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Discussion: To screen or not to screen...

Posted Discussion
April 19, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
To screen or not to screen...
How many guys would stop playing senior ball if it moved to using screens
to insure pitcher safety while still having fun?
How many pitchers would NOT pitch
if we moved to screens to ensure safety
while keep in the fun.
Not me.
April 19, 2010
turn2
484 posts
Joe,
I liked the idea. I think it would protect the pitcher and we could still have fun playing the game.
Once guys got use to screen being there you would almost never hit it.
Later
Donnie
April 19, 2010
Larry S
37 posts
We have been using the screen for two years in Charlottesville twice a week for games and have yet to have an issue over the screen getting in the way or causing a controversy. It has not stopped anyone from having fun. When you hit the ball & hit the screen,its a dead ball. Larry
April 19, 2010
southernson
250 posts
It's a little old seeing this same discussion about protecting the pitcher.
It is the most dangerous spot to play in the infield, and always has been, when I was young, and now that I am not as young.

But I tire of this discussion about not hittig up the middle, making it an out, mandating protective gear, and now using a screen.

When a pitcher no longer back up 10 ft after a pitch, when a pitcher can no longer can truly field the position, the bottom line is they need to move to another position.

Yes I pitch, yes I've been hit, but I know that going in, and it's my choice to play that spot when needed.

Making the masses suffer because of the declining skills of a few and mostly because many who never should have played the pitcher position in the first place, is wrong, and should not have a remedy that changes the integrity of the game.

Enough already...
April 19, 2010
starburst23
Men's 60
44 posts
I pitched back when there was really no division but everyone played in the same bracket, there was alot of action up the middle then. It seems now in the senior division I would say over 80% of players can control where they hit the ball, I still believe it is up to an individual to decide to pitch, and know how to play that position to be ready for the comback hits.
April 19, 2010
Tate22
Men's 55
259 posts
Southernson: I'm with you, enough already on this issue. The problem (pitcher safety) is fixed as it is ever going to be, SSUSA did the right thing by puting pitchers in charge of their own safety. My team has played 3 SSUSA events this year, the new system works. To SSUSA's credit on this, they asked us and listened to the vast majority.

Joe - screens in the middle of the field have never been the solution. BTW: You should see Bill Gombos with a mask, tough as ever to hit, AND better protected.

JMHO;
Don Newhard
Manager - Nighthawks 55 M+
April 19, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4249 posts
I would NOT stop. Without it is preferred, but have played with it and only seen one thrown ball from the out field hit it trying to reach HP.
I pitch and Joe, playing is your life, like mine, I doubt you would stop playing either.
The screen takes most all of the pitchers defending job away. Not good.
April 19, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3919 posts
southernson,its the equipment being hotter than normal that is getting our pitchers.we are older now and our reflexes have diminished as we age(which is natural).
where does it say we need these hot bats to have fun(yes i use one to be able to stay up with the jones).i play with the kids a lot and pitch for them(play the field mostly for senior and occasionally pitch)and have no prol using to lesser bats.our senior league uses ASA rules and we have no complaints by any one,in fact it is more fun b/c we can get to make defensive plays you can't do with the hot senior bat.

so please tell me why we can't have fun playing with our present ball and usssa/nsa or lower bats to use. then we wouldn't need all this crap to protect ourselves.
April 19, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Everyone knows what needs to be done to avoid yet another rule to disrupt our game. Putting up a screen isnt an option unless you want to remove yet more defense from the field.
It will severely limit the pitcher as a defender from the game and will remove many chances of throwing out a runner at home from most anyplace up the middle.
It would seem more logical to remove equipment then adding more.
April 19, 2010
Paco13
352 posts
Utrip bats and a decent ball is all what is needed so we can add defense back to the equation. HECK NO TO A PITCHER SCREEN, IF HE GETS ONE I WANT ONE IN SS. LMBO
April 19, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
If a screen goes up I am done pitching and probably playing senior ball altogether.

A, it would take away MY fun playing defense.

B, I would have a hard time with a bunch of guys with such little pride that they are willing to make the field look like a miniature golf course just so they can get their rocks off hitting like they probably could not 30 years ago.

E4, this does not seem to be about logic but rather the fragile egos of old guys.
April 19, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
TATE22
I also play with Bill Gombos, on Thurs. nights in a open league and BTW we use a screen, AND that screen gives Bill even more protection than he has with just a mask.
This is a very good league. Younger guys (20-35) don't seem to have any problem with the screen, and I haven't seen it hit by any throws from the outfield. Just more saftey for the pitcher. The games are high scoring and lots of fun.
I've even noticed some really good pitchers using a screen in batting practice, that also makes sense for the same reason as using it in a game.........prevent injuries.
I can remember when we played 16" ball bare handed. When we went to slowpitch, I thought we were joining a "sissy group", they wore gloves! I was wrong, it was a great game. I got used to wearing a glove. I'd still play with a screen, and may look at it a another saftey improvement.
April 19, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
In answer to einstein's question: I'd continue to play with a screen. I've had one mandated for the last ten years in league play and it is amazingly non-obstructive. As a pitcher with the screen, I don't have a chance to field the line drive or the grounder right at me, but I make a lot of plays with it. Nothing prohibits the pitcher from fielding the grounder to the side, the line drive close to the screen, the pop-up, or the back-up plays at the bases.

Of course I think there are better solutions to return to the balanced game of the past four decades before the super bats, but the screen wouldn't stop me from having fun. I've had fun in more than 1000 games with it in league play and the number of plays from the infield or outfield where it interferes can be counted on one hand over a year's time.
April 19, 2010
Johnny Hose
Men's 50
71 posts
Joe, How Yous doin?
Am old school and still think the pitcher is a defensive part of the game. Love to see the pitcher involved in double plays. I think screens should be used in batting practice but have a hard time seeing it at game time. I know, I have never played a game with a screen... so maybe I shouldn't comment, but it seems that a good singles hitter would hit that screen at will, never making an out.
So, you've never met a coach that you could agree with anyway.
Miss ya, Brother.
April 19, 2010
UMBACH
31 posts
HOW, about running a few tournaments this way and see how many teams would be interested, you mite be surprised
April 19, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Joe and a "SMOKE SCREEN", trying to take the heat off the Bat/Ball issue.
No screens, cooler BALLS and Senior bats will probably be where we end up.
Thanks SS for the input.
April 19, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3919 posts
E4/E6,yep u hit the nail on the head.we will be using the 52-275,and i would much rather do that than put up screens.also u would basically stop the cheaters b/c this ball hits the same with all composite (shaved or otherwise)bats,ASA/USSSA/NSA/SENIOR doesn't matter than.
April 19, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
mad dog, if you're right, you've got the solution to bat cheaters that everyone seems to worry about and use to justify continuing with the hot senior bats! Softer ball and no advantage to the cheaters! Brilliant!

Not saying I would like a less lively ball, but I would like a less lively bat to return to the balanced game of softball we grew up with.
April 20, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
curveball, you CANNOT compare BP to a game. BP is very repetitive, almost boring, to the pitcher so there are many opportunities for a momentary lapse in concentration. But that is not, or should not, be the same as game conditions.

