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Discussion: On Base Percentage (OBP)

Posted Discussion
June 5, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
On Base Percentage (OBP)
A recent comprehensive slow pitch softball book I read argued that the slow pitch the true test of a hitter's worth is OBP since the author believed it should be at least .500. The argument goes that a faster batter causes errors by guys rushing, the smart batter "finds" the weak or disabled fielder so it is not important if it is "hit" or "error" because the batter is on. Likewise, the patient batter gets walks and should be credited for it. This approach was also argued by an online softball radio show in which the commentator ( a long time manager and coach)
said the same general things and they said he creates his batting order based solely on OBP. He said everyone knows it and it is good for morale. The order changes each game based on the then
current OBP's of the players. He also argued that by doing this the guys at the top of the order get 25 to 30 extra at bats per season and they are the most effective batters. I discussed this with a tournament player on my team who is very "softball smart" and he generally agreed but said he never heard of a manager actually doing this. I have no bias and am just curious to see how a discussion goes on this thread. Thank you.
June 5, 2012
Lecak
Men's 55
1005 posts
HJ I will go you one further I manage a team and the only I look at is OBP. I have one philosophy you can't score if your not on base. I keep my book that if you get on base you get credit for a hit. The last thing I want are doing math in their head trying to figure out their BA. You get on without causing an out you get credit. I haven't heard a peep all year and guys don't mind walking. I'm sure the purist will cringe but it works for me.
June 5, 2012
audieh
Men's 60
241 posts
HJ and Joe, I base our average on OBP as well. However, I have to protect HR hitters to some degree or they will never see any good pitches. I want players on base and it takes discipline and skill to walk or hit behind runners and stay out of double plays. You can bet my top five batters are the top overall hitters considering on base average, power, etc.
June 5, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
788 posts
It is true that OBP is very important, but batting average is just about as important. Sometimes OBP is just luck, like hitting weak groundballs that get booted where as someone is hitting line drives all over the place and they just happen to be getting caught.
June 5, 2012
coop3636
57 posts
IMO.. When using OBP, make sacrifices count as outs. If walks count as hits, then sacs should be outs.
Just my 2 cents worth
coop3636
Thats how we did it for 20 years and it worked just fine.
June 6, 2012
Tri18
609 posts
The obp system has been used for many years in upper division softball. Sacs do count as outs and walks are hits. It takes away the guesswork on was it a error or a hit by the person keeping the book.
June 6, 2012
AndyA25
16 posts
I always used OBP when managing. If you kept reached on error you would find the same players due to how fast they were or how hard they hit the ball always got on more year after year. Guys that draw walks can get the pitcher off his game. I also recorded SF's as outs. Getting on base and not making outs is where its at.
June 6, 2012
Paco13
363 posts
Excellent topic, I am big proponent of OBP. My only disagreement is with the SAC fly as an out. To me a situational SAC fly should not be an out. The 5th run on third with less than two outs all what I want the batter is to hit a deep fly ball to score the 5th run. I personally do not penalize him for doing what I asked. Any other SAC fly should be an out...

Jawood...good point but in reality the guy that is hitting bullets might be unlucky once or twice but he will be fine and they will fall. When I used to coach by first 7 batters were set on stone. I knew what they could do regardless...I did not panic if one or two were having a bad day because I knew them. I also believe that this approach gave everybody confidence knowing that they were there regardless...not like some teams that I have played lately that if you have one bad game the line up for the next game is all upside down... I personally believe that the last concept of rearranging the line up from game to game bring unstability to the team and is very unproductive.

I DON'T DRINK BEER; BUT WHEN I DO. I DRINK DOS XX. JESUS TE AMA!!!
June 6, 2012
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2617 posts
I agree with OBP but think SAC's should be scored as an out.
The only thing I'd like to add is if you hit into a double play it should count as two at-bats. This only includes your usual infield dp's.
June 6, 2012
neck10
488 posts
paco you have a point walks & sac to score the run from third is very important.
June 6, 2012
DoubleL10
Men's 65
811 posts
I have to agree with Paco on the situational Sac Fly. IF the SAC results in the max run scoring (5, 7 or 9 depending on division), I think it should not be counted as an at-bat. Any other time, I agree with the out call. To me, it is more logical to get the SAC if you aren't penalized for doing so rather than trying for a base hit and possibly hitting into a double play. JMO
June 6, 2012
Tate22
Men's 55
259 posts
Great discussion, I definitely track and use OBP. I've always believed, however, that stats should be calculated and reported as designed. Nothing wrong with a productive out like a SAC fly that drives in a run, but it is still and out and the batter cannot score. A base hit that drives in that same run is a better outcome for the team, as it doesn't shorten the inning by recording an out. I therefore leave the formula alone so it provides the most accurate measure of a hitter's productivity.

Also, at the major plus level, those OBP's better be in the .700+ range, or you are in for a long (actually short) weekend.

