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Discussion: New Pitching Rule Repealed!!

Posted Discussion
Dec. 23, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
New Pitching Rule Repealed!!
This rule is repealed and we now have 2 pretty wise decisions in addition.

First of all, it is a minimum requirement to wear a mask and shin guards now or not pitch. I would think mask and chest protector would be better, but I am not complaining. I know more pitchers would get hit in the shins than the chest, but the severity of each is quite different.

Secondly, those that wish to not wear protective gear as required minimum do not have to do so. BUT, they must sign a waiver before they pitch in a game, so to not hold SSUSA liable for any injuries. It would seem that part of the issue was the liability of SSUSA and partly trying to get hitters away from the middle and not injure the pitchers, but never any protection?? Anyway, thank you for the changes, and now we can play softball the better way! Great job to SSUSA for listening and doing the right thing, and all the manager's input in the survey.

There was also a rule for intentionally hitting the pitcher and severe penalties for doing so, but who csn make that call?? I would think 99.99% of the players in SSUSA would not intentionally hit a pitcher, but may go up the middle intentionally, but not to intentionally hit the pitcher, but some times will hit the pitcher.

Good job to Terry, Dave, Fran, and whoever else on this issue.

Andy Smith,
Double Edge
Dec. 23, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
Good news on the Repeal, but HOW or WHO DETERMINES IF HIT WAS "INTENTIONAL" ?? Can of worms.
Head & shins gear... your guys better take care of the knees as well.
Gee whiz Batman, polls was never brought up before, but rather ignored, DAH Rocket scientist here. But, better late, than never.
One question positive test... impressive to say the least, but its a good start.
Basically all positive and here when said we would know.
Dec. 23, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Unmistakable movement in a positive direction
and toward the heart of the senior softball community.
Rumors of SSUSA and senior softball
being totally disconnected, "severed at the neck"
so to speak, I'm happy to say
are greatly exaggerated.
Way to go, Dave, Terry, Franny and Bill.

Suffice to say that there are other issues
and concerned that weren't addressed
and will be shortly
but this is a thoroughly good move for all of us
of the senior softball community.
Bravo.
Dec. 23, 2009
E4/E6
Men's 60
854 posts
Cudos to the Rules committee for listening to SSUSA managers and members.
You have done the right thing.
Now, about Ca/Fl borders.............
Dec. 23, 2009
SSUSA Staff
1303 posts
The underlying intent for the new penalty rule is that hitting AT THE PITCHER is the prevention goal, not taking away the middle from a skilled hitter who gets it done without malice and/or a bad result ... The Rule Book has always lacked this rule, an unintended oversight in prior editions ... This is just another one of a few hundred judgment calls an umpire might have to make during a game, and we are confident they will know when it happens intentionally, just like about every other player on the field will ... It should be a strong dis-incentive to ensure that "middle wars" don't start (or escalate) and also conveniently handles the obvious "retaliation shot", the "middle's open!" comments and other disguises a very small handful of players might use as a justification to go headhunting ... It's NOT about trying to make it an ejection penalty whenever a pitcher gets hit nor to replace either the PPR or the MNHZ ... Hope this helps ...
Dec. 23, 2009
JohnBob
Men's 60
248 posts
Thanks SSUSA staff for the Christmas present now lets play real softball not PPR or no hit zone. Can't wait for TOC in February.
Dec. 23, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Thank you to all at SS/USA and their voting members.

Happy Holidays to all the players,managers, staff and any others that are associated in this great and FUN sport we call softball.
Dec. 23, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
263 posts
Ditto the sincere thank you's to the SSUSA staff and brass for utilizing real input to make a much needed correction. The resulting decision is right on the money. The new method for gathering input is even more encouraging. Thanks for stepping up to the plate on this issue.