Watch a baseball games. Screens are always used in BP, never in a game. That is the analogy.
April 20, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I don't know who's pumping the idea
that USSSA bats are "less than" senior bats.
It's false once they get broken in properly.
I had a Freak that was better and hotter
than ANY Ultra 2 I have ever swung.
I had a Super Freak that hit as well or better than any Ultra 2 I have ever swung.
Now that's a smoke screen for sure E,
to get rid
of the equipment we have invested in
and love to use.
Great points and arguments,
guys and gals.
Screens will return the middle of the field to lots of batters like me
Tim Mallet, Brian (Smokey 20)
Gary Tryhorn,
Ron Joseph, Steve Wilson
just to name a few
who won't/don't go middle to keep from
injuring a pitcher.
That's a HUGE upside for using them.
Johnny Hose, you're the man.
April 20, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Joe, please remember that screens will
take away the middle from the defense. And the game, at least the way I learned it, is one-half offense and one-half defense. So what you give the offense you take from the defense with a net gain of ZERO.
April 20, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Screen or not to Screen (or Scream or not to Scream) resolution, SSUSA, pls submit a ballot to all managers and let them vote on the issue of Screen or not to Screen. We can resolve this issue based on the will of the majority and then we can play ball.
Note: I will send this to Terry.
April 20, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
How about just sending the ballot to pitchers and corner infielders. What outfielders and catchers have to say about my protection and my softbal experience is NOT relevant.
April 20, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Don't sign me up for supporting
what the managers may or may not
vote for.
I never agreed with one of my coaches about much of anything,
'cept Johnny Hose
and I don't think we need to stop the discussion about screens, just yet.
The argument or debate is useful
and non partisan and will stimulate
more positive thinking and involvement
by the community.
April 20, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Gary, great point.
I think that players who don't pitch
might too much to say about what could/
should happen to rules about pitching.
April 20, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4249 posts
One could say ALL this is a smoke screen.
Another could say it was 'hinted at' maybe even suggested, to put out here for discussion.
But given the issues that have been going on with the many rule changes, law suits we know are going on and those kept under the table, & changes which will make manufacturers "happy" and players more prone for longer hits (not that it will do the vast majority of players any good), new balls that are "safer" but imo, really another dumbed down version of a very restricted flight or performance ball, I believe this is a BACK DOOR way (sneaky way) to get some of it or maybe even more of all of it.
More revenue for assn for being allowed (bats\balls) with no cost to them.
More revenue to manufacturers with increased sales.
Balls will still vary and some will or have changed to the 52\275. And some players if not most all will need to relearn hitting skills to hit a sock type just right to get it to perform decently.
More advanced bats (1.21 BPF) will bring about a bigger smile to faces until they realize they are still getting basically the same old results they had been.
The power hitters will say wow, I hit it 400 on a 300 field, so what, it only had to go over it. It's not like they will be moving altering many fences for us because of all this. Only a very few have the room to move the fences back anywhere. ler alone the money to do it with.
A home run is a home run be it by one foot or a mile. But if bragging rights are your ego boost that will add to it. A hr with no one on is a run scored. A hr with 2-3 on is something better.
There are ALWAYS agendas for changes. You might as well expect the unexpected, its coming.

April 20, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
I guess we can blog it to death, that should settle the issue of screen or not to screen. Managers can poll their players and based on the results, submit your yea or nay ballot, or we could contact the folks in Washington DC and they can resolve this issue for us.
Note: Do we have senior softball players who would disagree with the majority on this issue, doesn't sound like these folks believe in the democratic process and maybe they are right just keep on blogging.
Blogger: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog
April 20, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3919 posts
the only smoke screen here is someone telling us that usssa/nsa bats are as good as the senior bats.if this were true then why are the senior bats not allowed in those other assoc's,mmmm makes ya wanna think that thought out.also why are the kids trying to get our senior bats painted to use in the other assoc if they are not hotter.
adding an obstruction in the middle of the playing field is NOT the way to have fun playing this game.
i play in a league that goes by ASA rules except the bats,we go by ASA,USSSA/NSA,so basically any bats but senior bats.we have a great time and i do pitch in this league(div 2 in 6 div's).
as i have said all along,either get rid of the senior bats or go to a ball that allows us to play a full game,and that includes defense.
April 20, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Dirty, you CANNOT compare Major League Baseball BP with softball BP for gosh sakes. There's a multitude of things happening all over the field in baseball and multiple screens in place for those that are doing other practices. They're hitting fungos, infield, and warming up arms all while BP is going on. Softball is one ball at a time, pretty easy in comparison.
Screens DO NOT take away the middle defense. It could if you pitch the ball and stand there like a statue! You can still field on the glove side of the screen, reach over the top for line drives, and go to the off glove side for grounders. Place the screen on the side of the rubber based on where the batter usually hits, giving yourself the advantage of plugging the hole you left. You'll be getting the batter to change their swing somewhat. I catch most line drives to the sides of the screen that I would have caught without the screen; and, the screen catches ALL the line drives that are right at me.
Lastly, this is an offensive game. You throw 5 runs up an inning, your going to win. You make 1-2 great plays an inning and can't score, you'll loose.
A pitcher with good defense isn't going to stop a team that puts up a nickle every inning.
Before you are critical of a new idea, you claim to be a pitcher, try it. Then pop off.
April 20, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Looks like screens are the wave of the future. Dirty doesn't like them even without trying them, but he is the only one who said he won't play with one (although others think they are an abomination).

On the other hand, einstein says if you take away his hot bats, he, and the "vast majority" will no longer play because it won't be FUN.

Also, he makes the same claim if the ball is dumbed down, then he and the "vast majority" will stop playing senior ball with a sock because the FUN is gone.

On one hand we lose Dirty. On the other we lose the "vast majority" of players, so it looks like TDs better be buying some screens for their tournaments.
April 20, 2010
Player25
Men's 55
51 posts
Would I quit playing? NO. However, would want to see the rules before deciding whether to support the rule. If the pitcher can still step to the side to field or reach outside the area of the screen, then I would be opposed. Reason, the screen would act as defense and the pitcher could defend a larger area than current. As to the 52/275 ball, this is very similar to the T4000 of old(so I have been told). My guess is that most seniors(being pretty inventive) would go back to hitting a stiffer, less responsive bat. Thus esentially having a combo that was banned years ago.
April 20, 2010
21stCenturyCaveman
5 posts
The people in Washington think they need to get involved with the BCS and the NFL helmet laws, so why not old men's softball too? I suspect something else is going to be tried since the Pitchers Revenge Rule went away, anyway. Why not try the screen for a year? Those that don't like it can go play with 25-30 yr olds hitting rockets down their throats, and the other 99% of us can keep playing with this relatively minor modification. And they can put an asterisk next to all the results for that year, to identify the 'screen year', so we can reminisce about how miserable it was 5 years from now, like we did about the 'strike years' in baseball and football. If it doesn't work, in 5 years nobody will remember it anyway. (Make that 2 years, I can barely remember the Pitcher Revenge Rule 6 months later.)
April 21, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Curveball you cannot compare a pre-game BP to a more typical one. Even when there is just a BP pitcher, batter, and a few guys shagging which happens ALL the time they are using a screen because of the repetitive nature of throwing BP. NOT the same as a game condition.

I don't need to try a dumb idea to know it is dumb, that is part of my gift. :)

You will do anything to preserve your "right" to use special bats and hit balls in your old age you could not when you were young. That might be the very definition of pathetic.

I want to play softball, NOT be part of a game of miniature golf. And by the way, good luck to the guys who do step to the side of the screen to make a play and take a deflection off the screen to your head. Then tell me what a great idea it is.

This is ALL because of the special bats and so many insecure guys refuse to see that.
April 21, 2010
neck10
476 posts
dirty the leauge I was in doesnt use miken ultra 2's I was using a demarini double wall I dont know what leauge you play in but there's guys up hear in 55&over michigan leauge can hit homeruns with asa bats.we dont even get to use the good usssa bats!!!!!!!!
April 21, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Dirty, you keep bringing up this "repetitive nature of throwing BP", you need to get you head out of your a$$ and pay attention when pretending to be a pitcher! I, like many guys, pitch BP without a screen. (I do it for a Major and a Major+ team. I have no attention deficit when pitching BP. Have you had yourself checked for A.D.D.? You must play a very low level of softball, you'd never fall asleep on the mound against my teams.
By the way, what team do you play on? What age and level do you compete at?
For me, this isn't about any special equipment. As for myself, I hit home runs before composite bats. How about you? How many would you guess you hit without a special bat?
The screes we use have round pipe, a deflection will go away from you because of the shape of the pipe. I stil think you will sustain more direct hits without a screen than with one from deflections.
Sometimes in a younger sport, it takes time to put in all the rules to make the sport better, more fan friendly, and more safe. We have a relatively young sport, roughly 35 years old. Look at othe major sports and the changes they continue to make, most of them are in the name of saftey. Baseball added helmets, football has changed ratings of helmets, and hockey added face masks: all in the mane of saftey. I see no difference in adding a screen.
FYI I also scoffed at a screen, until I tried in a young league. I had to eat crow, it works pretty damn well. But, as long as you act like an ostrich, your opinion has no value. You need to be more open minded and judge from experience, them your opinions will mean something.
April 21, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
neck, I understand that. That is always how it has been. There is risk to this game, there is risk to a lot of things.

We assume the risk when we take the field, or should, and we should not expect others to downgrade their experience to cover for our personal issues. If you cannot field your position and don't want to take that chance, change positions or change hobbies.

Accidents happen, injuries happen. I have seen guys get hit with bad hops, should we insist on all artifical turf fields? I have seen guys get hurt running into fences, should we remove them all?

