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Discussion: One pitch

Posted Discussion
Oct. 18, 2012
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
One pitch



Who out there likes to play one pitch ?
Oct. 18, 2012
southernson
261 posts
Played it many times, and it sure makes the game faster. But most guys hate it, especially pitchers.

It significantly provides advantages to the hitter.
Oct. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
southernson, how so? I have never played it, but the batter is walking into the box with only one pitch to figure out how to handle.

Other than the usual advantage hitters have in that it is still a rather large ball moving pretty slowly, what else gives hitters an advantage? Often guys don't like it when the count gets to two strikes, how is this different?
Oct. 18, 2012
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
I like it, we have a great pitcher who is a one pitch wonder........I usually swing at the first pitch anyway. At least this would get more games in and on time..........IMO.
Oct. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
You know, if we go to "no pitch" the games would go real quick.....:)

I'll just never understand what the rush is.....:(

If guys are in such a hurry to artifically get games over with, stay home.
Oct. 18, 2012
BobLaser
Men's 50
38 posts
It's a blast!
Oct. 18, 2012
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
Gary19, as a lot pf players stated about Vegas.some had to play at midnight or 1:00 am., then come back for a 8:00 am game,one pitch would stop that.
Oct. 18, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1002 posts
One pitch is a fun game with lots of laughs. Guys play it seriously (we have a tournament every year for one pitch participants) so it isn't a clown game. What Gary is right about is that pitchers don't like it because they have little role in the game.

In our version, you pitch to your own team! So you are doing your best as a pitcher not only to groove the ball, but to pitch it where the batter likes it. Once pitched, you are forbidden to touch the ball, so a player from another team is on the mound to field balls up the middle. And every team has to have a backup when it is the pitcher's turn to bat and for perhaps following batters if the pitcher reaches a base.

The result of hitting the first, and only, pitch is that scores are usually low because no pitcher can perfectly deliver the ball accurately every time. You might have to swing at a low pitch, one too far outside, one too deep, etc. In one tournament, a pitcher was renowned for pitching a "no-hitter"! His pitching was so erratic that he struck out a lot of his own team with popups and foul balls and strikeouts (the ball is called a strike no matter where it hits if the batter doesn't swing). He was yanked after three innings!

The only risk is that as a pitcher you have to depend on someone else's fielding to protect you on hits up the middle or stop a screamer yourself and get your teammate called out for interference. We ban composite bats in our tournament because of this.

I can see that the variation that #6 is talking about may rely on a ball called a walk if the batter lets it go by and it doesn't hit the mat/plate. Sounds interesting, but I've never played that.
Oct. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
6, so would using reasonable bats and a little bit of hustle on and off the field.

I agree that kind of schedule sucks, but there are ways to help it without completely changing the game. Many have said the beauty of baseball is it is the only game without a clock. Now everyone is worried about "clocking" softball.

Like I said, there are other things to try first that don't have to be the way they are now that would certainly help the situation.
Oct. 18, 2012
stig1
Men's 60
32 posts
In Cinncinati they have a USSSA one pitch world tournament(just a name Gary19 not really the whole world) every Sept. Three game round robin on Sat seeded into a single elimination tournament on Sun. It takes about 45 min to play a game. A great way to get a lot of games in a shorter period of time.
Oct. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Thanks stig......:)

I do think that could be nice as a gimmick, or change of pace. But probably a bit misleading to call it a "lot of games" since the games are just shells of what real games are. But could very well be nice for a change.
Oct. 18, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
Haver played it do not care for it or 1\1 start. Both are around here.
Need exercise try 5 on 5 games... better be in shape.
Oct. 18, 2012
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
Played many variations of the one pitch, actually love it. Found the best formatt to be unlimited home runs with regular defense, meaning opposing pitcher pitches. Pitched ball is a walk. Strike, swing or called out. Foul ball out.

Opposing pitcher can pitch as soon as his team while on defense clears the foul lines and becomes the offensive team. Lot of hustle/running.