JMHO
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55M+
June 6, 2012
stattad
Men's 65
167 posts
The only problem with this discussion is that reaching on an error doesn't count as being "on base" (at least in baseball scorekeeping). Errors are mostly luck, sometimes because of speed.

Also, a walk has never moved a runner from 1st to 3rd like a hit does.
June 6, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4315 posts
I feel all views mentioned have a rationale, and as long as their consistent & works for the team as a whole, that's good.
I think consistency will be the hardest part on some plays however.

June 6, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
stattad- I was arguing just the opposite. Don't try to distinguish between a hit or error, which can be arbitrary anyway, it counts either way for OBP. A hit is as good as getting on base by what some call an error. The argument is speed can cause "errors" and smart batters can "pick" on weak or hurt fielders. I like the above arguments
to count a sac fly as a time at bat unless it scores the max runs for the inning or ends the game. I also like hitting into a ground ball DP as 2 at bats. A DP caused by runner error should not count as 2 at bats.
June 7, 2012
TXMajor
Men's 50
8 posts
I don't believe I have ever played for a team (35+ years in softball) where they used true batting average, it's always been OBP, and I have always been a fan of OBP.

Over the past few years we have kept pretty meticulous records, last year I was the teams bookkeeper, and here is how we handled each of the situations above:

OBP: Essentially any time you get on base without causing a force out somewhere else (Fielder's choice) you get a hit. Walks, errors, luck or not, no matter, you did the job asked of you by getting on base. One benefit is it eliminates the (BIG) arguments over what was an error and what wasn't.

Sac flies: It is an out unless it scores the last run of the inning OR if the coach agreed before you went to the plate that you could hit a sac fly. That eliminated the "accidental" sacs and ensured that the coach thought a sac fly was beneficial at that time. Sounds very rigid, but it works well.

Bruce's DP as 2 AB/outs: Wow, in all my time playing with OBP, I have never heard that suggested, but I LIKE it. Sure should work well at the higher levels making a batter at least think of the consequences of WHERE they hit with men on base. But I KNOW as a bookkeeper that this one would be one that would cause some hate and discontent.

Lineup: We keep an ongoing OBP for each player which the coach reviews before each game. He doesn't normally switch the batting line-up unless it is obvious someone is struggling, but normally we know that before reviewing the OBPs. The OBP might just be a reasonable marker to look back on if he decides to make a lineup change. The overall idea is a team gets used to a "mix". You can not only become comfortable but confident when batting before and after the same batters once you find the proper mix, it can also raise your expectations of winning even when it looks hopeless. We have all seen teams that were less talented win more than we thought they should. I believe this can happen because they were just confident in themselves as a team. Constantly changing the lineup defeats this idea and causes (I believe anyway) unnecessary additional pressure.

On a personal note, I have always been one to work on hitting the ball extremely hard, but not on a dime as some can. Couple that with the fact that I still have decent speed, I have always forced many errors and think I have done my job well when my opponents back up a few steps or are a little more unsure of their defensive abilities when I come to the plate. And yes, if I see a weak player, of course I will intentionally try to test him, why not?

Sorry if the post is somewhat bloated, but this has always (obviously) been a favorite topic of mine.
I haven't posted much on this board, now you can probably tell why. :p
June 7, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4315 posts
Wondering how you that use it account for the numbers if at bats with DP's being 2 outs. Is there an offset used say for HR's?
I would think on a bad day a couple guys might look like they were at bat far more than the others....

I only kept a regular type of score book and figured a regular player average, years ago when I did them. Looked at RBI's but they can be misleading. Like OBP, however.
June 7, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
TX- don't sell yourself short-keep posting!
June 7, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
TX, you actually had guys arguing over whether they got credit for a hit or it was called an error? You cut them after the season, didn't you? Sure we all notice the hit v. error thing, but how many actually are prideless enough to argue about it?
June 7, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
Unfortunately too many lack the pride.
June 7, 2012
TXMajor
Men's 50
8 posts
taits, I wouldn't look for an offset any more than real averages give you zero at-bats for a walk. Just a rule you implement and account for. And even though I like the idea, from a team cohesiveness standpoint, I wouldn't implement it without pretty full team support (ref: hate and discontent). Funny thing that RBI's are probably the toughest to account for and use. I have found if you're going to keep track of RBI's, you really have to be diligent doing that at game time, since after the fact is at at best educational guesses.

Gary, I agree whole-heartedly in senior ball. I haven't really seen it since I started senior ball in 2009 and we have used OBP where it isn't an issue. I just remember I got picked up for a few big tournaments in my young-guy playing days when guys would actually bet money on who had the highest batting average in a tournament. That sparked many a very heated debate.
June 7, 2012
Olden Slow
Men's 65
173 posts
Personally I don't worry about numbers, position I play or where I bat..As long as the Mgr puts me in..I play, if I sit..I sit. You can make numbers say what you want...I just play my hardest and have fun every time I play..I am also a GREAT CHEERLEADER..
June 7, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4315 posts
Didn't really think there would ever be an offset, just threw in it to stir the pot.
As for the stats, any of them, that is why I REALLY like to see the wives out there who keep them for the team and get involved.
tough to keep them when only one or two people 'score' the same way and others do not even know how. I try to stay clear of it now for this reason.
It is a very useful tool especially if you can track the other teams as well.
Being a pitcher, a catcher is a valuable tool for me if he knows where the guy went before and can relate it to the outfield. Allowing you to adjust the pitch accordingly when you can.