But to change the basic rules for everyone else just does not make any sense.
April 21, 2010
neck10
476 posts
if you want to get rid of going up the middle for pitcher's saftey.either use the screen or make it an inning ending out the first time the second time that it happens batter is out every time he comes up the rest of the game same thing USSSA & ASA use in some of there lower divisions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!teams will get tired of this and take care of the problem themselves!!!!!
April 21, 2010
neck10
476 posts
most guys in major plus can hit a ball with a wooden bat up the middle that pitchers cant react to!!!!!!!!!if you hit someone in the heart you will live with it the rest of your life the pitcher might not!!!!!!!!
April 21, 2010
neck10
476 posts
dirty Ive been playing for 40yrs the associations change something every year,Im just saying most big hitters not just homerun hitters ,hit the ball harder than any pitcher can react.when I was playing little leauge they didnt have a face guard on the helments thank god they changed that no telling how many teeth they have saved over the years,everything changes all the time just ask obama!!!!!
April 21, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
We can agree to disagree. If a guy cannot field his position he needs to find another one. And if a major-plus pitcher cannot field against a wood bat, he needs to find another hobby. Or to play at a much lower level.

Personally, I would not be happy about it but I would be able to live with it. That is the risk he took when he took the field, just like I and all of us do, or should.

April 21, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Who will be paying for these screens? Each team? The TD's? Parks & Rec? The Municipalities?
Think about how many hundreds of screens would be needed.
There has been quite a bit of complaint about high tournament fees as it is.
What about transporting them? Another bag to pay for when flying?
If each team supplies their own and pitchers want theirs to pitch from, will we be slowing the game down to change each inning? ( I bring this up because there are a few different designs available )
Screens.......a nice safety idea, but maybe not a good idea for tournament ball.
April 21, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Neck you are right about change, and Obama has shown us not all change is for the better. Lesson to be learned? We'll see.
April 21, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
And who will be responsible for checking the condition of the screen before every game? Every inning? Every batter?

And who will be liable when a ball goes through a screen (I have a son who played baseball into college and have seen that happen first-hand) and injures the pitcher?

So many questions caused by irrational thinking, and so few answers.
April 21, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Well dirty, here's an offer you can't refuse! You say Major+ with wood bats is no big deal, need to find new position if you can't handle that. Well, here's my offer. I'll pay for your air fare, a room at the Hilton, and take care of your rental car, and buy your meals if you will fly to Palm Springs and hit of 2 of my friends swinging wood bats. I will even give you their names so you can check on them. They both play for the Seacrest Mavericks, 50 Major+. Paul Salow and Guy Haberman. If you can do a decent job pitching to them, with them using only a wood bat mind you, I'll take my hat off to you and bow down to you like the master you claim to be.
I think you'll find it's not the fielding ability, but the reactions in conjuction to the speed of the hit ball that's the problem.
Put up or shut up. Can we put this together so you can show us how it's really done by a top level defensive pitcher.
P.S. I may even throw in some spending money for you while you are here.
April 21, 2010
Gary33
142 posts
Great offer curveball.
April 21, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Simple stuff, E.
Almost every team has a screen they use for BP or then can use/rent/buy one
from the tournament director, upon arrival.
It can be checked at sign-in along with other standard equipment like the bats.
Home team supplies the screen for the game.
Standard placement for lefties
or righties and let's play ball.
Easy peasy.
April 21, 2010
lemons
Men's 65
301 posts
The only difficulty I have with the screen is that, as an outfielder I have a tough time picking up the ball off of the bat in order to get a good jump on it.
April 21, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Joe, it sounds easy and proabably should be. But someone has to pay for the screen(s). Someone has to pay for checked bags on every airline except Southwest. Pay pay pay. There have been many discussions about high tournament fees and high equipment cost already. Now its proposed we pay more.
Its time to take a stand and say no more.
You bring it up in almost every post about self interest or outside interests dictating what we need, so they can continue to make a buck.
In this case it is over kill. We have rules in place to protect the pitcher, he can choose not to follow those rules if he so chooses. But the choices are in place.
No to screens and yes to a Cooler more balanced game!
April 21, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Still a terrible idea. Why not just reduce the bats?

Because so many guys have so much invested in their current bats? That is hardly the reason. I am willing to bet that if a new bat comes along, deemed legal, that guarantees an extra 30 feet most guys would abandon their current bats in a heartbeat for it. So what would become of their "investment" then?

Despite what some are saying, that is not the reason at all.
April 21, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Dirty, are you suggesting we go back to the way the game was originally played?
What manufacturer and weight wood bat do you swing? I think all the good players just want a level playing field.

I didn't get any answer to my offer, so, I'll up the offer. You can sub for me as a pitcher in our open league and pitch without the screen. Also, if you make the trip in the 1st part of May, I'll pay for a seminar here at College of the Desert for you to not only attend, but help teach. "How to Win Friends and Influence People." An opportunity for you to be a hit. What say you? This is a great offer, don't pass it up.
I still neede to know your level of play before I put you on the hill against our guys here. (once again, concerned with your safety)
April 21, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
curve, I appreciate the gesture. Will be playing on a new team this year that will be starting at AAA from what I have been told, we will see where we go from there.

Played ASA A and some Open in the 70s and 80s, Utrip A and B as well back then.

I have NO problem with a level playing field, and actually have no personal problem with the special bats. I just don't want to see silly rules put in so the insecure among us can continue to do in their 50s and 60s what I know first-hand many could not do in their 20s and 30s. All due to the R&D and technology of others. What sense of achievement is there in that?

What am I missing with that to you?

And, as I said, it has NOTHING to do with guys wanting to continue to be able to use the bats they have paid so much for. You know as well as I do if legal bats came out that did hit 30 feet further (or pick your distance) many of these guys would drop their current bats in a heartbeat no matter how much they have spent for them.
April 21, 2010
stick8
1238 posts
Damn curveball, I'm not a pitcher but could I take you up on that offer? (smile)
I played against the Mavericks all last year so would one of the players you mentioned be nicknamed "Bully" or "Mango"? Along with Ron Parnell those two guys flat out hit it as hard as anyone.

April 21, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Stick, I actually just picked 2 of their players that were from here. Dang, I'd make the offer to you but you'd take me up on it!! Easier to get them together had dirty taken me up on the offer. Salow batted 2nd most of the year and played LF. Their new shortstop, Guy Haberman from Palm Springs, hits as good as anyone I've ever seen. He's the real deal. As you know, there are several guys around, including Ron Parnell, that would open a few eyes with a wood bat if the middle was open. If you don't play that level, or see guys from that level in your league, you don't have a clue how hard a guy can hit
Good luck this season with the Mavs, they'll be tuff again..
April 21, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
E4, you know I agree with you on almost everything "Cooler Bats For a More Balanced Game." But on screens, the finances are not a problem. TDs provide the screens. Screens cost about $200 each (3 1/2 x 6 1/2). They last for about 450 games. Even then they are not broken (replacement netting costs $50), but just showing their age from being broken down and set up so often.

Assume a TD has a quadplex. They buy 4 screens for $800. Two tournaments a year. 6 teams in a bracket is 15 games. A screen would last about 15 years minimum (more likely 30 years). 12 teams a year x 15 years is 180 teams entered. Additional cost per team? $1.00 Not a big burden.
April 22, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Perhaps a local home screen company would sponsor the screens. Good advertising in Senior Leagues, not that expensive for the ad per screen seeing they'll last for years.
I see more value in it than sponsoring an individual team.
April 22, 2010
neck10
476 posts
Curveball I gave $160.00 for the one I bought & donated to our 55&over leauge .Rob Schleede(ask mike macenko about rob) plays for me on our younger team in batting practice no one wants to pitch to him with the screen he works on everything &we are safe if he cant hit you no one can.
April 22, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Terrific discussion.
Great points.
If safety is that important
and it can be argued that it is
than screens are the way to go.
Guys will still pay to play and have a blast hitting the ball, looking and feeling good about themselves
and away we go.
April 22, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
The screen era will usher in
a renaissance in pitching as many players
who used to and can still pitch
will return to the mound throwing balls
with more moxie and movement than before.
Clatta told me the only way to get him back to the mound as he was a pitcher
in college, was when we moved to screens.
Clatta on the mound.
Now, that's a picture I'd like to see.
April 22, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Joe, if a legal bat came along that would give you 30-40 more feet and more speed on liners/ground balls through the infield and the outfield gaps, would you use it in place of your current bats?

