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Discussion: safety

Posted Discussion
Feb. 14, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
safety
Some of the thrill-seeking competitors complained about slower speeds, which was to be expected. "Sometimes athletes need to be protected from themselves". Until forced, hockey goalies refused to wear masks, and NASCAR drivers balked at restrictor plates that kept their cars from hitting impossible-to-control speeds.

well if its good enough for these pro's to be protected from themselves,why not old men like ourselves,lets get back to a safer bat/ball combo.

this story was taken from yahoo sports about the Luger that lost his life at the Vancouver Olympics.
Feb. 14, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4316 posts
Safety is an issue, but it's also the player. Should any one not have the reflexes agility to play any position with or without protective gear, I'd suggest you get another spot where you would feel safer.
Those you mention are paid to play those games, but we on the other hand, pay to play. What ever is LEGAL use the best you can or want. That applies to safety gear as well.

I saw a video of that person taking his last ride. It was nasty. And he had requited gear on.
No waver protected him, but a slower sled might have or better control of it.
Feb. 14, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Safety is never as issue of pay or not paying. Safety issues are there to protect.
We have seen with NASCAR what happens without proper safety on cars. Dale Sr would probably still be alive if he wore the Hans Harness?? (I think thats what its called). This may extreme, but sometimes that what it takes to regain order.
I have come to this conclusion, for myself, I have a love/hate, ( I really dislike using that word, hate) with our Senior Bats and Lively ball. While on offense I love to hit the ball hard. But when playing defense I really do hate not being able to make plays that I know I should and would have if we were using different equipment.
It would be very unfair to isolate players because they can play a certain position. It would be just as unfair to the players who are happy seeing the ball fly by them if we take the Senior equipment away.
I have said it before, everything in life is about balance, in my opinion Senior Softball is out of balance.
Feb. 14, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
E4/E6,also dale sr had a bad habit of modifying his safety equipment that he did wear(to make it comfortable to wear,and it did not protect like it should).b/c of his death the hans became mandatory for all drivers,instead of just the ones who wanted to wear them.
safety has been legislated all thru sports and levels(kids to pros)why are we so different than anyone else.
lets get back to a more balanced game,i'm with you E4/E6,omar and the rest who would like to be able to play defense with out fear of life and limb.


oh taits i know you didn't tell me to go play another position.
Feb. 14, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4316 posts
E4-6,
It's been this way for a few years and the scaled keep moving up and down, but never "balanced" as it were.
Each of the assns "balance" in different ways.
Where do the scales ever really level out? If they do why was it? If not , why not?
Seven or so here trying to "balance" the scales with around 350k on the other end. Not likely to happen.
I doubt many would disagree on your love hate dilemma either.
I have no problem with the gear as a safety issue, been wearing most of it anyway since '98. But you now as a pitcher either wear it, sign on the dotted line, change positions or don't play... No balance there really. Just protection for an entity or perhaps a person.
We'll get through it...I just wonder what will ensue in the mean time.
Feb. 14, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4316 posts
Mad dog,
No, should I have? :>?
We both pitch and the rest of the stuff. But I do know there are some out there that do not have what I mentioned, agility and reflex. Those are the ones, I worry about...
Feb. 14, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
sad pup, taits is exactly correct. NO one is forcing you to pitch, or to play, if you can no longer. That is why there are other positions, and other hobbies.
Feb. 14, 2010
DCPete
231 posts
Actually NASCAR just dropped their restriction on bump drafting for 2010 because their fans complained loudly that it was making the racing too safe and removing all the drama.
Not that anyone should ever compare playing slo-pitch softball to driving a car 200 mph in heavy traffic . . .
Feb. 14, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Pete, stay tuned. Sad pup will make that comparison.
Feb. 14, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Gary, Scott and Pete.
I can't believe the lengths that some guy will go to sell their wares.
Now I know how obnoxious I was
pushing Platooning a couple of years
ago in the face of
overwhelming unpopularity.
Robert, it's over.
Game, set and match.
Lively balls and good bats, rule.
It's the way the game is played
that gives the most people
the most enjoyment.
These comments you make, Robert,
are a function of YOU and not senior ball or the great majority of senior players.
If someone makes a ball that's lively
and safe then that ball might rule
but safe OR fun will NEVER fly.
We play to have fun and hitting lively
balls with good bats is an intrinsic part of the enjoyment of our game.
No one can force you to play, Robert,
and maybe you should reconsider
since you're complaining, lobbying and crying so much of the time.
Feb. 14, 2010
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
SSUSA says it is dangerous to pitch. It has always been riskier to pitch, because of the close proximity to batted balls, one of the reasons I have always pitched. I started pitching fast pitch from 37 feet away and don’t wear a cup to this day. Why is it so dangerous now from what it was a dozen years ago?

