vet
Men's 55
232 posts
Played in the Lansing Qualifier with Geckle this weekend. You are right the PPR ruke was not called the same by every umpire, it was very inconsistant.
But you guys did not hit at the pitcher, cant say the same for Motown Stars, they were hitting the middle with a 15 run lead in the last inning, our pitcher had enough and walked off the mound.

This was our first tournament as a Major team (after being moved up last year without winning anything). Its not fun going 0-5 and getting out hommered 19 to 2. We are a legit AAA team not a Major team.

Chuck #8
Mike Valerio/Pinnacle
May 18, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Any votes for getting rid of the special bats? It certainly would not hurt this situation. And would reduce
Seniors looking like a sideshow to the younger guys.
May 18, 2009
SLOBALL1
Men's 50
173 posts
Ray how'd you guys (Gekle) finish?

SLOBALL1
May 18, 2009
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
Leagues BLD Manteca uses PPR. Any line drive up the box (3'each side of mound, as high as arm length)from homeplate to centerfield fence is an out. There is a chalk marking the with of box, picther has 6' from rubber for release.

USSSA bats 44/375 ball. Play with the kids and no doubt not a clean bat to be seen. Youngers guys look like the sideshow, atleast with Seniors nonody's trying to fool anyone.
May 18, 2009
lectricman
8 posts
just played qualifier in brandford ct first trip to majors our pitcher got hit in arm with ball hit up middle while inside the pitchers box not tring to field ball moved arms to protect himself umpire wouldn't call batter out said player was tring to field ball pitcher now has cast on arm my opinion of the situation is most umpires in qualifiers are local and not up on the senior rules and this adds to the problem i also belief that if we are going to have the ppr take it out of the umpires hands make the rule non-arbitray if it goes through the box your out or get rid of it all togeather
May 18, 2009
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Sloball1 we finished 2nd came out of loser bracket lost first champ game 15-16 bottom of 7 to good Premiere team (55 M+) after spotting them 5 and 5 HR limit.Good game though.I have a question,if we are 50 M+ and we play 55 M+ should we get 8 HRS the same as what 55M+ usually get or should we both get five?Why 5 we are both M+ and neither of us use a 5 HR limit normally.Rarely do either of our teams get to take advantage M+ limits why not against each other.Wagon your argument is appealing.Chuck #8 I feel ya bro,had similar issue.You guys played us well but your right you are nice AAA team and should be playing there.Good Luck with that.I think if they are going to keep this ridiculous ppr thing they make a change in a hurry because they offer no liability protection with existing rule and would have a hard time defending it in court as a measure of safety or prevention.At the very least take Smokey 20 idea with defined lines on field if ball go thru hitting pitcher or not your OUT.Our pitcher (back up) was nearly blown up more than twice. This these rules Tuurrabule.AKA Charles Barley.

G-Men out
May 18, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
263 posts
Ray:
You are correct on the home run question. We (OLR Nighthawks) are a 55 M+ team. Half of us played you last year as Evolution. When we've played against 50 M+ this year it's been 8 HR's, not 5. The rule has been to use the lower of the 2 hr limits.
As for the PPR, everyone knows it protects nobody. It's really intended for two purposes, to deter hitting up the middle and to give SSUSA a possible defense in liability. In reality, the PPR does not achieve either objective. Hitting the ball where it's pitched is part of the game, including the middle. That doesn't mean intentionally at the pitcher. Lectricman, we've played 6 SSUSA tourneys this year and have had a different interpretation of the rule each time. Use of protective equipment mitigates the danger for the pitcher, and why should 1/3 of the field be closed, especially when the pitcher throws a pitch that is best hit to center? PPR (actually HPR - hitter punishment rule)still doing nothing.

Finally - Ray - hang in there man. You've got a great, class team that should be in the thick of it for 50 M+ this year. Don't let this stupid rule dictate your season. Our experience has been that even though it's worthless, it hasn't affected us that much.

Don Newhard
Manager - OLR Nighthawks
May 19, 2009
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Thanks Tate,Some of this stuff gets hard to swallow sometimes,to many inconsistencies from tourney to tourney,rule changes,not knowing the rules (TDS)stuff like that.I brought the HR question up to Asst. TD got wrong answer thanks for the right answer.

G-Men
May 19, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Ray,
The PPR and HR's as outs rules
go hand in hand.
They make the game simultaneously
less fun and more dangerous
and SSUSA should rescind them
immediately irrespective of whatever
position they have chosen
to adopt.
Everyone makes mistakes
and it's certainly no crime
but not moving to correct them is
especially when so much is at stake.
May 19, 2009
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
We recently had our first opportunity to play with the Pitcher Protection Rule in Indianapolis. I had two problems with it. One was interpretation and the second had to do with the effect of a call.

On first day of play the umpire on our field call every ball hit thru the pitcher's box a dead ball out. On the second day the umpires called it a dead ball out only if the ball hit the pitcher on a line drive whether or not it was caught. The inconsistencies need to be dealt with if we are to use this rule all year.

