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Discussion: bats & balls

Posted Discussion
Oct. 13, 2009
neck10
476 posts
bats & balls
why all the fuss over bats & balls if you would have read the rules for vegas you would have seen if both teams agree you can use the screen for pitcher prtection the screen doesnt keep you from hitting middle it alows you to go there while not hurting anyone .we souldnt be so mochoe & use the screen all the time its safe doesnt slow the game down ,I think it helps pitchers as well as hitters.
Oct. 13, 2009
neck10
476 posts
in vegas one game the pitcher could not see the ball come off the bat if there would have been a screen pitcher would have been safe.
Oct. 13, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Neck 10.
Great point.
Masks and screens
won't take the fun out of our game.
Oct. 13, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Yes sir, now that's the answer. Let's make the infield look like a miniature golf course, and pitchers look like hockey goalies, just so insecure old men can use other people's R&D to hit balls when they are in the 50s and 60s like they probably couldn't in their 20s and 30s.

What a joke!
Oct. 13, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
259 posts
Dirty:
I get your point about screens on the field, but there is no shame in using legal and available protective equipment. The game is not altered, but serious injuries can be prevented and middle hitting can continue as it should. Injuries from batted balls can and do occur whether struck by a single wall bat or an Ultra II. I don't care if protective equipment is mandated or optional, it's the best solution to the safety question. Who cares if the pitcher looks like a goalie, if at 50+ years he feels safer AND goes after everything hit his way, more power to him. Good gloves up the middle deter middle hitting, who wants a 1-3 in the soore book?
Oct. 13, 2009
OTE24
Men's 65
122 posts
As a hockey goalie pitcher I love the bats ,balls and the challenge of the middle. Hit it where you want,I'll make my best effort to get you out.
However, my shinguards protected my leg from being broken last month in
Foutain Valley(ball skipped off front
rubber,hit dead on the shin). My helmet
gave me the protection I needed in a sun game in Vegas. Might look silly,but
I never hear anyone discussing the merits of wearing a cup. Or is that too much protection? See you guys in Phoenix.
Oct. 13, 2009
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
When all is said and done, the screen is safer than armoring up. Doesn't change the batter's hitting. Faster game when pitcher doesn't have to put on mask. Better when pitching into the sun (it isn't only the face that can hurt when hit by a liner).

I'd argue for reducing the high tech bats and balls, but I fear that argument is not going to prevail with home run lovers (some for the first time in their playing career) and the investment by thousands in Ultra 2s for example.

Also, screen doesn't stop pitcher from being a contributing fielder. I still get most popups, slow rollers, and back up every base. If a pitcher really doesn't want the screen, just turn it vertical to the plate and it bothers no one.
Oct. 13, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
259 posts
John:
As for the cup, that may be too much information! Glad you mentioned the Fountain Valley league and your near-miss injury. For everyone's benefit, this is a 50+ league in Fountain Valley, CA, where the city dictates the lowest tech, deadest ball you've ever seen along with single wall bats. I've got 30-year old DeBeer 212's livelier than the Fountain Valley ball. Still, good fielding pitchers like OTE 24 deal with shots up the middle that can do serious damage. Point being is that muffling the balls and bats won't make that much difference in the risk factor, but protective equipment will. Omar K, I think the screen can have it's place, especially in sun situations but I'd prefer the "armor up" option for tournament play.

Don Newhard
Oct. 14, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Tate, I agree there is no shame in protecting yourself. I just don't want to see it become mandatory. Each pitcher can assess his own risk.