Happy Holidays to the entire Senior Softball community.
Dec. 23, 2009
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
Cooler heads have prevailed: Maybe we "do" need the extremes to get back to the middle....."Keep on Playin"
Dec. 23, 2009
Omar Khayyam
1002 posts
Goodbye to the PPR and "No-Hit Zone" rule—they weren't doing much to protect the pitcher anyway. Here are a few of my predictions:

1. We now have a data base standard on pitchers hit. Since some will always hit up the middle and some tried to avoid the middle under the PPR, there is likely to be an increase in pitchers hit in the future (the current standard is 13.9%). Any manager-reported future poll where say, 20% report an increase in pitchers hit, will give SSUSA all the rationale they need to MANDATE a softer ball or ban composite bats. They will say that other measures, like the PPR, were not accepted by the membership.

2. It is now in the umpire's discretion as to who is deliberately hitting up the middle. Einstein has argued that when home run hitters are denied a valid home run, they hit up the middle. Do that in the future, and miss hit the ball by a fraction of an inch so that it hits or narrowly misses the pitcher, and the ump is likely to toss that batter for intentionally hitting up the middle.

3. The mandate for shin guards and mask will prove inadequate and next year will mandate knee protection, and the year after will mandate chest protection, and the year after will mandate a helmet. Pitchers will look like the Michelin Man and games will have to wait for a pitcher ending the inning on a force out at second to come in and armor up and then demand their warm-up pitches. Also, in many climates, there will be some heat stroke incidents from the extra suffocating padding.

An interesting future! None of this manipulation needs to happen if we only returned to the balanced softball game of the recent past with offense, defense, base running, and strategy equally valuable. I was pitching against youngsters at 59 without any pitcher protection (not even a cup) because the bats were not so super-charged.
Dec. 23, 2009
GI
Men's 60
167 posts
I would have to agree with Omar, pitchers are going to be so covered up and just think how fun it will be in PHX in 115 degree weather. Cost of extra equiptment may also be a concern as costs continue to rise to play this game.I see some leagues here in Phoenix are starting wood bat leagues maybe it is time to consider this option before we have to run to mound in a tank. No matter what rules we play with most of us will continue because we love the game and the chance to spend time with those who have been a part of our life. Bless all of you and see you on the field If we can see behind the MASK. GI
Dec. 23, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts

I don't wear one yet bet have considered it and talked to about 5 guys that do wear a Mask, At about 45 bucks cheaper than a face lift. Knee and shin pads vary depending on type but about same for both. Still better than a 5k leg abscess.
Other choice is to sign the waver, and go play. They are not forcing you do either. And I think if another poll is taken on balls 3 choices should be given; A sock, what we have or better yet still.
They probably will later do one on bats...
So you all better be talking to your manager.
Merry Christmas guys.
Dec. 23, 2009
Player25
Men's 55
51 posts
Congrats to the the SSUSA for repealing the no fly zone. It did not protect anyone anyway. But now the umpire has another situation to deal with. Only time will tell how "intentionally" is called. But it is a shame the SSUSA did not take the step that could/would have prevented the need for mandatory equipment for pitchers or a waiver of liability. Reducing the bat/ball combo to be as "lively" as it was years ago may have saved alot of pitchers some money. Also would have reduced the risk of the rest of the infield. The end result of the rule is to armor the pitcher and continue to play home run derby.

Dec. 23, 2009
Johnny Hose
Men's 50
71 posts
Cudos to the SSUSA Rules TEAM. You are on the right track ! Speaking for the players and sponsors I represent, thank you for giving us a little more of our game back. Your repeal of the "Middle Rule" just gave some dignity back to those pitchers that like to participate defensively.
And, Happy Holidays to Terry, Fran, Dave and all of the SSUSA Staff.
From all of us at Fan Grabber / AZ Lone Sharks.
Dec. 23, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
OK and Scott.
Rome wasn't built in a day.
Johnny Hose, a great guy, has got this right.
It's a big step back to us who love and play
the game and it's a real world and we appreciate
the positive movement.
OK.
I don't even recognize the game you say
we used to play that kinder, gentler one
where no one can get hurt or upset or beaten
by a bunch of runs.

