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Discussion: New PPR & Middle rule

Posted Discussion
Dec. 4, 2009
jolly52
Men's 55
49 posts
New PPR & Middle rule
I know this has been discussed on SSUSA took out the PPR rule and added the middle ground rule but if the umps had a hard time seeing and enforcing the "BOX" how are they going to get an area 24"??? if the pitcher moves a inch or to upon release he's already off the rubber...Since the PPR is gone they should rethink the new pitching rubber rule and just put it back before the PPR rule and just lets play like we use to...jmo
Dec. 4, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
It will take another year for them to consider it.
Dec. 5, 2009
LP
293 posts
only thing i can think of is none of the SSUSA staff has never pitched a slow pitch softball game, for they dont seem to realize that the pitcher wants to play their position also, make outs, turn double plays, be part of the defense. what the SSUSA staff is doing is making the pitching position and inept position. its more like they are being part of the liberal's polictical world, lets not have any losers in the world.lets destroy the game one position at a time. im a pitcher lets just play the dang game the way it was invented to play, everyone do there job.
theses are just my opinion.
Dec. 5, 2009
stever
Men's 65
62 posts
I feel sorry for the umpires. The old rule was misapplied/misinterpreted enough when the ball had to hit the pitcher. Now it doesn't even have to do that but the umpire must decide whether it was within the 24 inch rubber, which often cannot be seen from home plate, and whether it was below the top of the pitchers head. As bad as the old PPR was, I can see that this new rule will create even more heartburn. I can understand trying to prevent injuries, but SPA doesn't have the PPR rule and I don't think there are any more injuries there than in SSUSA. I would think since there is an actual way to prove - in the field and not by guessing - whether the PPR rule actually prevents injury that this comparison should be undertaken before implementing a rule that most disagree with.
Dec. 5, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
At least one will r should know the "NO FLY Zone" isn't referring to your zipper... lol
5 votes, 15k +- non voting players, anyone taking bets?
Seasons Greeting.
Dec. 6, 2009
Airbosn
Men's 65
321 posts
The PPR and this latest attempt does nothing for me when I pitch.

1. On many occasions I stand with the left foot on the extreme right side of the rubber and on occasions not even touching the rubber, lol.

2. After the release I am usually out of the box, either to the left of right depending on where I pitched the ball and what pitch I used.

3. In a number of situations I will be covering second.

4. The pitchers that I have observed move around in the area of the mound/rubber making it difficult for the umps to make a reasonable call.

5. SSUSA, Please review the rule with safety professionals.
Dec. 7, 2009
#19
Men's 60
252 posts
Ridiculous rule to remove part of the field from the game!... More changes, less like the game we love!... Thanks!
Dec. 7, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Airbosn, great points. A rule written clearly by a non-pitcher, or at least by a non-good one.
Dec. 7, 2009
Harri
Men's 65
59 posts
Having played on two age groups in both SSUSA & SPA tournaments...it seems that SPA has the best rule. They simply do not have a PPR. I have seen numerous problems with umpires correctly administratingthe PPR. At the SPA tournaments, including Nationals at Dalton...there was not one incident of injury, that I am aware of, to the pitchers. The new rule, as I understand it, would take away a pitchers ability to make a play...if the ball passes through the "24" plate. If you are going to remove them from making defensive plays, why not go to the extreme of using a 24" by 72" screen. That way the pitcher can have some protection and if the net is hit, the rule would be enforced.
But, as I stated earlier, it would be best to completely do away with the rule.
Happy Holidays to all my senior softball friends.
Dec. 7, 2009
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Lets take it another step, get rid of the human and replace him with a pitching machine, end of problem. You hit it you repair it......
It makes me wonder how much time was actually spent thinking up this new Middle Rule. 5? 10 minutes?
Dec. 7, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
720 posts
E4/E6

They did not spend that much time on it! LOL! If this rule holds true, then my team is going to find a 7 foot pitcher and let's see how do not go over his head. LOL!