Oct. 18, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
443 posts
Hate it-maybe I am just too uptight and feel the pressure of only seeing 1 pitch. Never felt I got the feel of the game. Only have played it twice so could be totally wrong if played more often.
Oct. 19, 2012
southernson
261 posts
G19,
Over the years probably played in 200+ one pitch games and IMO, here's how it helps the batter:

1) It eliminates the ability to throw setup pitches, that is pitches that are definitely not strikes and not intended to be, they are thrown for the purpose of "setting up" the batter for the next pitch you want him to swing at. Good pitchers use this a lot, let me give you an example. Say u r pitching to a major HR hitter...if I want him to swing at a back shoulder inside pitch, I may throw one pitch from the side of the rubber to outside short, one pitch to way inside and deep, and then throw the pitch I want them to hit, back shoulder, inside corner, thrown from 6 feet to the right side of the rubber.

Those options no longer exist in one pitch.

2) Guys are more agressive. With one pitch batters are there to swing right away, so they tend to concentrate more, they "see" the ball a lot better, and they tend to hit it better. It usually, and I say usually, adds 100 points or more to a team batting avg, and that's significant.

3) Most hitters feel like any tricks or tools the pitcher has are eliminated. Mentally, they are more relaxed, at ease, and as a result usually hit for a higher average.

4) It eliminates the pitcher from using angles as a routine option. The wind is blowing 20mph, now in one pitch, you can't pitch from the side of the rubber as much, or from six feet back as much. One pitch changes all that, you pretty much have to pick a consistent spot for delivery and with reasonable variation to still be in the strike zone, nut it.

5) More balls are going to come up the middle. With guys hitting to the middle more, you are usually going to see fewer routine fly balls.

6) Sponge pitches can't be thrown as much. Ever be at the plate and hit a ball and have some dirt mysteriously seem to come off the ball upon contact? My friend you were just the victim of a sponge pitch. Dirt was rubbed in the seams on one side, or the seams were wet (how did that happen) and then dirt loaded in them for the pitch.

You can't use that pitch as much in one pitch because it tends to drop off more than usual and not consistently, and in one pitch you can't always take that chance.

7) If you are pitching against a team that has you way outmanned at the plate, you have to be able to throw a lot of balls that are around the plate, but definitely not strikes. The objective is to get them to hit "your" pitch. So hell you might walk 3 of the first 6 batters, and purposely go deep in the count on the others....and everybody assumes that the pitcher just can't find the plate. If they are a good pitcher it's by design, you want them to think that's the case. You might even put on a little pout and kick the dirt routine on for show, but in reality it's all a sham. Reality is most good hitters want to swing at the ball, they want to swing before they even get out of the car in the parking lot, and a good pitcher will take advantage of that. A good pitcher will begin looking at a batter in the eye as they approach the plate as they rarely have a poker face. By the 3rd or 4th inning you have them swinging at pitches just out of their preferred comfort level, just out of their zone, and suddenly, what a surprise, you are throwing pitches exactly where you want to....which was really happening all along. One pitch takes that away.

With that being said, after all, it is SLOW pitch, every good pitcher gets shelled, but sometimes a good pitcher can make a difference. In one-pitch, there are fewer chances that can happen....


Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I agree with a lot of that, which is why I don't like starting 1-1. It takes 2 setup pitches away from me.

But, in the end, you are basically walking into the box with 2 strikes and I assume no fouls to use, which is normally not a position most batters like to be in. That was my way of looking at this.
Oct. 19, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
We have a few guys on our team who think we ARE playing one pitch! LOL. I have always liked 1 and 1, but probably in the minority on that.
Oct. 19, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
443 posts
Southernson- beautifully written and thanks for the education. It is amazing to me that many players in my league have no concept that the pitcher has a plan to get them out.
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
HJ, that is too often the case with a lot of pitchers. And starting 1-1 cuts down the plan more than I prefer, but sometimes don't have a choice.

What league do you play in?
Oct. 19, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
443 posts
Huff N Puffers. Minimum age is 60. Play at beautiful complex in Parma next to Junior college.
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I know that complex well. The old Nike Site if I remember right.