Would your friends/teammates/acquaintances?
April 22, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
That's a great question, Gary
and thought provoking.
Hmmmmmm.
No.
Because the current bat/ball combo
is hot enough and insures we'll have
a good time.
Remember, for me,
at the base of this whole freakin' issue
is that the bat ball combo for most to all softball players
whether they're kids or not
must be good to keep the game
vital and satisfying enough
to want to play and invest in.
Restricted flight softball will never
work for kids or old men,
in my humble opinion.
April 22, 2010
stick8
1238 posts
Curve your damn right I'd take you up on that offer however I would come with no guarantee of throwing strikes (smile).
Seriously, I'm glad you indicated the Mav's are intact because back in January I heard rumors they were done as a team. Always fun playing against them.
April 22, 2010
neck10
476 posts
the one's that would use a hotter bat are the one's who have no power now.it's not the guy's who can hit that's the problem it's the one's who have no clue where the ball is going like trying to pull(instead of go with the pitch)outside pitches that get the pitcher in trouble.
April 22, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
neck, that might very well be true. I was just trying to gauge how many guys really don't want to dumb down the bats because of the "investment" they have in their current ones.

If guys would be willing to foresake their current bats for legal, hotter ones than that argument would not hold any water. And while I know Joe can hit with most anything, I still would be willing to bet a bit that most guys would drop their current bats in the blink of an eye for something hotter.
April 22, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4249 posts
Dirty,
If you or someone else breaks your u-2, I bet you'll bet another or the next generation of hotter legal ones out there.
I still have a few so I'm in no hurry to get the nex gen bat, have others I use anyway instead of a u-2, combat or another so as to prevent an out if might bring. But I sometimes need to borrow a heaver one to slow my swing speed down as well.
So, are you going to take curveball up on his offer...
It sure is a sweet one. Like they say, put up or shut up. Might get you out of the cold country for awhile in the process. That alone might be worth it.
I'm sure the majority laying would prefer the game to be closer to what we used to play but it won't happen. It's all now controlled with big profits in mind which is has both pos and neg aspects to it.
it may be out game we love but it's under their rules.

April 22, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
A sure indicator of how nothing will be changed by players is looking at how many looks a thread has compared to how many are willing to chime in on a subject. This one at this time has 20 different names, they have added 63, now 64 replies. Compared to 1008 who have only looked at the replies to the question asked.

April 22, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4249 posts
The true "silent majority".
However the stats are off a tad in that many of us come back to re-view threads. I know I do many times.
April 22, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Players vote with their dollars, E.
Association like SSUSA figure
and figured right about senior softball participation based on bat/ball combo
keeping senior bats
and good 44x375 balls.
NCSSA is run by players and the rules
favor the players best interests
and will continue to do so
and if we think screens are OK
then, we'll use screens.
April 23, 2010
DoubleL10
Men's 65
797 posts
Player25 said: "As to the 52/275 ball, this is very similar to the T4000 of old(so I have been told). My guess is that most seniors(being pretty inventive) would go back to hitting a stiffer, less responsive bat. Thus esentially having a combo that was banned years ago." Let's break out the Bombats, then!
April 23, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
taits, you are correct. But I also wouldn't complain or stop playing if they tell me for the good of the have I am not allowed to use my Ultras anymore.

Joe, knock yourself out with the screens if your guys want to. I just don't want to play on a miniature golf course.
April 23, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4249 posts
Dirty,
i really doubt anyone would quit. Been said before and didn't, by some.
Rules keep changing or maybe called evolving like the equipment, but both have consequences that effect participation. some will sit back and see how it effects the game some will play it to try it.
But most seniors are 'lifers' to coin a phrase.
The trial and error testing phases, imo, just hurt the game those assns tried retried and for the most part failed at w\o acknowledgement thereto.
But as you can see, more is on the way.
As for the screen, as it is now, both mgrs have to agree on its use, & unless it's made mandatory, (like the gear up, sing on dotted line or ya don't pitch & bitch rule now)
At least we don't have tiger woods looking for holes to putt in.
April 23, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4249 posts
Just noticed the other thread einstein started, 'bat cheating' was closed... someone got touchy. I read no 'rule broke', maybe another exception. That exception list is growing... lol
Problem is, it exists all over and not much is done to check it with the little resources available as said anyway.
April 27, 2010
homefry
Men's 55
8 posts
Same song, different verse...

rather than tweaking bat and ball specs, home run rules, screens, pitcher protective gear---please consider this:

Unlimited arc!

So, I ask you this--how many of you (and your teams) would quit playing if the arc was not restricted?
April 27, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Great comment on the arc.
I say a lot because it would diminish
performance and satisfaction hitting
the ball.
I would go a little higher AND a little lower make the rubber wider with Utrip
movements and faking and not take the bat out of the hitters hands by throwing
balls coming straight down from 20 feet.
That's always been my point.
There's lots of things we can do without
punishing EVERYONE including the spectators by going to decreased
bat/ball standards.
It won't ever work for seniors
and I don't think it will for the younger players.
Attendance and participation will drop
meaningfully, affecting expenditures,
sales and investments in softball
all the way around and too few people will see or get an upside from that
phenomenon.
April 27, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3919 posts
April 22, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1060 posts
Joe, if a legal bat came along that would give you 30-40 more feet and more speed on liners/ground balls through the infield and the outfield gaps, would you use it in place of your current bats?

Would your friends/teammates/acquaintances?
April 22, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
1926 posts
That's a great question, Gary
and thought provoking.
Hmmmmmm.
No.
Because the current bat/ball combo
is hot enough and insures we'll have
a good time.
Remember, for me,
at the base of this whole freakin' issue
is that the bat ball combo for most to all softball players
whether they're kids or not
must be good to keep the game
vital and satisfying enough
to want to play and invest in.
Restricted flight softball will never
work for kids or old men,
in my humble opinion.


well right here i will throw the BS flag,joe u would jump at the chance to use a hotter bat then we have now,so don't go saying you wouldn't,thats just bs on your part,you know it and i know it,so quit lying.
i'm all for a safer game to play but can't see the use of a screen to accomplish it,maybe for local leagues and such but not for tourney ball.
April 27, 2010
southernson
250 posts
Good Lord did I hear a used car sales pitch in this thread?

Using a screen will be a "Renaissance" in slow pitch softball?

I have a tooth somewhere in the clay in Las Vegas, had two ribs broken by a line shot in Birmingham that remain broken today, cracked ribs in Pensacola, and my friggin knees look like a Kentucky road from lace prints. And I would have it any other way...SSUSA has done the right thing for the game as it is now and we appreciate it.

Funny how no one ever mentions the 3B, guess there's no revenue or liability lurking over there - yet.

Here's a change for ya:

How about "water wings" for all the players in case it rains?

Quit

April 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Good balls and bats forever, guys.
It's the only we play and anything else
is ignorance or self interest talking
or Kurt and I are going fishin'.
April 28, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Joe, I whole-heartedly agree with "good balls and bats". But "good" does not have to equal "special" for us to have a good time.

Utrip bats are plenty good. Heck, so are some ASA bats.
April 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
The point is, Gary,
the UTrip bats are as hot or hotter
than senior bats making the argument
to remove them meaningless to the players
but not to self interested others.
A Local high school kid go bonked by a hit ball and is in medical treatment
since it happened and there was a movement
to ban the hot bats.
It was voted down soundly
saying wooden bats are just as dangerous and they're right.
When I was in high school
a kid at a rival high school got hit in the head in BP while talking with a ooach at 3rd base, went into a ooma
and died.
It's really all part of the game.
We're being pushed around by both ignorance and self interest
and we need to back our stand
against the bat/ball combo slide.
April 28, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
einstein twice claims that those who oppose his opinions are driven by “ignorance or self interest.” A weak try to demean others who don’t see it his way.

“Self interest”...I guess that would be when einstein pushes his hitting video that talks about hitting the ball a long, long way. Not so easy with a double-wall, is it? So demanding a “lively” bat would be the height of “self interest” and put bucks in his pocket (or maybe he gives it all to charity).

“Ignorance” would be assuming that the vast majority of players our age who grew up playing softball in the day of non-super bats (which only entered the scene less than a decade ago) never had fun and would all quit if the hot bats were banned. Couldn’t be a much more ignorant opinion than that. My guess is that only einstein, out of pride, would quit if the hot bats (and I am including more bats than just the Miken—those bats that einstein says are “just as hot” as the Ultra IIs) were banned.

The rest of us would go on playing and having fun and relishing the return of the importance of defense, base running, and strategy—the balanced game we grew up playing and loving. Somehow, we would all be defined as ignorant and self-interested.
April 28, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Joe, while some Utrip bats might be hotter than some special bats, that is certainly not the rule across the board.