As Johnny suggested
this is a movement toward stopping the slide
of our game away from us
and listening to the heart/most of us
who love our game and want to continue
playing it, till we drop.

I know there's a lot of controversy about what's a majority opinion but SSUSA went in the direction of getting "our input" in reversing
some of their decisions.
Now, I never met a manager I ever agreed
with about very much and I think the players
themselves can and should speak for themselves as even in unions
they always decide by a vote from the membership.
But finding out what managers think
is a step toward us and in the right direction.
One step at a time.

We will see and need more movement
as we move along better together
but no reasonable senior can or should
take anything away from this terrific step,
this Christmas present, taken and given us
by SSUSA.
Thanks, again Dave, Fran, Terry and Bill.
Way to go.
Dec. 23, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
OK.
True balance and team or game chemistry
comes first from having all the needs met
and recognized, large and small, big and little,
starter or role player and not legislating
and crafting us and our game
to fit a pleasing model.
Only when true needs
like playing with lively bats and balls and
reasonable safety standards
are grounded in our game
will the game produce the meaningful enjoyment the most of us
need to experience in order to continue
to play.
SSUSA has underlined the importance
of both safety and enjoyment in the game
we love to play and again
a STEP to us and for us
and in the RIGHT direction.

Dec. 23, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
OK.
Also.
It's getting old and you're getting personal
with me calling me Joe and everything
yet you won't let us know who you are.
Here comes another majority opinion
you're likely to disagree with.
We're only gonna waste so much time and
energy entertaining someone who
won't respect himself and us enough
let us know who he is
and your 15 minutes
is just about up.
I'm not speaking as a member of SSUSA.
I'm speaking as a man and card carrying member of the senior softball community
and our rules state your credibility
is linked to your identity and respect
shown for yourself and all of us.
Dec. 23, 2009
starry17
4 posts
i like that they repealed this bad rule , but tell me is the rule still in place that if the pitcher is hit his the batter out ?
Dec. 23, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Why would any sane hitter intentionally hit at the pitcher?
That should be an easy, if not automatic, out. So why would a rational hitter do that?

Did I miss something, but where does it say you have to wear a minimum of a mask and shin guards? I thought what I read says you have the option to sign a waiver and then not wear anything.



Dec. 23, 2009
Dbax
Men's 60
1294 posts
Exactly...Omar and GI, you don't have to wear any equipment. There is no mandate. Things won't be any different. You guys find controversy in everything!
Dec. 23, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
Joe,
Where & how did Rome come into the softball game?
But it surely did fall...

Much was improved over the last 2 pitcher related rules. Basically we're back to where it was before them, with choices, wear gear or do not. But they need to know that you choose not to if that be your choice... A good and fair move.
Dec. 23, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Omar,

I understand where you are coming from.
This new rule is the right rule for the majority of players I have spoken with and that is less than a true majority of all players. lol

Some us remember the days of only true home run hitters hit home runs, true hitters getting hits and good defensive players getting to show their worth.

Some say lets go back to the old way hit as many balls out of the park unlimited runs etc. BUT they still want to use the new hotter equipment.

In my opinion lets go back but with single wall aluminum bats if that is the game they want to play. Other than that SS/USA rules are fine for now.

Softball was fun in 1973 and still fun today.
Dec. 23, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Butch and OK.
Gotta know when to hold 'em
and when to fold 'em.
Let it go and bring it up again next year
just like I do with free defensive subbing.
You did good, truly, speaking your mind,
for yourself and any who might agree with you.
It's over.
Let's get ready to have a terrific year.
Dec. 23, 2009
LP
297 posts
are we now playing under the same PPR rule that has been in efect for the last two years.

or is it gone altogether ?
Dec. 23, 2009
Omar Khayyam
1002 posts
einstein, that's rich. I see that your last post is your 1716th one, and I would bet that 1000 of them include your mantra for hot bat/ball combo and many of them have hijacked threads or tossed in your desire on a thread that has nothing to do with bats or balls.