Andy Smith,
Double Edge

Dec. 7, 2009
Harri
Men's 65
59 posts
Having played on two age groups in both SSUSA & SPA tournaments...it seems that SPA has the best rule. They simply do not have a PPR. I have seen numerous problems with umpires correctly administratingthe PPR. At the SPA tournaments, including Nationals at Dalton...there was not one incident of injury, that I am aware of, to the pitchers. The new rule, as I understand it, would take away a pitchers ability to make a play...if the ball passes through the "24" plate. If you are going to remove them from making defensive plays, why not go to the extreme of using a 24" by 72" screen. That way the pitcher can have some protection and if the net is hit, the rule would be enforced.
But, as I stated earlier, it would be best to completely do away with the rule.
Happy Holidays to all my senior softball friends.
Dec. 8, 2009
#19
Men's 60
252 posts
Let's see... With the new rule, a decent pitcher should be able to move out of the pitcher's box to potentially make a defensive play, while being assured that a ball hit up the middle will be an automatic out... Amazingly ridiculous!!!... Who voted for this???
Dec. 8, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I have nothing but true affection and respect for Fran and Dave and none of what I have to say will ever change that
in this lifetime.
That said, the new rule PPR is preposterous and suggests a real lack of connection
with us and the game we play.
That's two problems in one sentence
and one is way more serious then the other which we'll table to another time.
The pitcher as Gary S said,
doesn't need extra protection if the game is left alone.
Good balls/good bats and anything over the fence is a home run would be just fine very much thank you.
When you make home runs outs
that sets up all the problems.
Dec. 8, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
263 posts
Can we all agree on one thing, let's don't ever again refer to this stupid rule as a Pitcher Protection Rule. It didn't protect one pitcher under the old name, and it won't protect anyone as the no middle hit zone or NMHZ. Even SSUSA came clean this year and admitted the rule is to discourage hitting the middle, not to protect pitchers.

Andy (Duke) and I played this past weekend in Menifee, CA with the new rule being called. If you think last year was tough on umps (and teams) you ain't seen nuthin' yet. In five games, we must have had 5 double plays started by the pitcher that were disallowed because the ball was supposedly in the NMHZ. Remember, many of our umps are in our basic age range, with our same eyesight. How accurate do you think they will be calling balls hit up the middle, deciding in a split secone if the ball was in or out of that 24"-wide valley of death. Several of the comebackers on the disallowed double plays were 5-hop choppers that wouldn't have knocked over a plastic bowling pin. This just in, more confusion, but no additional protection.

Andy, good idea on the 7' foot pitcher. I hear Manute Bol is looking for a new team, he's 7'7"!

My question to the rules committee is, if closing part of the field is the solution to pitcher safety, why did you stop at 24", why not make it 20' at the mound, 30' at 2nd base. Then hitters will be forced to push opposite or pull everything, even the still perfectly legal short, flat pitch that is best hit back where it came from.

Better yet, let's just go to T-Ball. It's very disappointing that we've waited a whole year for this stroke of not-genius. They say a camel is a horse invented by committee, this rule is just be the back end of the horse.

JMHO
DN
Dec. 8, 2009
southernson
260 posts
It might be prudent for associations should consider player representatives to be part of any advisory board for rule review or changes. That does two things:
-Provides players input so rules like this never make it to print
-Provides the association protection since the player representatives participated in the decisions

And yes, the PPR rule results in:
- whiny pitcher complaints to te ump for any ball missed or that ticked their shoe laces (and yes I am a pitcher, to the whiny pitchers quit whining and use your glove)
- lack of consistency in umpire calls (no one blames you, it's a no win situation)
- only perceptions of safety, not safety itself

You see what I am really interested in is the 3BPR because when playing 3rd I like to be only a couple of step behind the bag. And 3B is where the real power shots come...you see, now the 3BPR makes sense! It doesn't? Exactly, neither make sense...

A camel is a horse invented by committee? Lord I love that line....

Is their danger playing the middle? Yes
we all know that if we pitch. And we signed a no liability statement to absolve those running the show...

