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Discussion: Running in the Batters Box

Posted Discussion
May 18, 2010
JohnBob
Men's 60
247 posts
Running in the Batters Box
With all the discussion on here about safety for Pitchers what are your thought about running in the box? We keep moving the rubber back so pitcher will be futher from Batter but some runners will be 3-5 feet in front of plate when they hit the ball and the Umps very seldom call him out. A lot of the wicked shots I have seen come from this. Pitcher throws ball a foot short and thinks no way batter can hit it hard,relaxes and then a rocket is coming at him. Some batters take one step and hit and this does not seem so bad but the ones that run 3-5 steps and end up way in front of plate I feel should be addressed. BTW we have a couple of guys on our team that does this.
May 18, 2010
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
Umpire has to call that. The rule is in place for a reason. If certain batters do it, let the ump know before the game to pay attention to that player when batting.
May 18, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
"Running" in the box should be perfectly fine as long as the batter stays in the box when he hits the ball. That is the only rule that should be enforced.

And if the pitcher relaxes, whose fault is that?
May 18, 2010
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
Most hitters that walk the box also intentionally blur the line as they set up. As an umpire I see them scrubbing the batters box lines with their cleats. Astro turf boxes with painted lines would help the umpire stay on top of this problem.
May 18, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Corky, if the foul lines are gone not all balls become fair. You can tell where the lines should be. Same with the box. Just because it is gone does NOT mean every batter is automatically inside of where it used to be.
May 18, 2010
GT
Men's 60
162 posts
I don't respond to many of the threads anymore but this one I would like to add something.Since I run up in the batters box. JohnBob, your problem is not the guy running up in the box. Its the umpires you have that don't know the rules and/or the type of batters box your using. Needless to say not all umps are good and know the rules. Second, when an umpire sees a batter erasing the batters box lines, there is a rule about that(don't have my rule book handy, but I believe the batter is out and possibly ejected). Not exactly sure, but he is out definitely. Now, in our league we use the platform with astro turf and it is constructed to the correct size of a batters box. All the umps needs to do is look at the batters feet and see if he is off the board when he hits the balls. Doesn't take an (won't use the word I want here) anyone with brains to see that. That stops the batter from being illegally to far in the box. We have had several guys called out for being off the board(me included) and thats fair. So, don't blame the bats or the balls. Good lively umps will cure your problem. Plus, the boards aren't that expensive and much nicer to hit from.
GT
Houston, Tx
May 18, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
GT, realistically not every field is going to go to the boards.

Short of that, just enforce the box. And I agree, there are steps that can be taken against the guys who are erasing the lines for what becomes obvious reasons.
May 18, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4359 posts
Per SSUSA rule book page 52, rule 7.3(1)
Obliterating the batters box a batter deliberately erasing any portion of the batters box will be called out. This is an umpire's judgement.

Most do not even care so that is mute. Should be strictly enforced but isn't.
Far too many fields are not even lined with batters boxes, so I guess this is where the 'judgement ' comes in.
Gee the box is 3x7 but where is it?
May 18, 2010
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
Kicking dirt and diggin in, plus the normal activity of runners going to first and coming home from 3rd, blur the lines as well. Let an umpire make that call and watch all hell break loose. You old buzzards will argue balls and strikes from left field let alone defining the box when you can't see it. Try umping a while and you'll likely be a bit more sympathetic.
May 18, 2010
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
and as far as the foul lines go,you have a base and foul pole to help you with that
May 18, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
And you have a plate to help gauge the box.