The answer is obviously the composite bats which have thrown the game out of balance where normal pitchers can’t field the high speed batted ball effectively (or safely according to SSUSA). In fact, infielders can no longer field the ball effectively and aren’t happy about it.

SSUSA experiments with different rules (PPR and “the Zone”) to protect the pitcher. They have limited effectiveness (and einstein might be right that with the ill-advised rule making excessive home runs outs, it causes an increase of hits up the middle). So SSUSA, fearing a liability judgement for foolishly allowing the composite bats to endanger pitchers, decides that the pitcher must armor up.

The problem is that normal armor, shin guards and high quality unbreakable face mask, are not enough. SSUSA says it must be a helmet or near helmet to “adequately” protect the pitcher.

So SSUSA requires that anyone who might pitch in a tournament without its high standard of protection must specifically waive their rights to safety and promise to not sue if injured (or killed). Whether such a waiver will hold up in court remains to be seen, but it is significant that SSUSA acknowledges the unsafe conditions and requires “adequate” armor.

I would say, if conditions remain the same (composite bats and lively balls), that this debate is far from over. Mad dog may be vindicated yet.
Feb. 14, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
It appears everyone who has a post on this issue knows there are very signifigant safety concerns that have been addressed and need to be addressed further. Einy, we know the bats and balls are safe for use, for now, but thats far from being Match over.
The more I think about the issues we talk about, Senior Bats and Hot Lively balls, may not be what I am so against.
The deeper I push myself for an answer the more often the word "change" keeps coming back to me. I feel its a shame to change something we grew up loving so much. I feel the same way about the DH, the 3 point shot in college, no hip checking in basketball, and the 2 point conversion. Why change what has worked so well for so long?
If you look at everyone of the above rule changes, they were all put in place to improve offense, with no regard for the defensive aspect of anyone of those games. Including ours.

Feb. 14, 2010
JGogo
Men's 65
16 posts
This is my second post and I am just stating an opinion so please take it easy on me. I wrote the following opinion on Oct.12 and I did not get many responses. So, here goes againa. I am a retired Safety Engineer and I started playing Senior Softball (55+) three years ago after playing baseball for 20 years. I have seen numerous pitchers and infielders get struck with Frozen Ropes in the face off the Senior Softball Bats. I, also play baseball and all of the MSBL,NABA and Roy Hobbs Senior Leagues and tournaments that I play in we use wood bats. I have not seen a pitcher or fielder struck with a baseball like I have seen in softball. I am a shortstop in both baseball and softball and I can tell you that I have never had a baseball struck as hard consistently and hit to me like the softballs that I get hit to me off senior bats. I don't get it!! Senior Baseball Players lobbied for wood bats to slow the speed of the ball down and prevent injuries while Senior Softball wants to use Senior Metal bats that are dangerous and increase ball speed. Baseball pitchers are 60 feet away and the fielders are about 100 feet away while softball players are much closer. Why do Senior Baseball Players go with wood to reduce injuries while senior softball like senior juiced metal bats. I just don't get it!! Can someone explain to me the different philosophies?
Feb. 14, 2010
JamesLG
297 posts

JGogo:

You have some great points but you must admit the game of baseball has changed dramatically to a faster game since most of us played it. I watch games that are played from 12 year olds on up and in all ages the ball is hit harder and further than when we played it. All you need to do is watch the college world series and see how many balls are hit 400+' by kids who are under 200lbs. The balls they use now in the majors is wound much tighter than is was 15 years ago.
I think most seniors want to play a lively game that fovors the hitter. We should never feel guilty or that we let our team down because the ball we hit went too far. If the pitcher in in that much danger there should not be any argument and a screen should me mandatory. Just take the "what ifs" out of the conversation.