As you see, I have posted 136 times, and maybe half of them speak to the balanced game that I love and that has been spoiled by the current hot bats/balls; in other words, offense out of balance with the other aspects of the game. And now you encourage me and Butch (322 posts) to back off for awhile?!!

I have never argued for a kinder, gentler game; nor for a pitcher protection rule; nor for mandated armor for pitchers. I have only pointed out that the hot bat/ball combo you say seniors NEED, is a very recent invention, less than 10 years old. How did we ever have fun and find satisfaction for 50 years without this NEED satisfied. I think the truth is that my appeal for a balanced game is gaining support and it scares you.

Look back at my post. It was merely my predictions. Hope most of them don't come true, but I suspect some will.
Dec. 24, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
Omar, LP, and anyone else,

What do you not understand. I cannot believe that I am even attempting to clarify this for you. What the SSUSA Rule Committee and Dave Dowell made VERY CLEAR twice, is that the previous new rule is repealed. LP, there is absolutely no pitcher protection rule of any kind in effect for the 2010 season. "INTENTIONAL" is the key word here in the third part of the repeal. Omar, you do not have to wear any protective gear of any kind, just sign the waiver, so SSUSA is relieved of any liability when a ball lands on your kisser, hopefully not though. How much clearer can they make it for you. As a batter, you can intentionally hit the ball up the middle AND possibly hit the pitcher or any one else, but it is not a dead ball out unless the umpire determines that it was done for the purpose of taking the pitcher out intentionally, rather than trying for a hit. I have never seen this called in all my years of playing, although I know of several instances of this happening, but the umpire did not know this, nor could he determine it to be happening.

Read the repeal above a few times till it sinks in. Sorry everyone and SSUSA staff, but I just could not stand to listen to any more of this.

Einstein and Tait, if they still do not get it, then you explain it to them, so you guys can increase your post amount. LOL!! Just kidding!! Let's get away from this now and start another ball thread. LOL! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and let's enjoy the 2010 season and good luck to all.

Andy Smith,
Double Edge
Dec. 24, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
Duke,
If I or we needed that, I guess we could split the rule book up and post on each rule subject separately and subsection within.
Kinda like the 11 or so by another poster with all the others in between... But it's too much typing and I usually have typos... lol
Take care Andy, Merry Christmas, stay healthy.
Dec. 24, 2009
JohnBob
Men's 60
248 posts
The big picture about this repeal is that SSUSA is listening to the Manager's and Player's. Being a retired insurance agent I fully understand the concern for liability risk of the senior bats,but to put in that routine double play ball fielded were called DBO with no chance to turn 2 changed our game way to much and they listen to us. I know last year a lot of us tried to get the fact that Pitcher had to remain in box for DBO to be called changed to include if he backed out of box,but was told by staff that it could not be changed till next rules committee meeting,so the Survey and phone confenece so soon on MNHZ was great.
As far as a batter intentionally trying to hit a Pitcher, in my 14 years of senior ball I've never seen this but have hear of it happening and feel was the reason that all this pitcher protection rules were apply and ejection is proper.
Merry Christman and Happy New Year to the whole senior softball community and please remember our Military!
Dec. 24, 2009
Lefty
Men's 65
498 posts
As a member of SSUSA I'm was glad to see the staff contacted the managers for their input on the pitching rule.

