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Discussion: Would it be acceptable to just make a pitching Mask and shin guards mandatory?

Posted Discussion
Dec. 6, 2009
bogie
Men's 55
146 posts
Would it be acceptable to just make a pitching Mask and shin guards mandatory?
My apologies if this has been discussed in full, I don't get on the board as much as I should. I want to add up front, that I am a huge fan of SSUSA and all they do for us as players and generally do not see much fixing needed. However, I would like to see pitchers protected more. As others have stated, a screen is an option and the rules SSUSA have implemented are good in the ideals behind them, but make it hard for umpires, etc..to always intrepret. If you use a screen, it seems to cut out the pitchers defense..
I pitch some (not at SSUSA level) and I think the stigma of not being a
"man" if you use a mask and shin guards, affects some pitchers and others are oblivious to this until they get nailed. I think if the Senior organizations made shin guards and a full mask mandatory, it might be a viable option and still allow balls up the middle and pitchers defense...And it would protect the pitcher and help make safety equipment more acceptable for the infielders too. Its becoming common in the young guys game and would be nice if accepted as the norm in the senior game.
I never have liked the idea of eliminating the senior bats. Shaved and painted will come into play IMO. As far as the .52 cor ball. I think it could be used for the 40s thru 50s major/major plus age groups only, but the current combo in the AAA and lower and 55 and older seems to be balanced from what I see. If the wind blows out hard, you will see a 30 foot increase in any ball/bat combo. I have hit the 52 cor ball and played in the TOC all star game where I saw 6-7 homeruns by guys who were good, but not the premiere sluggers in todays game by any means. You need to spin it to get distance, thats all. Again, this ball in my opinion, is suited to opening up the young mens game with less rules, and would only be applicable to the Seniors in the 40s and 50 major plus... teams that still have that over the top hitting power.
However, the SSUSA 5-7 runs per inning is a nice equalizer and most don't care how you get your runs too.
Just curious as to how players would feel on madatory pitching equipment.
Ken Van Bogaert
Roberts 55 major
Dec. 6, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4315 posts
Now would you 'really' want them or expect them to 'mandate' something logical, perhaps an option or say door #3 to pick from as opposed to what they gave us given this last year?
Dec. 6, 2009
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
Leave the game alone......mandatory anything is not what the pitchers I play with and talk to want..they want to play the game like its suppose to be played.I rode bulls for a lot of years..they brought in the helmets and vests..if you want to wear them you do....if you don't, you don't....bull riding is so much more dangerous than slowpitch softball.....pitchers out there............how about a vote...who wants screens or shin guards mandatory?LARRY.GARY.BILLY.DANNY......Jump in here.........I just can't believe all of this PPR stuff.......
Dec. 6, 2009
LP
276 posts
about the helmets and shin guards, it should be left up to the individual if they want to wear gear.
i play this game because i love to play it, if mandatory rules are put in to place i'll have to just go fishing and let the less defensive players have the game. for it seems senior softball is being watered down anyway.
just my opinion.
Dec. 6, 2009
GT
Men's 60
162 posts
One can only assume, the 7 men who voted the "No Fly Zone" have not read this board much, nor have they listened to what men have to say. Leave the pitchers alone. With this new rule, I am now considering where I will play my team next year. I don't know who the No Fly Zone 7 have talked to, but it sure wasn't anyone in this area. I may have to go fishing with LP. My 2 cents.
GT
Houston
Dec. 6, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Bogie,
I think masks and shin guards
which is like the adjustment they made
in hockey would be a good way to go.
You, being an active player and a pitcher
feel what could and would work
and I agree with you.
#6. Leave the game alone?
Sure let's go back, like Gary Sommers
says and leave the game completely alone.
That includes the balls and the bats,
too, doesn't it.
We don't need new special bats and balls
to play the game we love to play.
We're almost there right now
with LVSSA and NCSSA.
Those are the models and
that's the direction we should stay
headed in.
GT, you're right on and your feeling
is representative of the most of us.
Dec. 6, 2009
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
LP,How much room do you have..looks like we may have a lot of softball players turn fishermen.........I will bring the Bud Light........
Also, einstein........I didn't say a damn thing about the balls and bats....unlike you,I have no problem with the senior bats I am swinging or the balls we are hitting.
Dec. 6, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Six.
You said leave the game alone
and I thought you meant what you said.
My bad.
The balls have become less lively
over the last couple of years
but that's OK with you, right?
That's not a REAL change, to you,
right?
And the direction we're headed
as in the ball of the future does
not really mean a change for you either,
right?
Sorry, again.
I thought you meant what you said.
Dec. 6, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Bog, getting back to your post
I think masks/guards is another way to go
to keep lively bats/balls in the game
and avoid a dramatic change that going to meaningfully lesser balls would mean.
I would vote, though I'd rather not spend the money, on making pitchers
wear equipment if we keep
the lively bat/ball combo.
Dec. 6, 2009
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
einstein,I guess your having a hard time reading.....I SAID.I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH USING THE SENIOR BATS,AND I REPEAT JUST FOR YOU.......I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE BALLS WE HAVE USED ALL YEAR IN SSUSA......you have a problem with them,why don't you see if you can go fishing with Larry .
Dec. 6, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4315 posts
#6,
Like this is even close to a democratic process.
Kenny, you know that first hand.
What ever was decided we are all stuck with... probable for another year... whoopee.
Dec. 6, 2009
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
taits, thanks for making me feel better........who are you planning on playing with in 2010 ?
Dec. 6, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4315 posts
#6,
Yes, especially if I get another shot against or was that at you...lol
To the extent I can.
Have a great Holiday Season Kenny. Same for the rest of the team as well.
Dec. 6, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Bog, I'm sorry.
Threads have a life of their own
around here, sometimes.
You were asking who would vote
for masks and shin guards
being mandatory and I said I would
if we keep the lively bat/ball
combo lively.
Who else, guys?