And I had a son who played D-1 JUCO baseball in Kansas, and there is NO way the wood bats are as hot as the composite baseball bats. They just aren't.

Are there accidents with wood? Sure. But in no way are those bats anywhere near as hot as the high-performance composites.
April 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
It's all snake oil and ignorance,
Gary.
The snake oil guys think we, the seniors will fall for/go along with anything and to hear some of the comments
I can see why they might.
If we went to wooden bats
the balls would be turned up again
to make it fun enough to hit/play
and the sme conditions, relatively
speaking would prevail.
It's a bunch of hooey.
Good balls and good bats, forever.
It's the only way the game was meant
and will be played by most.
It's already been debated to death
and acted on by Senior Associations.
Game, set and match
and let's play some ball.
April 28, 2010
Stretch14
Men's 50
180 posts
With good bats and balls.
April 29, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Again guys, I have no problem with "good" balls and bats. But I don't necessarily think that only special equals good.

If a you can't hit with a Utrip bat, play checkers. :)
April 29, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Terry, Fran, Dave, Ray, & Keith Parker(SSUSA & TD) Pls Comment on whether To SCREEN or not To SCREEN. We are (in my case) looking for an unbaised and objective view point on an issue that is dominating the message board, lots of passion from both sides of the issue. Is the pitcher protective equipment requirement provide adequate protection for a pitcher, if so why not make it a mandotory requirement, no waivers.
Thanks
April 29, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Capt., I would like to think the answer is that this is the United States and we do/should have the freedom to decide what we want and don't want to wear.

It is really no one else's concern how I, or any other pitcher, protects himself. We are only potentially hurting ourselves, as we have always taken that risk, and to mandate anything further would be waaaaay over the line.

Why do non-pitchers always want to come out of the woodwork and care about what I and the other pitchers wear?
April 29, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Dirty, I believe if your check the SSUSA rules, we have a pitcher protection clause, I am advocating that we would put some teeth into it.
We do live in the USA and rules and norms are what keep us in line, otherwise no nules, chaos takes over and the players run amuck.
April 29, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
My not wearing gear would cause chaos to NO one. Why do non-pitchers care if the clause has "teeth"? What would that tangibly do for anyone? Absolutely nothing that I can see.

It is available if I want to use it. Beyond that is no one else's concern what I do or don't wear. How does that affect anyone else?

Where is the waiver? I will sign it now.
April 29, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
The waiver is the back side of the lineup card. You sign before each tournament game. You would therefore have to be playing in a SSUSA tournament to get to sign a waiver.
April 29, 2010
SSUSA Staff
1006 posts
The Pitcher Equipment Rule (SSUSA Rule Book §6.17) and the related Waiver procedure is included as a separate page in each Official Program for events administered by the SSUSA office and is also available from the link below and from the Rules Page of this website.

Pitcher Protective Equipment Rule & Waiver (PDF)

Waiver on Game Card

April 29, 2010
Pitcherman
Men's 50
40 posts
I have been pitching for 25 years and the last 5 years I have played major/major plus and I can and do field the middle. I will play no matter what bat/ball combo is used but seriously doubt that I would play with a screen. A huge part of the game is defense and a screen changes the defensive game in a way that nothing else has done in my lifetime. I believe that there is no reason but ego and/or declining skills that requires the bat/ball combo that we use in senior ball. People can say all they want that the majority would only play with the hot ball/bat combos we have now in senior ball but we all know that is not the truth. True ball players will play regardless.
April 29, 2010
birdie
Men's 60
671 posts
well said Pitcherman, Those that love the game will play no matter what. Proof of that is in the California tourney where the bad balls were used and were below the approved balls standards all teams played and bitched later. Thanks Harry
April 29, 2010
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
birdie........I think that you have presented a poor example. What you had was a captive group of teams that did not know about the bad balls that were to be used. Let the teams know in advance, then count the number of participants.
April 30, 2010
birdie
Men's 60
671 posts
Salio, I agree with you that the teams should have been informed before hand. All I am saying is once there you should not switch balls so your team can hit the better ball and then switch that ball back for the sock so your opposition can hit the sock. The post was about cheating not the TD bad judgement. Harry
April 30, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1931 posts
I have watched this thread for a while. Very interesting! I have played with the screen in league and do not like it. I have hit it twice with throws from the outfield and feel that it takes wawy from the pitcher being a defensive player. It also takes away a large areas offensively when you get a pitcher that steps well to the side of the screen after the pitch. However, I would be an advocate of the screen in recreational leagues for protection, but not tournaments. Tournament teams are more serious and (hopefully) ready for the competition and harder hit balls.
Einstein-I can't believe we actually found your limits on lively bats. No because YOU think they are hot enough now? A lot of us felt they were hot enough a while back. Why don't you respect our beliefs, too? Just a couple notches would make a big difference and the game would remain lively. It is much easier to get the bats right than the balls. Keep the good balls and temper the bats.
April 30, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1931 posts
wawy??? ooops, lysdexic-sorry-----away
April 30, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
For those that have played with the screen, are there any issues for the pitchers who do step to the side getting hit by balls that deflect off the side of the screen? That, to me, would be a major, unfortunate, and unnecessary concern that we should not have to have.
April 30, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4249 posts
Only issue might be if he got hurt, other than that it's a DBO regardless.
You can not Protect anyone after the face or event.
April 30, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Yes, Dirty, it can happen. I used to worry about it also. But after pitching more than 1000 games with a screen, it has never happened, and I don't step behind the screen after every pitch...or even 90% of the pitches. I want to field the ball. In my experience, it is far less likely to happen than a bad bounce from the dirt.

Also what has never happened is that a ball has gone through a properly maintained screen. If a pitcher steps behind the screen after each pitch, he will NEVER get hit.

So as to safety, the screen can promise 100% safety for the pitcher who goes behind the screen.

In contrast, I have yet to witness or hear of a tournament where a pitcher wasn't hit by a line drive or hard bouncer—usually a bruise, sometimes off protection, sometimes so serious that the pitcher leaves the game, sometimes even more serious (heard last week of a guy who lost his upper teeth a couple of weeks ago on a line drive just above his mitt).

So, safety only taken into account, a screen can provide maximum protection versus the fielding skill of the average tournament pitcher against hot bats and lively balls.
April 30, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
In order to make this silly rule work, and not become a complete farce, the pitcher should HAVE to stay behind it. Otherwise, I am out if I hit a screen that the pitcher is not using and no one is behind? AND the pitcher gets to come out from either side and really expand his "defensive" territory.

That ia crazy!
April 30, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Most venues that use a screen do not make hitting it a dead ball out. Some call it simply a dead ball. Others call it a strike. Some call it a strike only if there are already two strikes. Some call it a strike only if you have previously hit the screen in that at bat.

In other words, pitchers are free to field as they wish, but if they wish safety, they move behind it.

The only frustration for a fielding pitcher like me are the balls that hit the screen that I know I could have fielded. As I say, the screen works for safety; it has its challenges for defense (but not as many as imagined by you and others posting—take it from a man with 10 years experience pitching using a screen).
April 30, 2010
stever
Men's 65
56 posts
Two points:
1. In order to be fair, it would seem to me that pitchers should not be allowed to field anything up the middle if a screen is used. Otherwise, the better ones will move to one side, the shortstop and secondbaseman will move to the holes, and it will be extemely hard to hit a ground ball through the infield. How many pitchers would agree to that?
2. SSUSA already did a survey last year on this issue and the majority wanted the rules the way they are (good bats and balls, no screen, no PPR). Many of the most vocal on this site are most vocal about claiming the associations don't listen to the players; yet, when the majority of the players don't agree with their views they can't let it go. While it is a true trajedy when a death or serious injury occurs there will never be a way to mandate 100% safety. I have seen a player die on the field after running the bases; but we don't suggest alterations in the rules to stop running. We all accept some risk when we get up in the morning. The only way to mandate 100% safety in this issue is to play the game on a computer (then we would probably risk carpal tunnel ;).) And no, I'm not a pitcher but I am a corner infielder.
May 1, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
784 posts
If a screen was used, the pitcher would have to be entirely out as a defensive player. His job would be to pitch the ball, period. If the ball hits the screen, it would have to be assumed that he would have made the play and the batter is out ... but just the batter, you can't assume the double play. The width of the screen would be his assumed defensive range. A lot of assuming here!