June 7, 2012
frampton
Men's 55
55 posts
Back in my 20s and 30s I played for a team that counted errors as times on base. (Walks should be uncontroversial, it's a time on base without making an out.) My point against counting errors lies in the definition of an error -- a play that the defensive player *should have made*. If it is "too hot to handle," or the hitter's speed beats the play, those are hits. Errors are by definition just luck, at bats that should have been outs. Just MHO.

Now that my replaced throwing shoulder won't let me play, I do keep the book sometimes; though nobody compiles the averages, we all know who's hitting and who isn't. Of course, there are players who know their BA to four figures before they get to first base . . .

Batting order by OBP, highest to lowest -- straight from "The Great American Novel" by Philip Roth, fun book.
June 7, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
Sorry to disagree, but speed causes runners to be safe. Whether it is an error or not in the official sense is irrelevant. Fielders position differently for fast players and often rush. Why should the fast guy not be recognized. Hit or error is just not relevant.
June 8, 2012
PlanoPlayer
Men's 55
70 posts
I know I will be posting "against the grain" of all the posters to date on this thread, and you can call me old school, but both BA and OBP should be kept as they are not the same things.

I agree that most teams use OBP, and that is OK at the end of the day, but for me, I cringe in silence every time I see a pop up that for some reason is mishandled and results in a clear and almost comical error and it is marked as a hit in the book.

There are hitters that I have played with as I am sure each of you have, that are on the weaker side of hitting but for some reason they get more than their fare share of luck (relative to errors). Using OBP results in this player having a higher value than what reality is when you really need a hit and to me, the guy is still on the weaker side of being a good hitter and no OBP is gonna change that for me. I realize that there is probably only a slight difference because a weaker hitter will usually also have a weaker OBP, but I definitely know players that have OBP numbers that are not reflective of their hitting ability.

People talk about the controversy about whether a shot is a hit or an error. How often have you had that debate with anyone? It is usually pretty clear when an error is an error. Most of us have been playing this game all of our lives and know an error when we see one. If you are not sure and you want to err on the side of a hit, OK but a clearly booted ball is not a hit. And as an infielder, I don't care how hot the shot is that is hit right at me. If it is hit right at me and I boot it, it is an error!

I am not suggesting that you do not use OBP as your guiding light relative to batting order. But to do it because it is just easier and to avoid controversy might not be the best thing, even though I know most teams do it this way. I am suggesting that you should keep BA as well.

And the last thought is that if you had an OBP of .750 for a tournament, you can't tell your friends that you hit .750 for the tournament as that would not be factually true (unless your BA and OBP were both .750).

I know these are not very important things in the scheme of things but I thought I would add some comments about BA because to me BA does mean something.
June 8, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Plano, great points!
June 8, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4315 posts
Stir the pot again:
What if you take the OBA guy that makes an error and deduct one at bat. Offsetting other positive aspects...

Plano player, ever come across a Henry LaCross in your area? May have misspelled the last name.
June 8, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
taits, why not just leave BA and OBP how they have been for decades and decades?

Both stats can coexist and be used just as they are.
June 8, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4315 posts
I do. I also do not keep score any longer. Am just very inquisitive about relative thoughts.
June 8, 2012
Lecak
Men's 55
1005 posts
Plano a number of years ago I worked up something for myself when I was putting a team together. I asked some folks what was important and OBP and runs scored came up 1 and 2. All you have to do is look at any level of baseball and Batting Average can be a very hollow stat. We determined that a team OBP off 500 would yield 8-13 runs a game, 600 would yield 13 and 20, and 700 would get you 21-27. We stopped tracking BA and went after guys who got on base. Not taking walks leads to all kinds of poor hitting decisions. Moneyball baby
June 8, 2012
PlanoPlayer
Men's 55
70 posts
Taits: sorry, don't know a Henry LaCross.

Lecak: you can make the same correlation between team BA and runs per game. No one is suggesting that you should not take walks, and every good hitter I know is also a good walk taker. Selecting only strikes to hit, is a huge part of what makes them a good hitter. Again, I am not saying that you should not use OBP. I am saying that OBP and BA are not the same thing and that both should be utilized.
June 9, 2012
garyheifner
349 posts
I strongly believe that my team has become better hitters over the last 10 years by not worrying about OBP or BA. We don't even discuss it. The lineup is set, batting order is set and all can relax, not have to worry about being benched. Just go up and hit. If you fail in a key situation, get them the next time. There have been times when the bottom half of the order did little and there have been times in championship games that the bottom half won the day. Not so sure anymore that our bottom half aren't better hitters that the top. I think it's all a part of being relaxed at the plate-no pressure.