Thank You:

James
Feb. 14, 2010
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
JGoGo, it's great to hear from a player with both baseball and softball experience at the same position. You confirm what most players observe—the ball comes faster and hotter in softball due to the senior bats. As to why this counter-intuitive situation continues, my opinion is ego—older men trying to feel young. The irony is that many, including myself, are hitting longer balls than they ever did when they were younger. Again, ego drives the demand for lively bats, lively balls. I'd give up my Miken in a minute for a return to a more balanced game of offense, defense, base running, and strategy.
Feb. 14, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Game, set and match, guys.
Lively bats and balls are more fun
and don't create more injuries
than in any other era.
All the major associations have spoken
and those that don't like it
should show some "balls" and integrity
and not play.
But that's not likely seeing as how
we can't get them to stand up and in for their arguments.
Right on, James.
You make too much sense
for these not so master, baiters
to deal with.
Feb. 14, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
well omar i guess logic doesn't prevail here.most want their ego's stroked so they can "be the man".
james its the composite bats that have sped their games up,and also made it more dangerous for the kids to play,but i guess we should just let them go at each other.its the reason high school and college demanded that bat performance be only so much was b/c of the rockets being hit.
what i like is the positions some people have taken about people being scared of playing,well let me tell you now, i'm not one to be scared of anyone in softball,in 30 yrs of pitching i've been hit less than 5 times,i've gotten hit more times playing the inf than i ever have on the mound.i still pitch for the kids and play inf for senior ball and do it quite well i feel.
what i'm talking about is your every day guy that wants to play ball,but what you naysayers(yeah joe i'm using your word)are telling don't bother b/c he is not good enough,b/c you people need to hit a ball 100 mph back at a pitcher and such so you can have fun.give me a break,if that is what you need to have fun your are real small minded.
to please dipty,the fans are not the ones putting themselves in danger watching nascar(except maybe at the track itself)so bump drafting doesn't put them in danger.bump drafting when done right is not all that dangerous,plus the driver is so well protected now a days(hans device,seats built to the drivers body that is actually molded to them,the roll cages,seatbelts and etc).so yes there has been a lot more put into nascar in the past b/c of the speed of the cars,oh what about restrict-or plates on the big tracks.
so to me it just stands to reason we should look into it,like omar said,ss-usa has already deemed it necessary to legislate it with the safety helmets and shin guards,or signing away your life,with their new rule,so i say lets be real men and play the game the way it should be played.
Feb. 15, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
I highly doubt if what SSUSA is doing now is an acknowledgement of safety issues nearly as much as it is an acknowledgement of legal issues that could impact their bottom line. A waiver does NOT make the game safer, but might (though I doubt it) make them less legally liable. And that is at the heart of why a waiver exists.

So let's not say that SSUSA is now declaring the current game unsafe, they are only declaring it possibly litigious.

I don't need the current bats to have fun, I have fun through competition and winning. The level of equipment is completely irrelevant to my level of fun. And I have numerous times pointed out the absolute unneed for guys to now being able to hit in their 50s and 60s what many couldn't in their 20s and 30s. And, for that matter, the complete lack of pride anyone must have who brags in any way about how they hit with this souped up equipment.

That being said, it appears at least for now, the equipment is what it is. So as pitchers, or infielders in general, we must either deal with it or switch positions, or switch hobbies. Not really too many other choices at this point.
Feb. 15, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4316 posts
SSUSA is IMO, saying one thing, over and over again in different ways or form of about different pitcher protection rules that were changed,
But then goes ahead and re writes the bat standard or BPF from 1.20 to 1.21. I can understand this one, but its for the manufacturers benefit in reality, the players just happen to benefit from it. But so does the assn.
All this is hypocritical. Say your doing one thing for a specific reason, but in the back ground do something that has just the opposite results. I think the long range view will be disadvantages for them because of all the changes.
Feb. 15, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4316 posts
E4-6, most of what you mention relating to changes offensively are good except for the extra HR's becoming outs... that works for the Defense side.

The blind leading the flock.
Feb. 15, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4316 posts
JGogo,
Simple economics... more money for the manufacturers and that becomes more money for the assn vis stamp fees and sponsorships. So much for each bat allowed adds up fast no matter how many are made or fee charges for its allowance in games.