In neither case is it perfect, but sure beats just ignoring the rule.
May 18, 2010
GT
Men's 60
162 posts
From an old buzzard. Corky. I have probably played the game as long as you, umpired on and off since I was 18, play now and manage a team. If an umpire can't tell when a batter is entering the batters box and deliberately erasing the lines, then that is a bad umpire. I didn't post this for an argument, just pointing out some facts. I'm pretty sure I can tell when a guy is erasing the batters box. So, just accept my opinion, respond to it and thats fine. As for the old buzzard, well, thats just another opinion your entitled to.
My last response to this thread. Just another reason I don't respond much anymore.
May 19, 2010
Maj + player
16 posts
I am a senior umpire that has a lot of national experience as a player and an umpire. some of you just don't want to believe there is always a batters box, lines or not! the runners(batters in box) are to be called out if an umpire believes he has one foot compleely out of the box and on the ground when he makes contact with the ball(fair or foul). Also, if the batter steps on the mat, directly in front or behind the mat, while making contact with the ball, he is also to be called out. there are alot of seniors who think they have to hit an outside pitch to the opposite field instead of repositioning youself in the batters box so that a strike will then be just like hitting an outside pitch. I hope you can picture what I am saying. Good Luck to all of you this yeaqr.
May 19, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Maj +, I agree completely. This is not a difficult concept.
May 19, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4359 posts
Very few umps call it even with lines there.
And I doubt any TD has said a word about doing so at a meeting or game on his own or when the problem has come up. Maybe a couple have, but I doubt many, given the numbers or players and who wants to upset the apple cart.
May 20, 2010
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
No offense with the "Old Buzzard" comment because "I are One". I agree with Major+. Stepping in front of the plate on contact is easy to call.......It's the one straight forward when no lines are visible that's toughest. I get them in the box to start and wait till I get a complaint before making a mark in the sand. Most umpires let sleeping dogs lay. If ya know what I mean
May 20, 2010
Bomber #7
Men's 60
62 posts
When the lines are gone, I see more guys standing way to far away from the plate. Takes the inside pitch away from the pitcher, and, sends a lot motre balls up the middle.
May 20, 2010
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2647 posts
Senior softball needs to update their specs on the batter's box. A strike with a mat could be 17" closer to the pitcher. Therefore, a batter may also need to be that much closer to the pitcher. The batter's box should be either moved 17" to the pitching rubber or the batter's box should be lenghtened 17".
I aware that some pitchers don't want batters any closer to them. To please them the pitcher's box should be lengthened 17".
I know this is somewhat off subject but thought there might be some relevance.
May 20, 2010
doker
Men's 60
168 posts
The batters box is 3' by 7'....4ft forward and 3ft back...36'' wide and 3" from plate....or 2" from rubber mat which is already 1" off plate...doker
May 20, 2010
doker
Men's 60
168 posts
and foot must be touching mat or completely out of the white lines...most umpires don't call this except when they see entire foot in front of plate as the lines are usually gone after the first couple of innings....but not at golden eagle in reno!!!! doker
May 20, 2010
garyheifner
360 posts
There are different movements in the batters box that batters make. You see girls/women in fast pitch run up quite often. I like to do a 2 step shuffle walk into the ball. That is not running at the pitcher. Unfortunately, the box for right handers is usually so torn up it is hard to shuffle through ruts and small canyons. The other time you might see a little run is when a batter is deep in the box and a strike 3 pitch might hit the front of the plate. At the last minute the batter might have to make a quick movement forward to hit the ball. I have been catching for my team quite a bit over the last 7 years in tournies (10 to 12 a year) all over the country and I cannot recall a single batter that I have seen "run" up in the box. I also watch the batter setup in the box and have on occassion asked the ump to check when the lines are gone and the batter looks like he is out of the box in his setup. The call that batters get a way with a lot is stepping in front of or on the plate when going to the opposite field. Even though I have pointed it out to umps right away, it is a hard call for them, especially when he is working alone and must watch everything.
May 21, 2010
Donnie C
17 posts
The batters box is much larger than a lot of people realize like doker says. I have been running up in the box for 45 years and doing it legally. Many people have complained about running up but if it is within the rules let it be, or change the rules. I stand back and if the pitch is short I run up. I can make a poor pitch to hit a good pitch when I run up. I played with a net this week for the first time and it sure protects the pitcher. I had to take a few more practice pitchers to get used to the net. I was surprised on how many balls hit the net, which are outs by the way. Not to crazy about taking the defense away from the pitcher, but no doubt safer. Donny C.
May 27, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1974 posts
One thing I haven't seen here is if the box is incorrectly marked. Some fields they just put the box out there and don't check positioning. I will remark to the umpire about the problem and every time I have been told not to worry about it, he sees it.We had one box in a major tournament that was no more than 5 feet long. We did get a laugh on that one.
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