Walks are a good thing but at the 65AAA level just don't see many unless the wind is wicked. Seems to me most 65 level pitchers are very good at throwing strikes. We do have several on our team that always take 2 strikes and it drives me nuts as they often end up swinging at a marginal-possible 3rd strikes with mixed results.

One of you made a comment on this site several years ago that has become my personal hitting commandment.

"If the 1st ball pitched is dead center in your hitting window, why take it?"

"Do your think the next is going to be better?"



June 9, 2012
Wayne 37
192 posts
Every tourney I've ever gone to I'm probably sure I hit .500 not including OBP. There are games when I went 3-3, and the hits were really dingers, or seeing eye ground balls. Then I've gone 1-4 with two hard line outs, a great catch in the outfield, and a decent line drive hit. 1.000 vs. .250. Go figure.

I don't give myself credit for errors, even though when healthy, I know my speed can put pressure on the the fielder.

Just win baby.
June 10, 2012
boston
297 posts
OBP is fine on its own merit as part of the overall performance of a batter. BA is the true indication of a batters hitting abilty. To only count OBP is an injustice to a true hitter. Reaching on an error is not an indication of a persons abililty to hit. It is an inditement of a teams inability to play defense. I have seen some pretty poor defensive players at RF's, 1B, 2B & 3B. mnay times the guys playing 1st and 3rd are just big bangers not expected to play great D. RF and 2B in many cases r for buddies that aren't very good but they're buddies that want to play. This is especially prevelent in the lower divisions.

As we all know defense is not a priority in senior ball. So from my perspective BA is far more important than OBP. But I am also a baseball purist and just feel Avg is a better indication of a hitters prowess. With that said a guy that can walk in softball is a keeper. I can't do it, love to swing the bat. JMO
June 10, 2012
garyheifner
349 posts
Was thinking about the topic. I think the most fun I had with stats was back in the day when I played with a pretty good U-Trip team. Anytime you got on base whether by hit, walk or error, it was counted as a hit towards BA. However, if you made an out, you had to put 25 cents in the quarter jar for the party at the end of the season. Had tournies that I only had to put a few quarters in and had some I had to add a handful.
June 10, 2012
Lecak
Men's 55
1005 posts
I have a feeling Gary19 is going to agree with me but OBP and batting average really gets bastardized when you don't have to make 3 outs. If seniors required 3 outs per inning that would crater some of the 700 plus OBP you read about. Imagine what recording 21 outs would do to these numbers.
June 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I do agree, and I would hope everyone does.
There is no doubt about what you say. Twenty-one mandatory outs changes everything.
June 11, 2012
southernson
254 posts
Let's see, the game is tied, 2 outs, runners on 1st and 2nd, down 1 run, do I want a guy with a OBP of .750 or a guy with a .570 BA?

For me as a coach, I don't care if the .570 guy is a HR hitter, I choose OBP all the time....

And SACs? SACs are recorded just as they are in baseball, it's a SAC and an RBI.

Here's how our lineup looks...

1 - Leadoff hitter (everybody knows who this guy is on the team, he's your best OBP with speed that is not a pure HR hitter)

2 - Probably a lefty with speed if possible, definitely best OBP that hits to right field, he'll give you the gap and HR power at times

3- Best overall HR and OBP combination in the lineup, maybe our best overall hitter, especially in the clutch

4- Gap hitter and gives you the HR as well

5 - Good HR hitter - I expect him to hit it out, probably my EH in most cases

6 - Good OBP and gap hitter, also hits HR

7 - Good HR hitter - I expect him to hit it out

8 - Gap and HR hitter

9 - Probably my weakest hitter in the lineup, he's still going to bat .600 at least

10 - This guy could bat #2 or 4, but we tend to like some pop in the bottom, not an easy out

11 - This guys is a team player, and he hits down here to give us OBP in the bottom. He's the leadoff hitter for our #1 batter....

Just an example, I'm sure there are lots of ifs depending on your makeup....
June 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I would want a guy up in that situation who is clutch, statistics aside. Some guys are, and some just aren't.
June 11, 2012
boston
297 posts
southernson; here are a couple of questions for you. What is the BA of the guy with the .750 OBP? What if his BA is just .450-.500? What is the OBP of the guy with the .570 BA? What if his OBP is .700? The player w/ the 750 OBP, has he been getting on due to errors. R u willing to depend on a defensive players mistake to win the game for you, I wouldn't. I want the guy that has the best shot at a clean hit or possible HR. No leaving it to chance.