I know that is only a daytime league, and with 3 still in college it will be a while before I am available in the mornings.

Have you played in the league in Brook Park in the mornings?
Oct. 19, 2012
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
Smokey20,

I played a few tournaments like that, and it was definitely hustle ball. In the tournaments that I played in, you had to hit 1 of 2 pitches in play, 30 minute time limits, and I think we had up to 20-30 seconds to get your team back on the field, before the offensive team could pitch the ball, ready or not. All of this hustling on and off the field, felt like you played a full 1 1/2 hour game. We never reached the 30 minute time limits in any game. Had a lot of fun and good softball.

Although a lot of fun and complete games, I would not want to play too many of those kind of tournaments, as I like the old fashioned way of playing games, and maybe a 1-1 count would be good. We play with a 1-1 count in one of my leagues. We only do this for one of our 2 games that day as an experiment. It has cut down the time of the game by 10-15 minutes. Everyone is so happy with that, we are talking about playing with the 1-1 count for both games and in my other leagues.

Maybe SSUSA could implement a few of these 1 pitch tournaments in a few of their recreational tournaments listed??

Andy Smith,
60 Major
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
"I like the old fashioned way of playing games"

Not if you like 1-1 counts.
Oct. 19, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
443 posts
Yes, Nike site. Yes only mornings and no haven't played Brook Park. Life is often a time compromise to keep wife happy and supportive of SB. Many do play in other league(s) and I do see fatigue, burnout and more injuries with them. Probably 1 game more a week would be optimal, but can't have everything.
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
When you get time shoot me that email about Brunswick. I guess send it to gsommers19@hotmail.com. I can see it over the weekend.
Oct. 19, 2012
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
Jawood, funny.

Duke, fun as an occasional formatt.


SSUSA by its nature has rosters of gentlemen that have played for many, many years. Honestly should look at 1-1 count and no foul ball.
Oct. 19, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
222 posts
I have never played one pitch under normal seasonal conditions, but I have played one pitch MANY times here in Northern Ohio in the Snow.

Mostly in late 80's and early 90's

We used to call them snowball/softball tournaments and the object of the one pitch was to keep games around 30 minutes or so. Before there were the new flourescent green balls we use now, we'd use orange balls in the snow as they were easy to find if they went into a snowdrift.

The March of Dimes used to sponsor a huge tournament in Cleveland (and another in Lake County) that drew a couple hundred teams to several sites on Saturdays (all in one division, double elimination) and then tournament site winners would play championship rounds on sunday.

A couple of years we were even playing championship games inside the old Cleveland Indians Stadium.

It was full rules softball, sliding, etc but ONE PITCH, and we'd get bundled up in anything to keep us warm in January and February. We had to have the right footwear for the right conditions (ice infields, frozen dirt infields or snow covered infields)

Sometimes it was 29/30 degrees and we'd all be soaked if the sun was out, and I remember one year playing along the lake at Gordon Park when it was 8 below zero with a wind chill of over minus 30 (but sunny)

There was even a tournament circuit, as we travelled to Pittsburgh and Buffalo (examples) as a one pitch team in the winter, and also qualified for the Snowball One pitch Worlds in Omaha one season too I think it was 1987?)

It was a blast, and games were pretty quick. I have not heard about anything like this in Northern Ohio in a long long time if they still do it???
Oct. 19, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
I've played one-pitch several times in world tournaments when we've had rain delays--to try and get back on schedule for time lost. You have to go up to the plate hacking!
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
stick, when and where was this? They actually turned a world tourney into a gimmick? Did teams ask for their money back?
Oct. 20, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
222 posts
G19:

I've also heard about some tournaments with weather issues switching to one pitch although I've never played in one? I'm just "guessing" more than a full day of play would have had to be wiped out for that to happen? An advantage would be you could still keep losers bracket moving along I guess, and get the full tournament in????

I have been to huge tournaments, including places like Vegas, where an entire day lost to weather turned tournaments into single elimination.