Keep trying guys, no one likes this rule.
Dec. 8, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Donnie good hearing from you, happy holidays. From what you described anything hit through the zone ground to approx. 6 ft is an automatic out. You were there this past weekend how would this have gotten called? Let's say you're running a five man infield it sounds like a good defensive pitcher should just vacate the middle and position himelf either between the 1-4 hole or the 1-6 hole depending on the batter. Vacating the middle the pitcher gets the automatic out anyway and the pitcher can now position himself to take away an additional part of the field.
Dec. 8, 2009
#19
Men's 60
252 posts
Exactly the point I was trying to make, Lecak.
Dec. 8, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
263 posts
Hey Joe:
Happy Holidays to you as well. The umps were actually calling the rule as it has been re-written. They were decent umps that know the game very well. The NMHZ might have been as wide as six feet at times, but it was very difficult for the ump to correctly call balls hit directly over a dusty, obscured 2-foot wide rubber. It will be more inconsistent than last year, at no fault of the umps. Some hits were called outs, and vice versa. Even with the pitcher moving, balls that were tailor made for double plays were called dead-ball outs, even slow rollers or choppers in front of the rubber.

SSUSA comes right out and says they are trying to discourage hitting the middle. As with other recent rules, it won't achieve it's intended result (protection of pitchers) but the cost to the game is far worse than the problem it is trying clumsily to address. I'm being sarcastic when I suggest making the NMHZ 20 feet wide at the mound, but it is irritating to be subjected to a solution that is not completely applied with a 2-fot NMHZ and will create unnecessary controversy. I've seen the future of this new rule, and it ain't pretty.

Southernson, Harri - Great posts,

Finally, it's a little funny to me that an organization that rightly touts defibrillators and emergency forms has not said one word about recommended safety equipment that will truly protect pitchers. We were all expecting a better outcome here. Can we get a re-vote??

Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55's
Dec. 8, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Joe,

That is exactly what I said and physically demostrated at the meeting but I guess to no avail.
Dec. 8, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Thanks we'll use the rule as an invisible 11th fielder.
Dec. 8, 2009
JohnBob
Men's 60
248 posts
Tate22,I was at the Wednesday meeting and read word for word what you put on this board on 11-2-09. You said and I fully agree-Only protective eguipment protects,it is readily available and currently legal. Best of all pitchers can be safe and we can keep the game intact. Nothing like this new middle hit zone was discussed at the Wed meeting, I did not go to the Thur and Fri meeting because I was told I could listen but not speak and thats very hard for me to do. lol
I do not like this new rule but feel its better then what we had last year,when pitcher had to be hit and had to be in box. Like Lecak says just use the rule as a 11th fielder.
Dec. 8, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
The no fly zone can be used as one of those defensive players that doesn't have to bat. :)
Dec. 8, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
720 posts
To All,

It did not take long for everyone to figure out to use the new rule as an 11th player. LOL! I know older age groups use 11 fielders, so possibly, that might be the solution to consider as well as a mandatory mask and chest protector.

Andy Smith,
Double Edge
Dec. 8, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
263 posts
JohnBob - thanks for the info, and for carrying the idea to Nashville. I've never seen a response yet that refutes the premise.
Andy:
BTW - from my perspective at shortstop the ball you hit up the middle against us was just outside the so-called box. Exhibit A as to why this rule will be a nightmare.

As for the new rule providing an 11th player, remember that this phantom player has a range of 24 inches, or slightly more than me at short. Seriously, it may incent a pitcher to move to either side, but good ones do that already. And the missles will still hurt or worse if they hit you inside or outside the the NMHZ.

Remember, the reasoning offered for the rule is to discourage hitting the middle, period. Is that what we really want for our game? It did not stop one of our opponents in 5 games from hitting the middle, and it was likely called over 10 times in our favor and maybe 5 times against us. Not one of the hits, including Andy's, was intentional at the pitcher or malicious. At least four double plays were taken away from us. The rule changed the complexion of the game AND protected nobody.