Lecak: I also agree seniors should be required to make 3 outs. I have always been an advocate of keeping the senior game as close to the original game as possible.
June 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
boston, great point again! Allowing a team to suck just badly enough to give up X number of runs and then getting to go back in and hit is absurd to say the least. Just silly.
June 11, 2012
garyheifner
349 posts
What Gary 19 can't deal with is that not all teams put on their pants the same way. For many teams, they can practice, condition, work and NEVER will be able to compete with the better teams. This past Friday I went down to Joliet and watched 5 better level U-Trip teams that included the likes of Baumgartner, Helmer and Hall. They played exibition games against some of the best teams in the Chicago/Joliet area plus a few from out of state. These lower ranked teams had great talent, speed, power, arms etc. The average score at the end of 3 innings was in the high 30s-40s to 50s to opponents single digits to low teens and all the games ended there by slaughter rule not full 7 inning games but 3 innings.

Now convert that to the Senior game, We have played teams the last 2 years that we could have scored 15-20 an inning. We have played major teams that would have scored endlessly against us that were held down a little by the 5 run rule and having the extra middle fielder to close that area down. It is not fun to field batting practice for an opponent. Ran into a team in Indy 2 years ago that got lucky in a tournament, won and got moved up to major. They then went 0-46 with most being slaughters.

Senior softball's rule of 5 per inning keeps the game competitive and in perspective. Teams are simply not going to travel, spend the money to get beat by 30 or 40 runs a game and all ending in slaughter rules. The 5 run rule along with the guarantee of 5 games per tournament are our 2 most important rules. So many of you still have the mind set of their U-Trip days. Score 20 an inning, destroy the opponent on all slides, sneak in loaded bats and disputes can be settled in the parking lot. This is Senior ball, highly intense at times but still well designed for a high level of enjoyment.



June 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
gary, I clearly understand that equal opportunity does not ensure equal results. And for those who don't get the same results, that might suck for them but it is how it is. But that is no excuse for socialistic rules that try to artifically equalize the teams. No excuse at all. It is not the job of the rules to keep games competitive, that is left to the players.

Thank God our economic system does not work like senior softball, or I would guess many of you would be crying the blues about it.

Sorry, but the 5-run rule is absurd as is the 5-game guarantee when the first 2 or 3 games are meaningless. They are often just exhibitions, and exhibition games can be played much closer to home for much less cost.
June 11, 2012
PlanoPlayer
Men's 55
70 posts
Southernson: Your comparison of .750 OBP to .570 BA is not quite fair although I agree with another poster that we would need to know the OBP AND BA for both players to really know who we would prefer.

I respectully ask this question in return. Same situation you describe, game is on the line and you need a hit...and now the question is which would you rather have up, the hitter that is hitting .750 BA or the hitter that has a .750 OBP. They are not the same and there is no question for me as to which of those two I take in that game winning situation.
June 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I still would rather have the one who is clutch.
June 12, 2012
southernson
254 posts
Good points guys, understand your approach. My only point is I take OBP 99.99% of the time. There are exceptions, but for us they are rare...

As far as the 5-run rule....I hate it. It's a farce to say that helps teams compete, we already have that governance, it's called rankings.

I think it's more for those that officiate and run the tournaments....it's a scheduling thing, not a fairnes leverage thing.

The real measure of teams is 3 outs for all.
June 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Glad to see someone else gets it!
June 13, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
979 posts
come on G19 and Southerson.. we would have two and three inning games with no run limits.... Senior softball is what it is... I'm sure you guys were crying about softball back in the day because of shorter bases and fences, bigger ball than a baseball and 7 innings Too...LOL Give it up G19 because nobody, I repeat nobody gives a Rats ass what your opinion is about Senior Softball...You don't play so you lose all credibility with all of us that do play! We all know that you hate it, but those of us that still can play, love it and have no problem with its format!
June 13, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
swing, yes you might with the jacked-up special bats being used. Bring sanity to the bats (and yes, it is insane for the oldest and slowest group to be using bats banned for all below 50) and clearly scoring will come down and defense will come back into the game.

Fine, continue to ignore me and the issues, and continue to play 90% of your tourneys with tiny brackets. That is fun?

Funny how often all guys can point to is that I have learned after a half-dozen tournaments that the game has flaws and I have better ways to spend my softball money rather than explain why exactly the oldest and slowest group needs the special bats and all of the silly rules they help to create.
June 13, 2012
southernson
254 posts
swing for the fences, with all due respect, I still play, I don't complain and I don't cry, and there's nothing wrong with saying the format isn't the best. You don't know me at all, actually wtfru.

My only point is when you are paying $525 entry fee and a total of 3-5-7K+ as a team for a weekend what kind of player wants to play 5 run innings for championships....It would be a better game to play 3 outs, and use the run rule as the game ender if need be...IMO.

And many other players feel the same way. We are all looking to make the game we love better, not just running off at the keystrokes....


June 13, 2012
ETDave
4 posts
This is my first year playing senior tournaments, so my perspective may be different than some others.

I have played senior league ball for five years. Our senior league was an all ASA ball and bat league until this year. This year the seniors can use the senior bats, but we hit the 52/300 ball. Both setups have been fine with everyone involved. No one complained about the ASA bats and 44/375 balls, and no one has complained about the senior bats and 52/300 balls.