Just thought about covering bases, would he be allowed to do that?
May 1, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Dirty, I pitched in my day to some of the hardest hitter in the bay area (CA). I now prefer to catch, I guess every man or woman has to know their limitation. Dirty, pls provide to us non-pitching type your routine to improve and maintain your hand/eye cordination, you are an exception to the biological clock.
May 1, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3919 posts
jawood,got to agree with if a screen is used,pitcher not allowed to field balls back up the middle.i tell ya if i used a screen i could get some coverage up the middle,just push it slightly to one side and cover the the other.would not have to have any range to cover the middle.
please no screens.

capt kirk,your kidding about asking dipty tips for getting and keeping those amazing reflexes he has.hell he hasn't answer the question of how to bat 1.000 b/c slowpitch softball is so easy to play.
May 3, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Capt., not sure where that silly post of yours is coming from. But since you asked, there are numerous both hand/eye and agility drills that can be used to both improve reaction time and allow the pitcher to get greater depth on their backpeddle and consequently more time to react.

I didn't invent any of it, I just use it instead of pitching the ball, standing there, getting hit, and whining.

And yes, sad pup, hitting a big ball moving very slowly is not much of an athletic feat. Are some better than others? Of course. But at its core is it a difficult athletic accomplishment? No, not at all.

BIG ball! Moving VERY slowly! Before fast pitch took over I would watch and ump 8 year old girls who could make solid contact.
May 3, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Dirty, that slowing moving softball traveling at rate 90 mph for a distance of 50' in .3 of second, sound like an eternity to me. Let's just throw out the science (ball speed and pitcher reaction time) and go with our gut feeling, that should make it a safer game for the pitcher.
May 3, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Capt., the slow-moving ball comment was to sad pup and his concern that hitting a large ball moving very slowly is indeed very difficult to hit.

Of course it moves much faster when hit, especially with the special bats.

My gut feeling tells me that the oldest, slowest, and worst eyesight group being the only ones allowed to use the special bats is completely illogical.
May 3, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Dirty, My gut feeling tells me that we are already in the the older, slower, and worst eyesight group. Also my gut feeling tells that the aforementioned folks want to use the special bats is completely logical. T
May 3, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Dirty, My gut feeling (let's thrown in some science) tells me that we are already in the the older, slower, and worst eyesight group. My gut feeling tells me that the aforementioned folks want to use the special bats is completely logical. (DAMN KEYBOARD), The science says protect the pitcher, use screens or mandatory pitcher protection equipment. Not and android yet, probably never, let's have beer that always seems to improve our athletic prowess.
May 3, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
You want protection? Make the "weapons" less lethal.

Making pitchers look like hockey goalies and the infield like a miniature golf hole just smacks of insecure old guys who will sell out anything in order to be able to stroke their fragile egos.
May 3, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Summation:
1) Hotter bats-Not so hot bats
2) Hotter balls-Not so hot balls
3) Pitcher Protection Screen- No Screen
4) Pitcher Protection Equipment (Optional)-Pitcher Protection Equipment (Mandatory)
5)Secure- Insecure
6)Offense-Defense
7) fragile egos-most of us
What is the win win solution for the betterment of Senior Softball?
May 3, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
My opinion.

Not so hot bats. Utrip would suffice.
Adequate balls.
NOOOOO screen.
Optional equipment. My safety is not some association's concern. It is mine.
Secure.
Equal mix of O and D.
No egos. The games are played to win.
May 3, 2010
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Utrip bats for 70+. No screens. I know that there are a few on this site that would like screens, but there are many that don't. When I go to tournaments, I see 1 or 2 pitchers that use mandatory equipment. All others sign the waver. That speaks volumes for me.
May 3, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
784 posts
Wouldn't the banning of the U-2's lead to doctored bats? Now there is no need to doctor, but with these other bats, people may be tempted. It all over the kids game.
May 3, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Thats a good point Jawood.
But the rules make it manditory for a player to hand over his bat if its involved in a pitcher injury. Technically it wouldnt be any different then now. Cheat and get caught, you're out along with your Mgr.
I would rather see a different ball used then changing or outlawing bats.


May 3, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Why do seniors need bats no one else is allowed to use?

Slowest group using the liveliest bats. Just silly.
May 3, 2010
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Because that is exactly what the other team is using! The manufacturers were allowed to make them and seniors are allowed to buy them.
May 3, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Wow, was that an empty, meaningless, and pointless response. :(

People are allowed to manufacture bongs too. Should we all be allowed to use them?
May 3, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Some would say yes. Especially here in California. That may not be the best example to use.
May 5, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1931 posts
I still say it is easier to get the bat right (cooler) than the ball. Remember when they did cool the balls before, the quality was terrible for a year before they got it right.(RF80) 3 hits and they were mush. Vote-cooler bats-44/375 ball that we are using. Check my April 30 post on screens. No, especially for tournaments. Pitcher protection-optional.
How many people have changed the way they approach hitting? I used to pick holes, go opposite field a lot to keep defenses honest, you know-real hitting. Now I have decided to just hit it hard because I know if it is not right at someone, they won't get it. Under .800 is a poor tournament. Can we reconcile that with the days that .800 was all-world in a tourney? Man are we spoiled by this.
May 5, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
FYI http://zh-tw.facebook.com/pages/SwingMechanics/100402579180
May 5, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
I would be careful citing that site. At one point he advocated releasing the bat with the top hand BEFORE contact.
May 5, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Dirty, I did not see him releasing his top hand before contact, I did watch the video, what is your point?
May 5, 2010
neck10
476 posts
dirty pitcher can come out from behind screen if he can get to batted ball on ground,he will never get to line drive out side of screen if he could means its coming slow enough that it cant hurt him.pitchers have to pitch over the screen then they look for strike or ball they dont move outside of screen while ball is in air to batter that would be kinda doing away with whaat the screen is for,so there not allowed to move from behind screen until ball has been batted!!!!!!!!!
May 5, 2010
Pvt.Parts
1 posts
Capt.Kirk - Keep your hands off those hotter balls. Unless they're double play grounders.
May 6, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
neck, so with the screen the umps not only have to look at the pitch for legal arc, the pitcher for legal motion, the batter to make sure he is in the box, and the ball to see if it hit the mat, but now have to look to see if the pitcher comes out from behind the screen too soon? How else would that be monitored and enforced?
May 6, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1931 posts
Good point, Dirty. Are you really going to tell some of the top defensive pitchers in our game that they cannot play defense any more? Want to see guys start quitting?--take away part of the game, and that's what this does. A big part. Save the screens for recreational play--those of us who still compete know what's out there. Cool the bats a couple notches and let's play ball.
May 6, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Screens make sense, Mark,
a trait tough to come by in these times
with all the deregulation, money
and self interest standing in for
for culture and true value.
Screens let us play our game at an more
comfortable level without having to worry about hurting a picher
and have even more fun at the plate.

I got hit last night with a bullet
while pitching against the kids
right in the shin.
You know what, my leg got swollen.
You know what, I put ice on it.
You know what, it's happened tens of times before.
You know what, I feel better already
and I'll be pitching this weekend.

We're being scared in driven into a corner by ignorance and self interest
regarding taking lively bats and balls
out of our hands.
They are essential to play our game.
Don't ever forget it.
You can either learn to love
bleeting and being nervous like a sheep
around men or take a deep breath,
suck it up and let's play ball.
May 6, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1931 posts
Is the game all about 'fun at the plate' as you put it? Did you never get just as big a thrill with a diving catch to save a game in the bottom of the seventh? Hitting has always been a challenge (as much as hitting a 'slow' pitch can be). Back in the early 80's,before the 'hot' balls, a .700 average was a heck of a goal to shoot for. With that equipment you found out who the real hitters were. Wasn't it fun challenging yourself to be the best? Wasn't it satisfying to go 24-28 playing almost every game into the teeth of a strong wind with no hrs? I admit, I am very spoiled too at this point. If I make an out, I am upset. Spoiled rotten. But, I would welcome a cooler bat by a couple notches. I do not want to see all 6-5 games. Why do we have the 5 or 7 run limits? Because with these bats 20 run innings would not be unusual. Look at the open innings. We have scored 20 plus several times. We have given up 20 plus several times. Even in the heyday of the hot balls when we played some 57-42 and 64-40 games (When we were one of the top teams in the country and playing some of the top teams) I don't think the balance was as out of whack as it is now. Just a couple notches to, say, the level before the composite bats. Not a radical cut down like the sock seems to bring. Even you showed your limits in another thread when you said no to bats that could hit a ball 30 feet farther than the ones we have now. Why would you say that and 'lively bats and balls forever' in the same breath? There are always people on different sides of an issue. You are at the extreme lively side. Some are at the dead ball side. The answer is most often somewhere in the middle. Somewhat cooler-not extremely cooler. Why not? And there are not any 'scare tactics' in this post.
May 6, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
That's a very thoughtful and honest reaction, Mark.
I don't think that defense is any less important with lively balls and I would say it's even more important because it's those take aways that can really stop the momentum of an offensive attack.
High scoring games are more fun.
They just are.
Hitting a ball hard and far
is intrinsically satisfying, Mark.
It just is and there's a TON of self/other interest involved with all the hullabaloo about going to restricted flight balls and dumb bats.
Our game has ALWAYS been dangerous.
The high school association that
has jurisdiction over the boy getting bonked a couple of weeks ago
voted overwhelmingly not to give up
the bats and go to wood saying
it wouldn't mean a significant difference.
The community is beginning to catch
it's breath in the midst of all the pressure to dumb down our game,
thank God, and cooler, unafraid,
more reasonable heads have prevailed.
Think SSUSA, NCSSA, SPA and Hunstman
just to name a few.
The game has always been dangerous,
Mark and it's part of why it's still challenging and satisfying.
Let's play ball.