Omar, you are absolutely correct. Guys who can now hit homers for the first time ever thanks to someone else's R&D will never give up their ego trips.
Oct. 14, 2009
OTE24
Men's 65
122 posts
Omar,
Interesting you bought up the screen.
The game in Vegas I was referring to, the sun was directly in the eyes of the pitcher. The TD would have let us use the screen,but both pitchers had to agree. I wanted it, the other guy
didn't. Went to my bag got my helmet.
There are TD's who hear the concerns
of the players and the gentleman from
BRL(Russ?) did a great job at the 55
fields. Vegas could solve the problem
with sun screens behind the backstops at Lorenzi. John
Oct. 14, 2009
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
OTE24, pitching while looking directly into a low sun has always been dangerous and spooked many a pitcher. But as others on these threads have pointed out, ball speed has so increased with the high tech bats that it is now potentially deadly. A hit to the eye, to the bridge of the nose, to the temple (which some masks don't cover), to the back of the head while turning away, to the throat can all kill! Why would any TD not DEMAND that sun screens be erected behind home, or games shifted to other fields, or postponed until the sun is not a problem, or require the use of a pitching screen. Failure to not enact any of these is just asking for a lawsuit in the inevitable crippling injury or death.

And even armored up, an unseen shot out of the sun to the gut, the hand, the knee, the groin, the forearm can result not just in pain but permanent damage.

The pitching screen is the simplest solution and does not require messing with the schedule. I propose that any pitcher can request a screen whenever he is blinded by the sun. If the other pitcher doesn't want it, the requiring pitcher or his team can remove it for the other half of each inning.

And I am also aware that on many fields, some infielders are equally blinded by the sun at times. In those cases, a screen is ludicrous, and play should just be halted or moved to another field.

I don't propose this as a requirement for fields where the sun is in the batter's eyes. These occasions make for ridiculous games (1-0 usually), but at least there is no danger to the batter and rarely for the catcher since so few get on base to result in a throw home. My best day as a pitcher was when I struck out 8 batters in such a game. And I well remember the TD who was praised for calling off such a ridiculous situation and rescheduling the game to another field (not as well prepped and shorter fences, but everyone was pleased).
Oct. 14, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
678 posts
Everyone made good points and the usual comments, but the non-safety by SSUSA is not completely their fault, not that anyone said it was, but I am saying it to a point. The pitcher protection rule is garbage. I have been forced to play or forfeit with the sun in my eyes, and the other team(BRL) wanted to play anyway. They could not see any better than me. They just laughed when I asked them. I had to pitch the ball for about 3 innings, and after the pitch, I turned my back, covered my head, and ducked or ran to first base to help out there. I felt like a moving target ready to be hit. LOL! Also, when my catcher threw the ball down to 2nd base after my warmups, both 2b and SS ran away, because they could not see. Our catcher had to roll the ball down to me after each pitch. I went to the umpire before the game started and asked to wait till I could see, and he said no, because we have to keep the games on schedule. I guess it does matter if you might die, just keep the games on time. I then went to the Director for help, and he said it was the umpire's decision.

Yes, SSUSA is the responsible party here, but it was my supidity to play, because I did not want to forfeit or let my team down. Of course, if the other team agreed with me, the umpire and Director would have had no choice but to wait. As stated above, I should take the responsibilty on my own to wear protective gear. I have invested in shin guards, and will start wearing them soon. To this day, I have never worn any protective gear, and have been hit on the shins a few times. When I realize that I need to wear a mask, then I will not pitch anymore. As far as a screen, forget it. A screen would not have protected my 2B or SS in the above situation. I am strongly going to make an effort to wear shin guards, but if it impedes my play, then I will not. All of my friends that pitch, said it does not, and they even bat with them on. I will give it a try this week.

Just my opinions!