Build it bigger better... Kinda like the Dubai behemoth
building, opened late and closed a month later. Not sure where it 'stands' now...
Feb. 15, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4316 posts
Mad dog,
Your points here are sound (not sure on the nascar stiff because I don't follow it at all)

I'd like to see the pitcher have MORE latitude in what or how he delivers the pitch. after all it if HE that all this is about, yet he has NOTHING to SAY in the matter when it comes down to it. If he wants to throw meat balls 3 or 6 feet up 10 or 12 feet high Fine. So why not allow him movement and higher arcs to give him time to move back in that moment.
But NO, the assn say wear gear or sign on the line.

And on the same note, we had FUN back when we used lessor bats & much better balls were used, I could live with that era again... but gee, they might become a ASA dictatorship too, not that they aren't now, but then they might alter the BPF all over again... Ah yes, the times, they are a changing...

Feb. 15, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4316 posts
Dirty,
Game has always been litigious.
Hitting better or further than you may have when younger does in fact do many things for an older persons health. Not matter if its the techno behind it or not. Same applies for making a great play. and base lines have changed since then and fields have largely improved and are further than before as we.
Feeling good about things in general make you feel better, which helps keep you healthy. Feeling good during 'pressure' situations works even more.
Feb. 15, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Scott, I agree that feeling good is a great thing, but how does anyone get a good feeling about now being able to do something only because of the technology of others? Where is the pride and self-satisfaction in gravy-training off of someone else's know-how, R & D, and technology? Where is the pride in working hard and accomplishing something and not just relying on the work of others?

So if I can do a 360 degree dunk with a trampoline I should feel good? Like I accomplished something?

What has become of our generation? :(



Feb. 15, 2010
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
Dirty: I agree with you on technology-driven ego enhancement and why that is so sad.

Taits: Maybe I put too much credence in SSUSA worrying about safety, and they are really worried about litigation. Here are two scenarios. Which one can SSUSA defend better in a litigious situation:

1. SSUSA bans hot composite bats, reduces ball “liveliness” to the standard of say, 1995, allows the pitcher a higher arc so he can move back farther, allows the pitcher to pitch from anywhere behind the mound even if 15 feet back, and still suggests protection for pitchers.

2. SSUSA allows even hotter bats, stays with current lively ball, insists that the pitcher can not begin from more than 6 feet behind the rubber, keeps the arc low (or considers lowering it even further), and then requires the pitcher to sign a waiver if he doesn’t want to armor up.

Seems like the second is just asking for a lawsuit when a pitcher is badly injured because SSUSA looks like it doesn’t care that faster speeds are more dangerous the closer the pitcher is to the plate.

Enjoy your thoughts and perspective as always.
Feb. 15, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Einy, I'm standing tall and you know who I am. Therefore your arguement about anonimity doesnt hold water.
Match is still being played!
Feb. 15, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Gary, what has become of our generation as it applies to Senior Softball? Senior Bats and Lively Balls! =)
AND
If the aggressive lobbying is allowed to continue unchecked, we will see free defensive subbing.
At that point the match will be over! imo
Feb. 16, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Omar, as far as a potential lawsuit based on your second scenario, what I am thinking is despite that particular set of "rules" and the hazards they might present pitchers know them BEFORE they step on the field. If they still choose to play under those rules who are they to blame?