Secondly, in a tournament, if any ball hit thru the pitchers box is a dead ball out the rule can become counterproductive to its intended purpose. Our first day we saw three times a one hopper fielded by the pitcher with a man on first which could have been turned into a double play ruled a dead ball out. I would suggest, at the risk of complicating this rule further, that the benefit should not be to the offending team and that if a ball can be fielded by the pitcher to his teams advantage that the pitcher be allowed to complete the play.

I thought the rule was intended to protect the pitcher not benefit the hitter. I believe the rule properly enforced and followed is absolutely necessary if we are to play with it all year.

Bob Schulz
Travelodge
May 20, 2009
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Bob50, not that it makes it any better, but I met with all the umpires on Saturday morning in Indy to explain the rule and told them that this was the one that would eat their lunch because it is an officiating nightmare, in my opinion, but there have been other rules that I have not liked in the past that I have to uphold as an official. On Sunday we met again because of some of the complaints that I got about the day before on certain incidents to reinforce what SSWC expects of the officials. I know there was one (you were not on that field) that kept interjecting a personal reflection over the simple instructions that I gave, and as much time as I spent with him that I should have just done the games myself. I did end up doing the championship game on that field because of this; unfortunately I had to use the umpires that the park provided. There were 4 that were excellent, but that does not cover 6 fields. I also had one pitcher that was very upset because the umpire called it correctly as a DBO, but he was able to gain control of the ball, and then turned the double-play which of course was only the one out on the batter. What he was mad about was being robbed of the double play and he said that he came to play defensive pitcher, not just stand there, look pretty, and pitch.

There is something to be said for simple because umpires get in enough trouble as it is.
May 20, 2009
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
Nancy,

You and I spoke and I know you know the rule. Obviously the application of the new rule by the umpires is the issue. For this rule I would advise all managers at the time of the coin toss to review this with their umpire to make sure everyone understands how the umpire will be calling the PPR. The managers should then relay the rule as it will be called during the game to their players before the start to make sure there is no misunderstanding going in. It would eliminate a lot of the arguments that have resulted during the course of each game if this is done.

To make my point again, regardless of how an umpire intends to rule before the start of the game, managers should make certain that in the event a pitcher is able to field the ball it should not be ruled a dead ball out and that the pitcher be allowed to throw the hitter out or to turn a double play if that is available to him or her. This should be explained to the umpire before the start of the game during the coin toss.

Thanks Nancy. I think you did a great job in Indy.
May 20, 2009
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
The rule simply doe's not work!If you have to get your pitchers face blown up before there is a DBO.Than this rule is not a deterrent but a punishment after the fact.Pitcher still dead but batter is out,big deal.
May 20, 2009
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
Gekle,
Do you have some better ideas to suggest to SSUSA in order to replace the rule that currently exists?
May 20, 2009
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Bob50 yes I do.Close the pitching lane maybe a 3 ft. path up the middle period.Just because a pitcher is lucky enough to duck or lean out of the way of a shot up at his head why reward the batter with a hit.The way to deter players from hitting up the middle is to close it.Make couple lines on the mound,you hit between the lines up to arms reach of the pitchers head your out.More concise take away the guess work.Imagine a 82 1/2 in.x36 in. door opening on the mound,you hit thru it your out, simple.Or else just get rid of it all together.You ask that's my opinion.
May 20, 2009
Secret
Men's 60
34 posts
Increased Protection of the pitcher from balls hit up the middle could be as simple as playing 11 defensive players in all age divisions.

One player has to play "in the box". This is an area designated by a semi-circle no more than 10 ft within second base. The defensive player has to be within the box when the pitch is released.

The objective is to not have balls hit up the middle. It has been proven in upper age brackets that playing 11 defensive players, fewer balls tend not to be hit up the middle due to the middle man.

What happens if the player is not "in the box" and a ball is hit up the middle and hits the pitcher? Dead ball, walk. The defense is to protect the pitcher.

Other than that, play ball.
May 20, 2009
DesertDave
Men's 60
74 posts
The problem with the deadball out or walk is it punishes the good fielding pitchers. I would hate to see all those doubleplays lost on our team.
my $.02
May 20, 2009
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
DesertDave and Gekle,