Andy Smith,
Manager/Coach
Double Nickels
Oct. 14, 2009
Mr. Manassas
223 posts
I can see your point on the sun in the pitchers eyes. I am a pitcher. I have slowly begun the process of armoring up. I now wear hockey shin guards when I am in the field and am considering head gear. I agree the "hit the pitcher "rule is of no value and I do not want the batter to avoid the middle. It would seem that the screen would be the safest option by far. I am not sure that all TDs could move games without disrupting the tournament and believe that some people are more affected by the sun than others. There is not an easy answer...
Oct. 15, 2009
neck10
476 posts
our game in vegas was stopped because the batter couldnt see the ball.then when the pitcher couldnt see the ball the next day almost took an act of congress to halt the game.at least with the screen you know you are not going to get hurt while pitching when you cant see ball off the bag,its a great idea for pitcher to make the call on screen you would not be very smart not to use screen when its availible..
Oct. 15, 2009
neck10
476 posts
mr. Manassas where do you get the protection equitment.I talked to Rickey from MTC in georgia but his are just pads which will help but I was looking for light shin gaurds?????
Oct. 15, 2009
Mr. Manassas
223 posts
Neck10,

I got the hockey shin guards on sale at the end of the hockey season at a store called Models. I found them to be better at true protection of the knees/shins than just a soccer type of pad. I take them off when I hit. they are held on with velcro and come off and on pretty quick. I was motivated to to this because I have just recently had both knees replaced.
Oct. 15, 2009
Doctor J
Men's 50
6 posts
as i read through comments on player safety, bats and balls, and home run limits...an obvious thought comes to me; why are players over 50 using such explosive bats and balls!? i mean, we are 50 for christ's sake! as much as i hate to admit it...i don't have the reflexes of a 25 yo. but even if i did, they would be no match for the technology. i just don't understand the fascination with home runs, especially with the equipment we are allowed to use. the easy solution to all of these issues is to go back to bats and balls that are similiar in performance to the original wood bats and leather covered balls. no athletic event is free of risk, but this would certainly eliminate the needless danger associated with our current equipment. we could then do away with home run limits and simplify our classification system. we could once again take the field with the knowledge that our risk of significant injury or death was within that expected for a recreational sport.
Oct. 15, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
678 posts
Doctor J,

Your comments are well taken. I play in some tournaments where only single wall bats and decent softballs are allowed. It really levels the playing field, where you can play a team one level above you or below you, and anyone has an equal chance to win. Under those conditions, you may be able to have just 2 skill levels with the usual age brackets, or 3 levels. This would yield more teams at tournaments in the higher level, and no change in the other levels.

I will admit that I do enjoy the pop off the bat of an Ultra II. I think the majority does as well. You mentioned the home run fascination. Only those Major Plus players can answer that, and some of the Major players. When I was younger, I got to play in those elite levels, but found it to be boring after a few tournaments. I evetually went to playing in the lower level, and never regreted doing so. It was like you said, a home run derby or something you could do at a batting practice. Obviously, a lot of players like that, and that is why they are Major Plus players, but cannot draw enough teams at smaller tournaments. You cannot have it all.

Sometimes I think it might be a good idea to go back to playing AA ball and enjoy a good old fashioned game of softball and have fun doing it. Tommy, where are you when I need you? LOL! I have played enough competitive ball, and have no real need or want to play in the higher levels, just because I want to know that I can. It is just not a priority in my life. Getting out there for the weekend with a bunch of guys in a relaxed atmosphere, enjoying the fresh air, and knowing that you will get to play 5 games is good enough for me.

Hey, in about 10 years, I will not remember much about this anyway or care , but I will remember the good times I had with good friends, not whether we played AA or Major Plus, or whether we won or lost. Guess I am getting off the subject here, so that is all I have to say for now.

Just my opinions!