Dec. 6, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Bog, I'm sorry.
Threads have a life of their own
around here, sometimes.
You were asking who would vote
for masks and shin guards
being mandatory and I said I would
if we keep the lively bat/ball
combo lively.
Who else, guys?

Dec. 6, 2009
stick8
1261 posts
To answer the original question ABSOLUTELY NOT!! It may be recommended to use them but it should strictly be up to the pitcher to choose for him/herself.
Dec. 6, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
stick, you are absolutely correct.
Dec. 6, 2009
ShaneV
Men's 55
381 posts
I'm so glad the PPR is gone, good move.

Those who liked it were few, in my experience.

New rule is less complex, yet we still
may see a full page description and
explanation and interpretation, etc.
What if the ball is touched before it
reaches the rubber and 50'? What if it's deflected and as a result does not
go through the zone?

I figure all I have to do is step left
or right and I can play defense. If the
ball goes through the zone and I'm not
there it's like a strike out or foul out. In the zone or not, I need to
protect myself with my glove, and I
would be smart to wear a mask just in
case. I've seen more each year and
though I probably will not pitch much
this year, I'm getting a mask.

I read a bunch of research (Kettering) yesterday and it's clear that our bat/
ball combo can result in batted ball speeds of 107 mph. Just under 1/3 of a
second to react at 50'.

I wouldn't like to see screens or any
mandatory protection. I do believe that
if/when more than 50% of us are wearing
masks, the "protection" rule-making may
cease.

ShaneV
Dec. 6, 2009
spoonplugger
Men's 60
57 posts
Bogie,I talked with you at the hotel in Lansing,how are doing? SSUSA should recommend masks,guards,protectors,etc. If the pitcher chooses not to use any then it should be mandatory that he-she sign a waiver.
Dec. 6, 2009
bogie
Men's 55
146 posts
Hope your doing well too!
I wouldn't say I am necessarily in favor of making it mandatory...I just put it out there as a question. Like Shane mentioned, you see more and more masks each year which I think is good. I wonder how many guys won't wear them, because of thinking its not "macho"?
Dec. 6, 2009
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
When I started playing tournaments (fast pitch) it was wooden bats and a so-so ball. Then along came slow pitch (batters typically tripled their batting average). Then came aluminum bats, not always better, but more durable and fewer broken bat outs. Then the ball got hotter. Then came the good single wall. Then the titanium bat. Then the double wall. Then the composite. Then the Miken. What happened to the game I loved—a balance between offense and defense and strategy and base running? It's all offense now. To slightly borrow from LP's statement: "I'll have to just go fishing and let the TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED OFFENSIVE players have the game." Touche?
Dec. 6, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
The game has always had lively bat/ball combo since I've been playing.
When the bats were stiffer
the balls got hotter.
They do the same thing in professional baseball and use the liveliness of the balls to balance things out.
The problem is that we don't want the ball/bat combo to be taken down past
where it will be fun and as we're learning there's a movement to use
a ball that for most of us
will not be fun to hit.
Dec. 6, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Joe, when did you start? I was playing with 38oz. metal bats and kapok-center balls when I began in 1973. Not exactly a lively combo.