May 6, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
And if safety is really than important
an issue as a zealous few purport
than screens are the way to go,
not changing and killing the game
for everyone else.
When did destroying the fun/experience for EVERYONE become the way to solve a problem regarding pitcher safety.
It's not and it's wrong.
May 6, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Post Leaders:
1) Dirty- 29 (within +/- of 2 maybe)
2) Einstein-14 (within +/- of 2 maybe)
It looks like einstein is making up some ground on the backstretch, we will have to wait and see if Dirty has something left for the stretch run.
SSUSA STAFF-1 Post
May 6, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
What has that got to do with
the issues at hand?
Nothing but uncharactered fluff
more commonly known as mental masturbation at best.
Save it for the shower, sir or madam.
May 6, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Albert, sounds like you are a hands on guy, what is your plan or what is your point? Are you advocating that SSUSA set up a series of safety test sites to evaluate/verify/validate whether or not we need a pitcher's protection screen? I live a long way from SF, what we may have is a failure to communicate.
May 6, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
We just wanna play and have some fun
like we been doing for quite a while, now but, it seems
a very self interested/errant
few don't think we're entitled
and wanna kill our game.
It ain't broken
so don't fix it has been said before
but never been more applicable.
Lively bats and balls forever
and if safety is TRULY a major concern,
let's use screens.
May 6, 2010
JBTexas
Men's 60
248 posts
Spoken as a true home run hitter, I'm a no go with the screens, hate to lose my bat but it will hurt less then losing the middle for us single and double hitter. Screen won't hurt the big guys at all.
May 6, 2010
Stretch14
Men's 50
180 posts
I would love to pitch if we had a screen. I pitch all the time in batting practice. I would pitch if we had a screen.
May 7, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
What about the pitcher protective mask, good, bad, or just so so protection for the pitcher?
May 7, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
If someone wants to wear a mask, go for it. But to make everyone else is just wrong. Who am I hurting if I don't wear one? The association? No. The other team? No.

Stretch, honestly if you need a screen to pitch then you aren't a pitcher and shouldn't be there. Just because you can throw strikes in BP does not make you a pitcher.
May 7, 2010
JBTexas
Men's 60
248 posts
in over 40 years and couple thousand games with pitching about 75% of those, I have seen no pitcher hit in the head, below the waist is another story, been hit numerous times from one hop or off the rubber hits. Shin guards would be great for that problem. I still feel I can get a glove on 99.9% of line drives, bad hops not so much. In Batting practice you get lazy, with pitch after pitch, better chance of getting hurt there then in a game.
May 7, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3919 posts
i love it,we who want a little safety(by going to a lesser ball or bats) in our game are ignorant and self serving,but those who want a screen,so they can blast away,aren't.you do know that the screen only will protect the pitcher,what about the rest of the INF,3b's have to play so deep now their throws are 3 hoppers over to first.i have that when i do single i have a great chance of getting to 2nd b/c the OF'ers are playing so deep b/c of our special bats,oh and i'm not the quickest person around.
if you put a screen in front of the pitcher why not any of the other INF'ers,they could use some help also.
May 7, 2010
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
This site is made available to us by SSUSA. We all know what their rules are. From my experience at SSUSA (also SPA, ISA, and LVSSA) tournaments, pitchers do not want screens. They do not even armor up as required. They prefer to sign the waver. To those advocating screens………are you advocating screens in your local city senior league or are you asking SSUSA to use them. If you do not play SSUSA, why worry about it? Are you advocating screens for the older age groups, or all of them? My local senior league uses ASA rules. My open league with the young kids uses ASA rules also. Neither league is asking for screens. I do agree that a screen would give the pitcher a safe place to stand, but you should also ask that all softball and baseball fields be equipped with them. ASA bats will hurt as much as senior bats. Baseballs coming off baseball bats will also hurt. We, the senior community also have senior baseball to think about. Let us protect those pitchers also.
May 7, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
The testimonals keep on coming, what about the studies that have been done on bat/ball speeds. I would suggest that we read some facts about the aforementioned before we continue with our self absorded conclusions about pitcher safety:
http://www.tpec.edu.tw/%2Fself_store%2F79%2Fself_attach%2F95_15_paper1.pdf
Note: KMH/MPH CONVERSION .62 X KMH=MPH
May 8, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Batted Ball Velocity (BBV) research:
http://www.thesportjournal.org/article/composite-softball-bat-revolution-why-pitcher-has-little-time-react-batted-ball
May 8, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
The game has always been dangerous for the pitchers and infielders given bad hops and for those hit by thrown balls.
Again, if safety is a key issue
and I hazard it isn't but for the self interested and those who probably shouldn't be pitching or playing the infield anymore
then go to screens which will protect
the pitchers and give the middle back to the hitters
Screens will protect seniors whose
reflexes/reactions are slowing down
better than anything else and support the joy of hitting in the game
we love to play.
May 8, 2010
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Capt Kirk..............do you have any research that is more current. They were comparing a syn+ to a wooden bat. I think that you will find that pitchers in SSUSA do not read any of the research available. They just sign the waver and pitch. Check out the Reno tournament. Should be a lot of pitchers throwing meat to batters using senior bats without getting hit.
May 8, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
I would suggest that at least half of the pitchers in senior softball no longer have the reflexes to handle the phenomenal ball speed generated by the special senior bat and therefore it is only a matter of time when a ball will be hit right at them in a way that a serious injury will occur.

einstein now suggests that many infielders are also no longer able to handle power shots coming off the super bats. I agree. I would estimate about 1/4 of them, even standing 75-80 feet away (as they have to do when facing a lively bat/ball), do not have fast enough reflexes to handle the speed of a ball hit just so right at them.

So what is the solution? Have half the pitchers stop pitching? Where are the new pitchers coming from?

einstein is also correct that a screen is the safest solution, but how does that help the infielders, particularly the corner fielders?

The only universal solution is to reduce the power of the bats or deaden the balls. Go back to single walls. The dangerous batter isn't only the boomer who can hit a home run 400 feet (and think of the velocity of that ball!!), but it is batters like me who never generated enough speed on the ball to reach the fence with my single wall, but now can hit them out with my Ultra II. The pitcher has to worry about a string bean like me! How ridiculous.

May 9, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1931 posts
Ahhhh, Mad dog--you have the answer. Screens in the infield at all positions, a pitching machine, painted circles in the outfield and if you hit a screen or into the circle you are out. No defense at all-we rest on the bench until we can hit-saving our declining strength in our old age for ---HITTING. Nobody gets hurt in the field, pitchers are not at risk, infielders covering bases waiting for throws are not at risk of one of our seniors STREAKING TO AND SLIDING into a base, no worry about bad hops as the screens can handle them. The only thing to worry about then would be pulling a muscle swinging the almighty bat, pulling a hammie or turning an ankle on the bases, or bruising your massive ego. Anyone have answers for that so nobody ever gets hurt?
May 9, 2010
tattooball
601 posts
There is 1 huge problem with the screen method of protection, I wish a few lawyers would chime in.

If SS-USA mandated a screen to protect the pitcher, they are responsible for every injury that a player or spectator gets from a softball impact.