In the two senior tournaments I've played in I can tell the ball comes off the bat a little faster...but not that much. I will concede it probably does inflate OBP over the ASA ball and bat combo.

However, if you think most guys under fifty are playing with bats that are less hot you need to rethink that. Shaved bats are so prevalent in league and tourneys now that most of the young guys are hitting hotter bats than we are. Combine that with the fact that they are younger and you can see some balls that are really smoked.

Any ball and bat combo is ok with me...I just like to play.
June 13, 2012
stick8
1261 posts
Southernson I do agree with what you wrote. I'd love it if we played 3 outs but unfortunately that's not liable to happen. If 5 run innings are here to stay I'd like to see time limits only in the preliminary games. Once the tournament portion starts up all games should have no time limits. Play the 6 innings w/ 5 or 7 runs per inning and have the 7th inning as the open inning. jmo
June 13, 2012
TXMajor
Men's 50
8 posts
This has been an interesting discussion that seems to have gotten off-topic as the good ones usually do. I just wanted to add as a personal note that it was just as interesting that PlanoPlayer jumped in on this one since he was the manager I played for for 2 years that came up with the idea of asking before going to the plate in a sac situation. Props as Manager of the year in 2009. And yes, G19 when you said he had great points I'll tell you he is as sharp a Baseball/Softball guy as I know.
June 13, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
979 posts
I have a rule change that might be productive for all... I have often thought that when you get on a roll and have no outs and have scored 5 runs, what would we have scored if it was our open inning? How about each team is allowed to call their open inning.. say a team is on a roll and declares it their open inning... Then We wouldn't lose the momentum that a team might have for a particular inning and leave it to chance in the 7th... I have seen some teams get hot in the last inning to pull out games and thought that this was kind of unfair to the team that scored 5 runs with no outs and had to stop... Just a thought!


FYI Southernson, I was 99percent directing to G19 about crying etc. You have your right to your opinion and I respect your opinion about the 3 outs... However,I do know how well major and major plus teams can hit and it would not be fun playing 3 innings of ball.. I look at the scores and there is 20 to 30 runs per side... I feel that is enough scoring for one game and that it doesn't take away the game from us... In My Opinion.
June 13, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
Swing, the reality is that a number of us are talking past each other. As a recreational player
I like the 5-run limit. Were I a major, I would probably feel differently. There is no right and no wrong. No matter how you try to twink there will always be a problem. We won on Mon. benefiting from the rule when the other team was limited to 5 runs early on and we scored 8 in the last inning to win by 2. Was it "pure" softball, NO!, but it kept the game interesting and competitive and fun. For the recreational player it works.
June 14, 2012
southernson
254 posts
swing for the fences,got it...understand now...thanks.

Actually I like your suggestion, might make it interesting because the last inning is not always the "hot" inning.

June 14, 2012
PlanoPlayer
Men's 55
70 posts
TX Major: thanks for the props and right back at you. You are a great player, hitter, team mate and room mate. You can play on any team I am associated with in the future. I'll see you on the fields soon.
June 14, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
979 posts
No problem Southernson.. I should of specified who I was calling out on their crying LOL
June 15, 2012
Joncon
285 posts
I'm with the majority here who's only consideration is, if you got on base without causing an out. The reason is simplicity. I am extremely lazy and my goal in life has always been to simplify it.

Although it is a similar game, recreational SPSB is not baseball.

Everyone will have the same percentage of hits that were actually errors. If you don't count errors, should you count the obviously mis hit fly balls that drop in the grass @ 100'?

In the end, it's a wash. In one game, you could hit four ropes right at an outfielder while a team mate accidentally goes 4 for 4 but in the long run, your simple OBP will reflect your play.

I would also not protest if the DP was considered two outs. I mean, you did make two outs.

And, re: swing's proposed rule change, that would give an advantage to one team over the other which is something to be avoided.
June 15, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
979 posts
joncon, how would this give an advantage over one team? I say that each team has the chance to pick their open inning... could be the first inning or any other inning they choose... say a team scores 5 runs with no outs to one out, I would suggest they call this their open inning and keep putting up runs.... Not just let it boil down to the last inning to see who gets lucky enough to post a big number at the end.. each team should have one inning in 7 when they feel it should be their open inning thus making it a more fair for each team then just getting lucky in the last inning... IMO
June 15, 2012
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
That would be a great rule in Vegas. Get 21 dealt to you and change your bet from $10 to $1 million!
June 15, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
979 posts
yep, but the difference is you don't get to see your cards.. 5 runs is all you are guaranteed.. anything after that you have to earn if you choose to proceed with that inning as your open... you have to declare after the 5th run or it's a reg inning... nothing is for sure after the 5th run you could go 123outs!
June 15, 2012
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
If you have scored 5 runs with no outs, that's the same as seeing your cards. Like being dealt a 6 and a 5 and doubling down.
June 15, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
What I like about this idea is that it keeps the defense honest. Not knowing whether it is the 7-run inning means you can't stack the defense to stop the 5th run (like walking guys to set up a force or playing the outfield real short). No one
will declare until there are 2 outs and you should have the right to declare at any time so the 5th run only ends the inning if the team decides not to declare it the unlimited inning.
The defense should never know if they will declare or not until they do. Of course, if a prior inning was the unlimited inning then all subsequent innings are limited to 5. I like this permutation of the 5 run rule since it makes the game closer to "pure" but still eliminates more than one plus 5 run inning.
Note: I am saying if 4 runs are in and the bases
are loaded and the next batter knocks in 2 runs, the offense can accept only 1 run (the fifth) or
declare it unlimited, count the 2 already in and try for more.
June 15, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
HJ, if you can only declarre the open inning once, then as soon as the other team does all of those things you mentioned come right back into play.