The Sacramento ministry of truth has spoken - No Middle Hit Zone is safety. We'll all learn to love it, right guys?
Dec. 8, 2009
the wood
1085 posts
If I read the SSUSA rule committee report correctly, the NMHZ rule passed 4-3. There are a couple of things that cross my mind about this... 1) they weren't anywhere near unanimous but the majority favored including it in the rule book... 2) 3 people exercised good judgement as they didn't feel that it was a good rule. (where were those same 3 when the bordering state issue came up?)...
SSUSA has been handing us this same garbage for 2 years now... in one form or another. Should it not be clear to us by now that they DO NOT REALLY GIVE A RAT'S ASS AS TO HOW WE FEEL ABOUT IT?
We've argued good solid points since January of 2008 and to no avail. Isn't it time that we wake up and smell the coffee?
Try the 'hell, no, we won't go' approach... although I never liked that slogan 40 years ago.
Tate22, Duke, et al... you can continue to offer detailed examples of their folly and what will it get you?
Their rules committee, based upon their printed descriptions, was handles pretty much like the Summit meetings were (except that it was just SSUSA and ISA). They give the volunteer attendees some voice but they are not present when the votes are conducted... they have neither a voice in them nor are they allowed as witnesses.
Ok, I get it... it is their assn (TH and BR) and, as such, they can do what they want if we continue to buy it.
We need to smarten up. Quit buying it.
The world is full of folks that whine about the symptoms but refuse to look for solutions. If we don't have enough sense to 'get out of the rain', whose fault is that?
BW
Dec. 8, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
BW,
Although I agree with you, I feel most will still go depending on who feel they will be helped by the new team rostering considerations help or hinder themselves down the road... Maybe a few less entries for this coming year, since that was not set until at least 2011 just to get a feel on this new re worded pitcher crap.
I believe it said TX as a seperate region, but on the map OK, KS and LA are a part of that region.
I wasn't aware CA had split, were you? lol
I suggested the regional idea to a couple of players in emails for reasons stated and a few others, but I believe it was a positive thing that will eventually come about.
What happened to the "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" thing... for the last 2 years they keep "fixing" this or that, constantly. It wasn't broke until they fixed it. imo
Seasons Greeting ...
Dec. 8, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I think we need to continue to include
SSUSA as card carrying members of the senior softball community.
I haven't given up hope for them or anyone for that matter but
I think we, the disgruntled who really represent the heart and soul
of our sport
and in that vain if not numerically truly represent the most of us
need to do somethings about it.
First, not give up,
as is characteristic of the best of us,
and dare to keep our perspective,
our love and soulful understanding of who we are and what we need and deserve.
We do this by communicating,
speaking out, validating and supporting
one another as I am supporting
Bob Woodward now and through all my conversations with players
across the country.
And by getting ready to support
a players association of true players and their/our perspective as applied
to ourselves and those who want and rely on our investments, going forward.
TD's, Associations, retailers,
manufacturers, et al will get to hear
and feel us, who we are, want and expect so there's no easy way "to get us wrong" anymore.
We're all in this together and no one need be excluded as we all move together better down the road.
Change is in the air.
Dec. 8, 2009
the wood
1085 posts
Taits:
Insanity has been defined by some as doing the same thing as before and expecting different results. Sound familiar?
Yes, most teams will continue to 'pay the freight' and then some of their players will be whining on this board about the NHMZ and the screwy calls that they witnessed. Our (GSF) way of dealing with their self-serving rules and policies will be to avoid their 3 day, limited number of teams 'pig rascles'... we've gone to Reno for the past 4 years and this has been one of the events that our guys really like. With both sides of this equation in mind, we'll take a team vote on whether we go there or not... Cal Cup, dead... Mesquite, dead... Western Nationals, dead... Dean Wormer, dead...