Joe Lefty Falcon
Wild Bunch Softball 60 Major
&
Birmingham 55 AAA
Love this game of softball
Ya'll pass a good Christmas.
Dec. 24, 2009
LP
297 posts
hey Duke sorry to make you feel so dumbed down but ssusa said the new rulwe was repealed nothing about the old rule they had in place so thats why its confusing.

all i was asking was the old rule still in place sorry you couldnt just give a smart answer only a smartass answer.
Dec. 24, 2009
LP
297 posts
could any one from SSUSA give the correct answer is the old PPR still in place i would rather find out here than wait till the season starts.

and i'm looking for is the correct answer thank you.
Dec. 24, 2009
JohnBob
Men's 60
248 posts
LP-the old PPR was repealed 1st of December at the Nashville meeting when new MNHZ was put in. Have a good one
Dec. 24, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Thanks Joe,

I'm glad to hear there will be no more hot bats/hot ball statements from you for this year or is it just others that cant post? Finally a rest!

Happy Holidays.
Dec. 24, 2009
E4/E6
Men's 60
854 posts
Andy

Theres a guy over here that wont stop with the "Lively" ball/bat issue.
Handle him for us, will you? =)

Merry Christmas to All...........

Dec. 24, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
John,

I do not think that is possible! LOL!

Andy
Dec. 24, 2009
tattooball
621 posts
Be careful what you wish for, you would be suprised what the numbers are on balls and bats. The voice is wrong according to that poll.
Dec. 25, 2009
LP
297 posts
thanks JohnBob for a nice simple answer i guess duke doesnt know how to just give a straight answer just be a wise guy.
Dec. 25, 2009
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
Thanks, SSUSA for listening on the no-hit zone. You have an extremely tough job with this, trying to legislate a way to 'protect' the pitcher. Thanks for making the effort. I've come to the conclusion that there is no way to do it. As far as the 'intentional' rule goes, there are always umpires on a power trip(we have some here), or those that will call anything close to the mound, or those that will call this at the drop of the hat saying the batter intentionally went in that direction. Don't get me wrong about this---we need something for the few people (I believe) that would do this intentionally. Our team uses the middle a lot, but not one of them would intentionally try to take out the pitcher, plus we hit into a lot of double (or triple) plays to the mound.
I still think the answer lies in the bats-they got gradually hotter over the years until they got to this point. Why can't they back it off a bit-maybe 10%? It would still be lively enough that there would be a lot of HR's, but it might take the edge off it. There will still be a lot of hitting. Nobody (except a few pitchers) wants to go back to the days where 10 runs a game was a lot. Also, make the sweet spot about half of what it is now. With all the technological advancements they have made, they should be easily able to do this, and you can't tell me revenue would go down that much, if at all. The bat companies will do ok. They always do. We will still need bats.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all
Dec. 26, 2009
TOMAR77
Men's 55
201 posts
I for one am impressed with how SSUSA, has "come around" to handling TMNFZ, Involving the mamagers, and correcting this well intentioned ,but seriously flawed rule. Armour-up or don't its up to you.SSUSA is wise to protect themsleves they are showing due diligence in securing a signed waiver form. One must take responisbility for one's own decisions.I suggest as I have always suggested ARMOUR-UP be safe. I also have never seen a batter purposely try to NAIL a Pitcher I started playing in 1972, seen batters ticked off at pitchers, but still tried to get the hit rather than waste the at bat going after the pitcher.A terrfic New Year to All at SSUSA & my fellow Softball Members.
Tommy, Mgr. Git-R-Done
Andy, maybe lunch or dinner this coming year?
Dec. 26, 2009
spoonplugger
Men's 60
60 posts
Merry Christmas -- Thanks SSUSA.
Dec. 26, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
Tommy,

Any time would be great. Just let me know when and where. Ken, Mike, and myself will be having dinner Saturday night in Menifee the 9th, if that would work. Looking forward to seeing you and your lovely wife. Have a Happy New Year!