What swing proposes is an interesting concept, but just not real softball. Three outs an inning, and make the defense earn their ups, not suck badly enough to get them handed to them.
June 15, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
You are absolutely correct,that would be the effect and that is why it isn't pure. You use "real" and I use "pure" and that is the crux of where you don't get the point. I agree that in a game between super players in the same age group w/o time constraints it would be better to play by "pure" rules. But that is simply not the state of facts for most of us. As a matter of preference we prefer at our advanced age and limited abilities to adjust the rules to make the games more competitive, fun and interesting. In our 6 team league which uses a modified draft to equalize the teams, after 12 games 3 teams are tied for second with 7-5 records; we are having fun! And please don't confuse modified rules with not playing hard and being competitive. There are still some guys sliding into base and diving for balls in the outfield and this is a plus 60 league. It may not be pure, but it is certainly real.
June 15, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Semantics, but you can call it whatever you wish.

Not having to record three outs to get to bat will never be how the game was intended or should be played. It just won't.

Letting guys get "courtesy" runners of the coach's choice for no other reason than the other guy is a half-step faster, and particularly when the batter just ran out a double or is playing the outfield and covering 1/4 of a rather large area on his own, is never how the game should be played.

Having a one size strike zone for guys 5'6", 6'8", and everything in-between is never how the game should be played.

None of those are safety measures, or in any way help guys at an "advanced age and limited abilities" be able to still play. They are just sort of dumb and not at all necessary.
June 16, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
979 posts
problem with going three outs every inning is the scores would get ridiculous! I think the format that we play now with scoring being around 30 to 20 runs per team is enough scoring and it moves the game along... in your 40 50 and 60 and 70s you don't want to be standing out there for 3 hrs for one game. I have zero issue with the format as it is.. the only one thing I would change is the open inning policy that I talked about above.
June 16, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Agreed, but one solution to that is to reduce the bats. Maybe not a complete solution, but certainly a step in the right direction. And the size of that step would depend on how far they peel back the bats.

Something should be done to bring more defense back into the game, and not having to record 3 outs to get to hit greatly diminishes the need for defense.
June 16, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
Sorry, it is not semantics, it is opinion. The use of "intended" is correct but things change over time; it was never intended that major league baseball have a designated hitter, but one
league does. You can express your opinion on whether major league baseball "should" have a designated hitter, but that is opinion. The argument about intended or should just doesn't hold water, it is opinion and reasonable minds can differ on opinion. Enough words.
My opinion agrees with some ideas recently expressed. I totally agree that batter must run on his own to first. I agree less strongly that
courtesy runners should be allowed from after you
reach first. The mat is grossly unfair to short players, however on balance unless you have really good umpires it is probably better to use the strike mat. It is OK to opine that rule changes are not necessary, it is not OK to call those of a different opinion of having dumb opinions. As always, much of this depends on the age group in question, the level of ability and other options available. I don't like courtesy runners in my group since players can
play in the "senior" division of our 60+ league.
June 16, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
What I described as "dumb" a few posts ago were those rules, NOT anyone's opinion.

Who amongst us 25, 35, or 40 years ago were wishing we had strike mats? My guess is very few, if any. I am pitching with the kids this year and find pitching much more of a talent and an art than with a kind of big mat that anyone should be able to hit almost at will.

I also have very few issues as a pitcher or batter with the calls. I don't agree with them all, but so what? That has always been part of the game, and just because I don't agree doesn't mean the ump is always wrong and I am always right.
June 17, 2012
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
What an interesting concept of letting the team designate its own open inning. Probably deserves a thread of its own.

Here are a few other wrinkles if that were the case:

Home team declared its open inning in the 3rd and scored 8 runs, but now after the fifth, they are behind by 11 runs (other team had its own open inning and scored a bunch). Game is over because they can only max out with 5 runs per inning. Do we want that?

Team declared its open inning in the 3rd and scored 8 runs, now in the top of the seventh, visitors score 1 run and lead by 6. Game over since the home team can only score 5 runs. Do we want that?