In a court of law the first question asked by an attorney to the association would be, Why do you choose to only protect 1 player on the field?
The second would be why do you need to have a screen to protect a player on the field of a recreational sport?
The third would be why is the approved equipment so dangerous and not approved by any of the bigger associations including the national governing body of softball?
The forth would be who decided what players life was worth more when playing on the field? Because when you choose to protect the pitcher, the statement you made is he is worth more than any of the other fielders. Or is that it is more dangerous to pitch? So in essence the association is saying it is safe to play the other positions on the field, therefore they say it is safe so they would be liable.

ASA is having discussions right now about making pitchers helmets manditory. Same issue is going on there. You can't mandate safety for 1 player. They brought up that they mandate batting helmets in fast pitch. Anyone want to guess why that is OK?
May 9, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Those are good points, Kevin.
Here's 2 more.
Seniors reaction time gets slower
with age.
It's obvious and can be documented,
easily.
That's why you screen the most vulnerable player given the closest
distance to the batter.
Leagues everywhere have moved to make the bases longer (70 feet) and have easily solved
the problem for the infielders.
And secondly,
it's about fun, Kevin.
We have more fun hitting good balls
with good bats and we seniors
will move toward tournaments where this will be recognized and accepted
with screens if necessary.
The legal arguments and assertions
you cite
invite counter arguments and assertions
and our game and interests are very simple and shouldn't become the lair
of lawyers and other interests.
We seniors will/should organize our own
associations like NCSSA and drop out
of larger associations who don't recognize and accept us,
what we both want and deserve.
Thankfully, SSUSA, Huntsman, NCSSA,
and SPA just to name a few
have been supportive and will continue
to receive our support
and participation.
May 9, 2010
tattooball
601 posts
Spoken like a man with nothing to lose.
May 9, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4249 posts
trumpball,
The same can be said for mandating the equip for pitchers... I've checked.
Spectators fall into a different 'catagory'. But the issue is there.
May 9, 2010
Joncon
285 posts
Curveball. Can I take your offer?

Hell, I'll throw some pitches to anyone using a wood bat in exchange for a free vacation :)

I used to pitch a lot but finally took the advice to play somewhere else. I stil love to pitch in lower level play where I know I'm not going to take one to the face. Modern technolgy is freakin dangerous.

In response to the OP, a screen would certainly not make me stop playing. It affects every player in the same way so I have no issue with it. I wouldn't vote for it but I wouldn't vote against it.
May 9, 2010
Capt Kirk
389 posts
Omar or Curveball, the screen that your league are using, is it a custom or off the shelf type? What are the dimension? What are rules that govern hitting the screen, DBO, DBS, or just a DB? We are in the discussion stage on using a screen in our league play. We have rec to major+ players playing in our league, and playing against each other, no draft. We have some most feared hitters in our league (Bill Blake) advocating the use of a screen to provide a safety net for the pitcher(s).
May 9, 2010
tattooball
601 posts
Taits you are very correct.

May 9, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Joncon, nice try!! That wasn't an open invitation, just an honest and sincere attenpt to expose a fake and/or "resident complaint dept!"

Capt Kirk, screen was implemented in an open league, full of 20's and mostly 30 year olds. Strickly for saftey. The kids could play at BLD the same evening, but have chosen the screened league. There have not been any complains from any age group. No fights, no head hunting, and THE MIDDLE IS OPEN!
Size: 32" wide 78" tall (Home made and way more durable than store bought)
You must be behind the screen at ball contact, if not and you field a ball, dead ball single. Hitting the screen with a batted ball, treated just like a foul ball. So, with 2 strikes, you'd be out. On throws, it's treated the same as hitting an umpire, live ball, keep the play going. We are in our 2nd season, I have not seen the screen hit by a throw yet. Seniors are used to a relay, kids throw over it. I'm not saying it's for everyone and every situatation, but it has worked very well in our age open and talent open league. It has allowed a talent pool of competition that would not have happened in any other manner.

The screen is 6' in front of the rubber, and 1 leg must be within the rubber from side to side.

Because we play so often in tournaments with small numbers of teams, or play a lower level teams amd spotting runs, being able to play good, young teams is really special. I look forward to Thurs. evenings for great competition.

May 9, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Capt Kirk, In our league we also have a mixture of rec to major+ players, although most play at major/AAA level (or below for older players).

Our screens are not custom made. They have held up very well. The netting occasionally wears out, but we don't let them get to a point where a batted ball could break through. We replace the nets every couple of years.

The size is the same as curveball's. They fold up, are very portable, and easily stored until the next game. We use them about 140 games a year (but these are usually three teams and 21 inning games).

In our case, hitting the screen (including the frame) is a dead ball. I prefer making it a strike, but don't get enough support for that rule change.

Hitting the screen on a relay, or a throw to first, is very, very rare—on a throw to first from third, it hasn't happened in years. On a throw from the outfield trying to nail a guy at home, about once a year. Rule on hitting a screen is that it is a live ball, but it happens so seldom that no one remembers.

Our rule for pitchers and placement is very liberal. We let the pitcher put it where he wishes. Most put it about 5 feet in front of the rubber, although those who like to pitch from 55 feet put it on the rubber. I put it about 7 feet in front and far to the side on my glove hand. Some put it more in the middle of the rubber and just pitch from behind it.

Pitchers are allowed to field any ball they can get to. It is their option whether to duck behind the screen on every pitch.

It does allow hitters to hit up the middle which is good practice for tournaments. Like curveball, we have had no fights, no head hunting, no complaints by either batters or fielders about the presence of the screen.

What we do NOT do, because of some scary injuries before the screen era 10 years ago, is remove the screen from the field (I used to do this routinely when I pitched some years ago). The screen is mandated, and, of course, it is only for safety reasons.

We do limit our hitters to using single walls in this league, unless they are 70 when a double wall can be used, or unless they are 75 when they can use a Miken Ultra II. This cooler bat rule is part of what allows us to safely play together and still have lots of fun (we get 20 to 50 players on league days and choose balanced teams).
May 9, 2010
jc3ny
4 posts
get rid of the senior bats and there is no need for a screen. if you were not a big hitter before 50 than your not a homerun hitter. there is a reason they don't allow them for the younger guys. plus as a pitcher i know i have slowed down. I still play with the kids with a ASA bat i have a chance to react on the ball. with the senior bats there is almost no time on a ball waist down.
May 9, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
JC, it's not about banning what the majority choose to play with, it's about protecting those that enjoy the game against younger and stronger hitters.
What does the screen do to you that causes you to have your 1st post on a great website to be so negative? Please share with us your negative experience with saftey screens so that we may understand better.
May 10, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
knuckleball, so everything that you don't agree with is "negative"? That is quite revealing, about you.

So you have to have experienced something first-hand to know it is bad? You can't tell that on the face of it? You ever been raped? Murdered? If not, I guess you don't have a right to say they are bad, huh?

How silly!
May 10, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Senior bats aren't any hotter than
USSSA bats when broken in
especially the ones
coming out now from DeMarini
and the broken in Super Freak
I swung this weekend.
I watched a big man from Gekkle
win a home run hitting contest at SPA
with a legal USSSA bat
he used during the tournament.
What I like about the USSSA bats
is they all come with a warranty
just like the Senior bats used to.
The argument that a broken-in USSSA
is not as hot as a senior bat
just isn't true.
May 10, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Joe, in some cases, perhaps. Across the board, probably not.
May 10, 2010
jc3ny
4 posts
get rid of the senior bats and there is no need for a screen. if you were not a big hitter before 50 than your not a homerun hitter. there is a reason they don't allow them for the younger guys. plus as a pitcher i know i have slowed down. I still play with the kids with a ASA bat i have a chance to react on the ball. with the senior bats there is almost no time on a ball waist down.
May 10, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3919 posts
why is it some on here fail to realize that senior bats are hotter,otherwise they would be legal for all assoc to use and play with.it is the reason they get painted so the kids can use them in their assoc they play in.
you guys who profess that an usssa bat is as hot as a senior,do you use them when playing senior ball and if not why.
May 10, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Rhetorical question, sad pup?

Good question, but obviously you know the honest answer to that.
May 10, 2010
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Welcome to SSUSA. I can see by some of your posts that some of you do not like the rules at SSUSA. Thankfully, this being America, you have choices. Here is a list of associations and their rules. I would suggest you pick one that most reflects your style of play. http://www.softballrating.com/rules.php
May 10, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3919 posts
i play ssusa,spa for senior and all the younger assoc's also.i have no prol with the rules they have.my prol is with people suggesting that we go play some place else b/c they need to have the hottest bat/ball combo around.also telling us that senior bats are not hotter than the young guys assoc's.
i'm still waiting on the answer to my question to,if usssa bats are as hot as senior bats then are you using them and if not why.
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