Yes I know anyone can file a suit over pretty much anything, but as far as winning they voluntarily chose to play despite the rules. Whatever happened to "let the buyer beware"? They know the risk, as far as I am concerned they accepted it.
Feb. 16, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1956 posts
Does anyone really remember the old bats-just a hunk of metal like the Steele's bat (I still have mine, 38 oz), the Howard's bat, the brown Louisville) etc. The 'sweet spot' was very small and the challenge to hit well was a real tester of ability. A 600 average was considered good back then, and a 20 or 25 run game was huge. In 1979 Nationals in York, PA we played York Barbell and lost 11-9, and then Howard's(with Don Arndt) in the losers bracket and lost 14-10. This was open nationals and scores were in this range. Home runs were an event. Was it fun?? You bet and we worked hard at hitting, and defense. Now we know if we don't score 20-25, we won't be in the game very often. Have we gotten so old that we don't want to accept the challenge that would be presented by backing off the liveliness of the bat and shrinking the sweet spot? Actually hitting a ball somewhere other than the huge sweet spot and getting a truer reaction, like a slower ground ball or lazy fly. We reward sloppiness hitting with the huge hitting area on these bats. I know there are wood bat tourneys out there now, but I haven't had a chance to play in one yet. But I will, for the challenge. It's like a pendulum, back and forth between offense and then back to less offense. Hopefully we are at the long end of the offense.
Feb. 16, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Webbie
I still have a brand new Worth Thumper 44oz wood, has a thick heavy grip. After swinging a Miken it feels like its 10 lbs.
I like many we talk with here, would go back to the early days of balanced offense/defense, but know it would take many more of us to make it happen. We still need not let the issue die or lapse.
Feb. 16, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
webbie 25 there it is,now to quote someone here "GAME,SET, MATCH",like a tourney i use to play in when i lived in San Diego(at brengle terrace park in vista),"real men hit it out with wood",was the saying on the the shirt given to the hr hitters.
E4/E6,oh the days-the bombat meathead,Louisville big orange,the easton black magic,they were some logs weren't they,but hey we still played and had a great time doing it.there was strategy to the game back then,not this well lets see who can hit a ball 400' and brag about it,but the same person can't play D or even run for themselves. oh well at least i can still play some kinda game with the kids.
Feb. 16, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
sad pup, you are my hero!
Feb. 16, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Lets not forget the HOT bat that started it all. The fiberglass "MagBat" all yellow with black writing.
I think I still have my shirt Dog. =)
Feb. 16, 2010
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
Dirty, as to knowing the risk, I would guess that most pitchers DON'T know the risk. Maybe 10% read this forum and they have learned how fast a batted ball travels off a composite bat. Most just know the ball comes fast—they have no idea that they have less than a second to get their glove up to protect.

Also, SOMEONE has to pitch. If the team knows the real risk, peer pressure can force a pitcher without adequate protection, to sign the waiver and give it a try.

In either case, we both agree that "knowing the risk" and not suing when a $40,000 medical bill comes in, is not going to be a universal moral standard. And I think we both agree that the waiver is likely to prove useless—more a deterrent than something that will stand up in court.
Feb. 16, 2010
JamesLG
297 posts

I would definately like to see a smaller sweet spot and give the pitcher some arc range. I think this would make it much more difficult for the hitters. Keep the bats hot but cut the sweet spot by 50%.

Thanks:

James
Feb. 16, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4316 posts
James LG,
The s-spot is only 3-4 inches as it is, but is enlarged by the rolling about another 2, which they don't seem to care about.
Many times I have lobbied or posted to bring up the arc. Maybe they want meatballs to they can hit them or get someone injured, who knows. Your guess is as good as any one else's is.
Make the low limit, above the pitchers head. If the ump gets that one wrong, he shouldn't be umpiring. Make the upper limit, what ever. Sky's the limit.
Maybe, allow the pitcher to throw under the legs behind the back. who knows there as well.
But the G-spot (sweet spot) is good. You just need to hit it.
Start messing with specs like what's going on, will bring happiness to he makers, & some players, but eventually something is going to happen &\or balls will change again.
Feb. 16, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Omar, I am sure most don't read this. I would not have known that data if I didn't read it here, but not sure that makes a difference. I just know that 99 times out of 100 there is enough time to react to the ball.

I agree knowing the risk will not stop guys from trying to blame someone else for what happened. And I absolutely agree the waiver is probably not legally worth the paper it is written on.

taits, the sweet spot on a Miken is MUCH larger than 3-4 inches with no rolling whatsoever. It takes a lot to mishit a ball with an Ultra.
Feb. 16, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
E4/E6 so do you know ken H,the guy who threw the tourneys.great guy,he also threw a few different kinds of tourneys(old school bats was one i liked also).
Feb. 17, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Dog, no I didnt know Ken, I played a league many years ago and our manager had one shirt made up with that same saying on it, we pasted it around as the dingers were hit. I must have jacked the last one of the season and ended up with it.
Feb. 18, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1956 posts
E4/E6, I just got back from Detroit Tigers fantasy camp-great time-but hitting for 4 days 8 games with a 32 oz wood bat wore me out. Did hit 2 balls about 390 off the wall in right center, but didn't get one out of the park.The swing was so different-I had forgotten in the 34 years since I played baseball.Compared to that, we have it so easy, swinging a 28 oz bat that lauches a softball.
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