Two powerful teams, both scoring 5 runs an inning to max out. Home team declares open inning in the third, but doesn't score much with no outs and ends up with four runs, not even five. Teams continue to battle, but what are the odds of home team winning? If visitors declare open inning in seventh and score 5, game is over. If they declare open inning in the sixth and score 8, game almost surely over. If they declare open inning in the fourth and score 10 runs, game likely over since nothing will change. Do we want that?

I kind of like the concept. Who hasn't had an inning where everything is clicking and you're at five runs with not even a close play (and for older or weaker teams, maybe not even a home run hitter in the lineup) and there are no outs? You feel like you can roll on forever without making an out. And you have more energy in the 2nd or 3rd or 4th inning to have a big inning than you will in the 6th or 7th. What a delight to declare that the open inning. But there will be challenges, as I outlined in three scenarios above.
June 17, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
What swing proposed is interesting, though it might be nothing more than a bandage for a self-inflicted wound.
June 17, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
If my opinion is that a rule is a good idea and another person says it is a dumb rule, then that person is saying I am dumb.
Omar, in our league innings are limited to 5 runs
but the last inning is always unlimited. An unlimited last inning may solve your issues and keep the game interesting. I agree that no system
limiting runs will be totally fair but that is not the point, the point is many of us think it makes the game better for us. I like the idea of declaring 1 inning to be a plus 5 inning
June 17, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Wow, that's quite a leap. =(

How can fairness not be the point? How can fairness ever not be a point? Sports is based on the concept of fair competition. Otherwise you just have some activity, but not really sports.
June 17, 2012
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
HJ, I understand open inning and unlimited inning to be the same idea. Having the last inning be the open/unlimited inning is the current standard, and also the way we play in our league. But I'm still intrigued by the idea of a flexible open inning. Of course, all artificially ended innings (at 5 runs, or 7 runs in some cases) are not "pure" to the concept of softball/baseball, but they have been around for decades as well as the mercy rule, etc.

This is just a practical response to keep games within a reasonable time frame when you are scheduling three games a night (which is the norm for rec leagues in our area) or 7 tourney games a day (which is the norm for tournaments in NCSSA which has rules about not playing under the lights for teams 60 or older). I like it, and it seems to be necessary in the current phase of extra-hot bats and lively balls. Didn't need it back in the wood bat days when a competitive game might end up 8 to 10...or even 5 to 7. But that's the subject for another thread.
June 18, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
432 posts
Omar, as usual I totally agree with you. There is nothing "pure" in sports or "fair". All sports evolve and change and sometimes go back to the way it was when it doesn't work. Basketball: the lane; three point shot; time clock; etc. Football: can only hit receiver off the line in designated area; draft giving weaker teams first pick; limits on head hits;etc.
There is no fair or pure, it is all opinion and any attempt to maintain the past for purity is just another opinion.
Times yesterday had article on catchers in the Majors. If the game stayed pure, catchers would not have glove, would not have face masks, and would catch the ball on a bounce. The purity and fairness concepts are a pipe dream.
June 18, 2012
stick8
1261 posts
Omar one of the rules we have in the senior leagues I play in is if your team is down your allowed go 5 up on your opponent. Example: if my team was coming up to bat trailing your team, lets say, 13-6 in the 4th inning, instead of only being allowed to score 5 runs my team is allowed to score 12 runs to go 5 up on your team. It's odd and can be confusing but it seems to work out ok.
I agree that the concept of calling your own open inning is interesting but this rule would negate that if your trailing.
June 18, 2012
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
stick8, I've heard of that variation but never played that way. I like it, but I can see it takes some getting used to...and it might make games longer since this still leaves the potentially longer open inning at the end.

HJ, good points about the evolution of basketball. Who wants to go back to the no-time-clock rule? Some of the most boring games I have ever endured were when teams would play keep-away around the perimeter to hold the score down. And, as a little guy, I love the 3-point shot. Wish they had it when I was in school. I might have made the team despite being short.
June 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I know some of you guys are trying to justify all of the whacky rule changes the game now has by citing a few reasonable rule changes in other sports over the course of the past 50 years, but that just doesn't work.

Nothing will justify sucking bad enough defensively to get to go in and hit without earning it, and nothing will justify the one-size-fits-all strike zone the mat provides.
June 18, 2012
stick8
1261 posts
Omar I try not to figure it out. That's our coach's job. I just focus on hitting, running, fielding and throwing. It's tough enough playing defense the way some of these guys can hit--let alone worrying about how many runs they can score. If it was up to me it'd be 3 outs and whatever runs a team gets.
June 18, 2012
stick8
1261 posts
Gary I'm not really justifying it one bit. It's something this league adopted (and other leagues do this as I understand it) to as they put it, try and give teams a fair chance to get back in the game. Since everyone knows the rule people play by it and accept it for what it is. As I told Omar I just concentrate on playing the game.
I will say using the score example I elluded to earlier with Omar it seems bizarre that my team can score 12 runs but his team can only score 5 in that particular inning. Just because "Omar's team" may be playing a good game and "my team" may not does not justify his team being restricted on what they can score and my team being less restricted.
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