Andy Smith,
A Player
Oct. 15, 2009
OTE24
Men's 65
122 posts
Omar- You're right.
Manassas and Neck- I use a smaller 12/13 year old shinguards with the pad above the knee cut off. No loss of quick. Soccer shins and pads don't cut it.
Andy, you will never be just a player.
You bring more to the table than that.
Icing softballs? Anyone told E and D?
John
Oct. 15, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
i have a set of the 15" hockey shin guards myself(i should of got the 13 or 14 inch ones for me,as i'm only 5'10")and they are a touch to long for me.if anyone would like them(in good shape)$40 shipped.

guys on the sun in the pitchers eyes,you tell the ump that you'll hold him responible for any injuries along with the TD b/c for making you play in dangerous conditions,(lawsuit type).it is thier responiblity to provide safe conditions to play in.would they let you play in a downpour or lighting storm.
Oct. 15, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Nice to see that Doctor J COMPLETELY undertands the issue.
Oct. 16, 2009
neck10
476 posts
dirty my point is no bats or balls will make up for lost reflexes,so why not try the screen I have used it and love it especially when playing against players with less skills & dont have a clue where the ball is going when they hit it,also it alows the good player to hit middle & not hurt anyone.you can hit a plastic wiffle ball with a tree limb hard enough at someone 60 feet away to hurt them.the only other sure fire way to prtect the pitcher is for it to be an inning ending out if you hit pitcher if you go there twice when you come to bat inning over........
Oct. 16, 2009
neck10
476 posts
mad dog where did you get the guards
Oct. 16, 2009
Mr. Manassas
223 posts
I also have the 15" hockey shin guards and they are perfect...they fit ove my knee which I need to protect. I purchase them at a store called Models on the east coast.
Oct. 16, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
neck i got them off ebay,search for hockey shin guards.i just went there and got the shorter ones(these are just a tad to long for me) for me so i'm gonna get rid of these,they are used(not by me).they are in good shape still,just to long for me.


just reread your first post,the prol is if one team doesn't want to use it,it doesn't get used from what i've read here.personally i don't like a screen for games,but that is me.in a sun situation,i would refuse to pitch and tell the ump he would be sued if he forced us to play in dangerous conditions like that.
Oct. 16, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
"dirty my point is no bats or balls will make up for lost reflexes,so why not try the screen "

For the same reason that when a professional fighter loses his reflexes he doesn't get to wear headgear, or when a cornerback loses his he doesn't get to make the wide receiver run his routes backward.

When you lose something and cannot perform anymore you move elsewhere, or move on. No shame in that, just the reality.
Oct. 16, 2009
Mr. Manassas
223 posts
Coming up with a way to make a game a little safer can't be bad!!!! I am as competitive as the next guy and dare say as coordinated as most but some combinations of equipment make it a little scarry out there.
Oct. 16, 2009
WOW
197 posts
Good to see so much discussion on the use of the screen.
Oct. 16, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Not sure I want to say that making the infield look like a miniature golf hole is a good thing.

And yes it is the equipment causing most of this ruckus, but strange as it might be people would rather address everything but the root cause.
Oct. 16, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
Pitcher Protection rule... one bad rule that is an afterthought for something that may occur.
Whether or not it stays we should know in about 2 months, after the summit or injury by then.
What about since it is for the PITCHERS protection, let him and him alone decide his extent of protection he feels he needs. Be it nothing, pads mask or screen or all of it... After al,l he is the one at risk in the end.
I do not like the effect of having a batter called OUT for hitting the guy or a DBO. But protection is to prevent not to punish. Perhaps even go to using a screen and if hit, it becomes a do over. Also known as a Mulligan. Now we have the mini golf coming in to please Dirty, lol
As for 1st and 3rd, (2nd & SS too) they are at least 15 feet further back so they have more time to react if paying attention or reflexes are in tune. We all get bad hops and with them you never know.
If they make buying protection mandatory, like some rules, it is only going to do more harm to the game we came to play.
Our (pitchers) body, should be out choice on what we care to use.
If that make it one team using a screen and another not, so be it. A poorly though out rule that is not used in any way, shape or form consistently even in the same tournaments when needed.
Just another PPR (piss poor rule) thought on it.

Oct. 16, 2009
grumpy55
Men's 60
102 posts
If most associations went to this 52/275 ball, Would everyone take up bocci ball or badminton or would we still continue to play with the bats we have now and enjoy the game we have played for so long?
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