Andy Smith,
Double Edge
Jan. 15, 2010
softballbatman95
Men's 65
3 posts
The only thing wroung with this is leaving the decision in the hands of the umpire's judgement. Just because you move your feet, it doesn't mean your trying to hit the pitcher;but it looks like that sometimes.
Jan. 15, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1002 posts
batman95, I'm afraid that if a batter does move his feet and the ball does go low up the middle, most umps will toss him. I agree that it is not necessarily an indication (I have a teammate who dances around in the box on every pitch), but I'm guessing if the batter is unknown to the ump and the ball hits or narrowly misses the pitcher, the batter is gone for the game.
Jan. 15, 2010
the wood
1087 posts
The need to penalize a senior player for intentionally hitting at the pitcher is, in theory, a necessity. I imagine that it happens from time to time but I certainly believe that it doesn't occur very often. But to punish the innocent because we're not sure of how to punish the guilty is also a problem.
If what we're really hearing from SSUSA is that our game is too dangerous there are other ways to tone things down. The obvious way would be to reduce the bats to the USSA level. I am aware of the incidence of cheating that could go with this. Perhaps the bats could be made with anti-tamper end plugs. While I like the current bat/ball combo, I'd hate to see one of my teammates suspended (or anyone else) because someone misinterpretted their intent. If we could all hit the ball where we wantede all of the time we'd probably hit 1.000.
But this rule is apparently here for 2010 at least. When it was initially reported (12/22) it accompanied a comment that said that the PPR and the NFZ were both repealed. Yet some elements of the PPR have been incorporaated into this version... dead ball out, pitching box, etc. I would like some clarification on two things realting to this rule.
1) Does it matter, within the rule itself, whether the pitcher is in the box or not? As an example, if he moves 4 feet to his left and I hit him, who could really feel that it was my intent to hit him. Does this even matter (as far as enforcement is concerned??
2) Assuming an umpire does finger someone for intentionally hitting the pitcher, what process would take place before a suspension (or worse) did occur?
It seems to me that over the past 2 years there have been several rules that are knee jerk reactions. As it relates to pitcher safety, have there been any meaningful studies done (in senior ball) that confirm the presence of additional danger? Or is this rule trend based upon someone's hunch?
On this board there have been many 'safety solutions' offred over the past few years. Other than toning down the equipment (like college and youth baseball) the rest of them have called for bastardizing the game. The only solution that isn't too far fethed is the safety equipment. It doesn't hurt the game, in my opinion.
All of the others seem like raising the speed limits and installing mandatory sand pits (like the big rigs use).
If you think that the PPR and NFZ induced writer passion, wait until one of your friends gets suspended.
BW
BW
Jan. 15, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
Well what did we get? Two rules both, unreasonable for purpose supposedly intended for. Both misinterpreted for many reasons most of which were opinions.
A third rule "replaces" the prior ones which is a combo of the other 2, and again an opinion call & only slightly understood. This new change also adds the mandatory wearing of gear, or the signing of another liability release or you don't play pitcher.
Foreseeable future effect, the likelihood of a different bat and or ball standard down the road which will no doubt will have repercussions all over the industry and player reactions both positive and negative in their outcome.
Far reaching downside will be more illegal bats out there and if you don't think so you are naive. Read the boards and other web sites.
If your worried about getting hit you shouldn't be out there. If your worried about a lawsuit, you should make sure all aspects of your house is\are in order. It takes at least two to be a party for a suit. Accuser, petitioner, plaintiff and a couple more, and the other side, accused, respondent, defendant, etc. Bicker, bicker, bicker, accomplishes a lot.. DAH. End result, bragging rights, unless its under the table, & kept quiet, like most going on are.
Somewhere back when, someone really messed up and the snowball is still rolling down hill.
.50 cents worth, I applied for some of Obama's stimulus money... lol.
Jan. 17, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
Since we are in a sue happy society, maybe we should all sign a legal document stating that we will not sue if we get hit by the ball. Then we can all sign a legal document stating we will NEVER intentionally try to hit a pitcher. Then the the powers that be won't have to try to protect themselves with rules that are hard to write and even more difficult to enforce without changing the game. Then let's play the game. Maybe Obama can regulate the huge bonuses that the tournament directors get, too, and it will be cheaper for us. JUST KIDDING!
Jan. 18, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
Obama might even supply the beer.
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