Einstein:
Support is a two way street... when SSUSA starts to support us by offering us the type of product that we want, we'll be supportive of them by paying the entry fees, hotel rooms, etc. (we, us = GSF). We're tired of doing so 'on the come'.
We have taken this position with other assns in the past and haven't looked back... i.e. ASA, ISA, ISSA, USSSA, NSA (no program out here)...
BTW, Bob Woodward is the guy that wrote 'All the President's Men'... Carl Bernstein's collaborator... neither is related to me.
:-)
Bob Woodroof
Dec. 9, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Bob.
Sorry about calling you Woodward.
I call and think of you as Wood or Woody
so much I lost the way your name ends.
But all's well that ends well
and Woodroof always ends on top.
Great name.
Help is on the way and I'm so glad
for all of us you're you,
have the passion, intelligence and courage to stand up for yourself,
your teammates and for all of us.
That's a leader and thanks, Bob.
There's always lots we can do
if we don't give up and as/if
more of us are willing to back each other up there's a lot we'll be able to.
Dec. 9, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
BW,
Yes, Yes and might want to check A to Z in your area, as well as u-trip for Reno, Carson, Vegas. If you haven't recently, but with what you wrote chances are you have.
Agree on the 2 way street.
The next 2 years (2010-2011) will tell a story like Survivor or maybe even Lost...
Happy Holidays.
Dec. 9, 2009
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
As I see this new rule, it takes the pitcher out of the defensive equation unless, when the ball leaves his hand, he moves well outside the 24" No Fly Path. If he stays in the path he can no longer turn a double play if he fields the ball. Since it will theoretically be called an out regardless of what he does.
Makes me think of my coach's in youth little league, throwing batting practice.
I know for sure this isnt going to set well with our pitchers and their competitive juices.
Dec. 9, 2009
LP
293 posts
good point about the loss of defense from the pitcher E4/E6, i pitch and didnt like the old rule the new one is even worse for the game.

are all senior groups going with this dumbing down of softball.

myself i might try playing SSUSA with this rule this coming year. BUT IF IT REALLY STINKS LIKE I THINK IT WILL I WOULD HAVE TO MOVE ON TO ANOTHER SENIOR GROUP.

think back about 5 years ago when some senior groups didnt allow the miken bats, and a whole lot off teams left and went to SSUSA, but as the other groups lost teams they changed there minds and allowed the mikens, we will have to wait and see what happens.
Dec. 10, 2009
TOMAR77
Men's 55
199 posts
Git-R-Done 55 also played in Menifee this past weekend, our experince with the new NMFZ, was the same as last years. A stifling, ineffective, serves no real purpose, rule that hurts the play and flow of the game.There were at least 5 balls hit up the middle hi & low which were called outs, 2 prevented easy double plays (we actually made the double plays which were negated due to this new rule). Yes the rule obivously hurt us. 2 were ground balls through the middle pitcher was no where near the middle the 11th player made the outs! Thing is we never saw the 11th player? Could it have been Casper? 1 was a line drive just over the pitchers head. Pitcher caught the ball but ump called the NMFZ, so Casper got the put out! The 5 balls were never intentionally hit to harm the pitcher, the balls were hit from where they were pitched a natural swing at a pithed ball. Bottom line if you really want to protect the pitcher then ARMOUR-UP, per Tate22. Lets get real this rule needs to go, and not wait till the next annual meeting,the rule is seriously flawed.
I ask SSUSA to reconsider and do right by those of us who enjoy their organization and understand their intent to protect the pitcher which this does not do, but only takes away from both the defense and offense ,hence the GAME itself.IMO.
Tommy
Dec. 10, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Changing the rule now would be admitting they were wrong... Been done once that I know of.
The you must wait until the Dec meeting for any change is their out, for any wrong doing or admission of such an act.
Human nature,
You as a pitcher have choices. Wear it or don't. Get hit or hope you don't. If you do it may be lessoned with gear on or kill you.
Pitcher looses his job, batter suffers as well. Go figure.
A three tiered penalty phase,... I doubt the same batter would go middle 3 times in any single game. So that really is a worthless gesture. But looks good in print.
Tommy, you have mail from 11-18 or there about.
Happy Holidays, Guys.
Dec. 10, 2009
JamesLG
303 posts

The more you read into the rules you would think we are all either extremely old or don't have the skills to protect ourselves. They tell you not to hit the ball too hard or it may go over the fence. Don't hit near the pitcher or you will be called out. Waiting another year is not the answer. We paid to play and wait last year to be rewarded with more the same powder puff rules.

Thanks:

James
Dec. 10, 2009
JohnBob
Men's 60
248 posts
I hear you James, I've read this rule 10 plus times and still can not understand WHY this was put in. What will Ump call if batter hits slow roller and is going to beat it out but Pitcher lets it row and ball hits or bounces over the rubber?
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