I agree. Use Gekle's idea for an out in the pitching lane except don't take away from a good fielding pitcher when there is an opportunity for a double play. This may be a good compromise without altering the game drastically. The idea is better than a screen.
May 21, 2009
stick8
1318 posts
Bob50 I have a better idea for SSUSA. Get rid of the rule period!!
May 21, 2009
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2688 posts
I agree stick8, get rid of the rule. If a pitcher thinks he needs protection he'll wear shin guards, heart protector and a helmet.
May 21, 2009
stick8
1318 posts
Bruce it seems every tournament there is mass confusion regarding this rule and I don't forsee it getting any better. What I would do is get rid of the ultra's (and any bat of the like), use a decent ball and revert back to the previous hr rule. Pitchers are fielders!!
May 21, 2009
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2688 posts
Stick8, not allowing Ultras and other senior bats isn't the answer. If they were not approved then many would resort to using doctored bats. Honest players would be at a disadvantage!
May 21, 2009
stick8
1318 posts
Bruce do we really know that for certain? I would think that those 50+ would be grown up enough not to resort to that foolishness and risk getting suspended.
May 21, 2009
softball4b
Men's 60
765 posts
I have played this game for 38 years and yes there are players today that still try to get an advantage legal or illegal.Not as many, but too many that still do it because they think somebody else is doing. Not writing about anyone specifically, but in general.
May 21, 2009
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2688 posts
Stick8, Doctored bats are rampant in local utrip tournaments, however, I wouldn't think it would be as wide spread in senior ball. If only a few in senior ball decided to chance it and use an altered bat how happy would you be if they were your opponents? It only takes one to give an unfair advantage to someone.
May 21, 2009
stick8
1318 posts
Bruce I'm well aware of shaved bats in u-trip because I still play u-trip. If it happened in senior ball I'd be just as dissatisfied if not more with it as I am in utrip tourneys. Did you know in the conference you are not allowed to protest bats? It's a joke.
May 21, 2009
Omar Khayyam
1002 posts
The idea of altered bats drives me crazy! Why, oh why, would seniors think they need to cheat when they already have hot bats? I think the penalties should be draconian if an altered bat were discovered (and I would allow any manager to protest any bat).

For example: player discovered with an altered or illegal bat (like the original Miken) would:

1. Cause his team to forfeit all games to that point
2. Result in his expulsion from the rest of the tournament
3. If proven that he knowingly used an altered bat, would result in his suspension from senior ball for 1 year for first offense, lifetime for second.
4. Person who altered the bat (if not the batter) would receive same penalty: 1 year suspension, lifetime if a repeat violation after suspension.

Put some teeth in the penalties for cheating in this way. This goes way, way beyond stealing signs, letting an accidental scoring error in your favor stand without correction, using a non-roster player who is NOT an asset to your team (somebody's brother, for example) to avoid a forfeit, playing a younger player that the manager legitimately thought was older, etc.

I think the same penalties should apply to league play and tournaments for younger players, but I understand that they are enforced differently from association to association or from city to city.
May 21, 2009
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
I'm glad to see that this message board is back to sharing ideas for improvements and not just whining about the rules as they exist.

Would it be possible with regard to the hot issues--homes run limits and PPR to name two to allow the card carrying members of SSUSA as a whole to put the alternatives to a vote when the players attend a tournament? One vote per player for the year.

For instance for the PPR let the players vote to determine what alternatives would be favored most. As an example with regard to the player protection rule a multiple choice for a) Keep the rule as it exists, b) Use a screen, c) Call a dead ball out for any ball hit thru the pitchers box at a height of 7 feet or less, d) Modify the current rule to any ball not fieldable by the pitcher regardless of whether it is a ground ball or a line drive that hits the pitcher is a DBO, e) Eliminate the PPR completely.

Comments? Further ideas?
May 22, 2009
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2688 posts
Bob, you should start another thread with your choices!
btw, I'd pick e) Eliminate the PPR completely. Do we have to enter our SSUSA card number also? :)
May 22, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
What a fabulous discussion
and it's got some teeth in it.
Way to go guys and Nancy.
(Hi Nancy).
We can resolve this, the players
and friends,
and could have all along
had WE been charged to do so.
If we don't change what's going on,
that is,
heading to the " new" soft-ball panacea
we'll have lost our game
and SSUSA and others like it
will have lost us, for good.
While we've been "getting our stuff together" a powerful and indefatigable
few have been running with the ball
and almost running us and our game
into the oblivion.
I was right all along about what's going on and who's zoomin' who' and it's all a matter of record
but fixing it so we can play and have fun is much more important than taking credit of giving blame.
Say no to the new ball
and let's work it out to ensure
our game stays ours and fun to play
for us and SSUSA.


May 22, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I say change the pitcher rules
to give the pitcher more to work with,
back him up even more and make the plate/rubber bigger (create more angles)
which would give
more valuable time to react to a bullet being hit at him,
let the big boys take the ball deep
and give them reason not to hit down and through the middle just like Tim Millette
and I discussed or
go with screens in Seniors.
You can make each team responsible to bring a screen in good order
and check them before the game
just like you check the bats
and let's play ball and have some fun.

Don't worry Kevin and other marketers.
You can make money selling screens, too,
one's that stop the ball better
or more efficiently than others.
"Wire your screens with the new
safer, more resilient, Guylon,
like nylon but guaranteed to retain
it's elasticity in 100 degree weather".
May 22, 2009
Gary Heifner
248 posts
Hey Secret

What you said has been what I have been proposing for several years now on this board. Not only will it discourage middle hitting, it will provide an opportunity for another player, who is spending the money, the chance to play.
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