Joe, again my fun is in winning. Hitting a home run because of someone else's R&D and technology is no achievement for me, nor should it be for anyone else. Seriously, if you could only dunk because of a trampoline placed under tha basket would that make you feel like you accomplished something worth repeating?
Dec. 7, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4315 posts
Dirty,
"FUN" can also be received through the new friends you meet, win or loose. The win is gravy or the icing on the cake for me at least.
Most of us used a 38 I'd guess. I had an Easton. They didn't have many lighter, like the 26 I use now that felt good.
Joe was playing seniors back in 96-97 anyway, I played against him many times. Before that I have no idea.
Dec. 7, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Scott, the friends part is great. But for me, no win no fun. Just how I am.
Dec. 7, 2009
J R
180 posts
So now we need a bench coach video camera for replay in calling no fly zone. What a nightmare. One umpire bases loaded pitchers box line no longer visible. Let the arguements begin.From a catchers view. I see to many batters standing very far from the plate. When they turn on those outside pitches lookout pitcher. When they are that far back from the plate no way to pitch inside.Most are in the box but a lot are not. Once again the umpire needs to look at that.
Dec. 7, 2009
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
How much does anyone believe the PPR or Middle rule is about protecting the pitcher for the pitchers sake alone?
Or how much it is for protecting SSUSA.
I believe SSUSA cares about her players, but in my opinion the rules are there for the organization as much as for the players protection.
On the issue of helmuts and shin guards. Has anyone seen a pitcher hit in the heart area of his chest with a line drive off a Senior Bat. The damage can be devastating. Do we suggest or mandate kevlor vest?

Dec. 7, 2009
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Maybe we as seniors should put on more muscle mass and strenght to offset the poor ball selection.
Why would we care so much about the balls and bats. The playing field will still be the same regardless of whats being thrown or what its being hit with.
Dec. 7, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
698 posts
No matter what rule that is made or suggested, there is no such thing as a pitcher protection rule. With the new rule that I played this past weekend. the umpire cannot always make the correct call. I hit a pitcher that clearly struck his foot outside the 2 lines of the pitcher area, and I was called out. I talked with the umpire in between innings, and he said it was difficult to tell, because the mound blended in with the dirt, and the pitchers eliminated the chalked area after warmups. The ball clearly did not go up the banned area. Even their catcher agreed with me. Sorry that you got hit pitcher!

I caught many balls this past weekend after backing up after each pitch, and the batter was called out, but it elimated the double play at least 4 times. My objective after each pitch was mostly to go somewhere else to field the ball, since it was an out up the middle, whether I was in that area or not. That was a good thing.

Again, the main issue here is the protection of the pitcher being hit accidentally and severely getting hurt. Some may say, if you cannot field your position, then do not play it. Even the best will miss a ball, and that could be the devastating blow that kills a fellow player. Although I am not into wearing any gear for myself, I see the need is coming very soon in my older age. We are ruining the game with this pitcher protection garbage AND NOT ACCOMPLISHING THE GOAL AT HAND!! At this point, with the pitcher protection rule an issue, and every game is a different height limit, because no one knows what 12 feet is, you might as well have the umpire on the field with a pitching machine. LOL!

In order to keep the pitcher's position a fun and important position to play, we need to really protect the pitcher. There are areas of our body that we will not be able to protect, unless we wear protective gear from head to toe. At this time, I have been hit in the shins 5-6 times over 25 years, including twice in one game in the same inning on each leg. Boy was that a fun day. And no, I was not wearing shin guards and still do not. Stupid me! The only other time that I was severely hit was in a game where I normally would have caught the ball, was when it hit one of those mounds in front of the mound that you pitch from and it took an abnormal bounce, and it torn a tendon in my arm in the elbow area. Kind of a freak accident, but I could not play for 6 weeks afterwards. No gear would have helped me there, but it was not life threatening. The only real way to have a pitcher protection rule and to avoid a life threatening situation is to have it manditory that each and every pitcher be required to at least wear a mask and chest protector of some sort. All other equipment would be optional. Can someone tell me who carries a light weight mask please, thanks.

Just My Opinions!!

Andy Smith,
Double Edge
Dec. 7, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Duke,

Call Chuck Fusina at A.D. Starr 800-487-2448 he can probaly help you
Dec. 7, 2009
Wes
Men's 65
310 posts
bogie---I thought the same thing just make it mandatory--I just talk to a person today that working on the problem and they told me the insurance companys are tell them NO do not make it mandatory--heres why- If you make it mandatory and a person gets hurt-they can bring a lawsuit and say they could not see the ball becuse you made them wear the mask or if the mask breaks and hurts the player-you made them wear it so it's your fault.
It looks like it is going to be up to each pitcher to take care of himself --if he feels like he needs protection
Dec. 7, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
698 posts
Thanks Butch17!! guess I better get one before an incident occurs some day soon.
Dec. 7, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Duke.

Your welcome and I wish you well this coming year.
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