I remember one year, Friday was washed out. We were supposed to play our first game at 9AM on Friday morning and wound up having to play the first game at 4AM Saturday morning. It was still raining, which forced them to turn the tournament to one and done.

MAN! We brought ten guys to Vegas, two guys didn't get to the field on time for 4AM game-------we won the flip, chose to hit first, scored three, and delayed as long as we could waiting for the other two guys who never showed up. Long way to travel from Ohio for single elimination (and forfeit with a lead).

And single elimination only works if the tournament starts late due to cancellations the first day, and everybody is in the same boat. It can be a nightmare if some teams were already in the losers bracket when format changes to single elimination, depending how the tournament director would want to proceed.
Oct. 20, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
Gary this was in 2001 at the USSSA B worlds in Minnesota. A huge rain storm delayed the tournament for about 6 hours after the first round of games saturday morning. In addition to one pitch they also decided to go to 5 inning games until Sunday morning when they went back to regular 7 inning, normal count games. AFAIK, most of the teams that played received paid berths so money back wasn't really a consideration.
Oct. 20, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
17Black, I have seen the double elimination being eliminated, I get that. But at least that protects the integrity of the games that do get played.

I remember sitting at Elder field until 3am watching Pyramid win in '75 due to weather, but the rules of the game were not effected.

We played all night long, and most of the next day, at USSSA "A" Worlds in around '83 or '84 because of rain, but again we played complete games with the usual rules.
Oct. 21, 2012
boston
306 posts
I've played 1 pitch in both USSSA and SSUSA tourneys. these were done due to rain delays and tring to catch up or get games in with impending rains on the way. In SSUSA tourneys playing 50AAA in Georgetown and Pinetop they did one thing that was different, when we went to 1 pitch. They had teams play 2 innings in the field and bat before changing. You wold get your 5 runs or 3 outs, then start the next at bat. Only changing 3-4 times during the course of the game. Cut down on time and wasn't physically difficult for me.
I did like the idea that as a team we kept the you strikeout your still buying the beer.

If anyone thinks 1 pitch is bad in the Whole Enchilada tourney in Las Cruces several years ago. The rains were so bad the teams still in it had to do a coin flip to see who won. Now that sucked if you were undefeated and lost the title to a team from the losers bracket.
Oct. 21, 2012
nuklball15
16 posts
How is the "sponge pitch" delivered? Grip? Stiff wrist? How is it "loaded? Am very interested.
Do you have any other "specialty" pitches? Thanks.
Oct. 22, 2012
southernson
261 posts
Nuklball15,
There are a lot of good video's on pitching, and most will show how to get a ball to move inside or break away....check them out, it's helpful.

A sponge pitch is usually delivered by either throwing it as a knuckleball or as a palm pitch with no finger release. The "loaded" seam should face the batter. It will tend to fall towards the loaded end, not much, but 3-4". I favor throwing it as a palm ball with little spin especially against power hitters. Unless it's windy, then most all pitches are knuckleballs. Every good pitcher has a couple of their own pitches they developed, or altered a little.

Most pitchers are just trying to vary timing with either movement on the ball or delivery by different placement in the hand. It's still SLOW pitch, but sometimes small changes make a difference.

And sometimes they don't, I got shelled this weekend in 1 of our games, and a few bruises from peas hit up the middle. Hey, that's softball, I love the game, and that's why I play....

Oct. 22, 2012
nuklball15
16 posts
Thanks for the info.
How do you "load" the ball? Balls come back to the pitcher wet early in the morning or later in the evening. Do you just wipe the seam on the ground? What about a dry day?

Two books I really enjoyed: Dr Whacko's Guide to Slow Pitch Softball by Bruce Brown and The Strategy of Pitching Slow-Pitch Softball by Michael Ivankovich. Do you know of any others that are worthwhile?
I also saw two videos: Slowpitch Softball Pitching Video by the PitchMaster (www.thepitchmaster.com) and How to Become a Better Slow Pitch Pitcher by Glove Up. Do you know of any othersthat are worthwhile?
Oct. 22, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Try to find old videos of Lou Delmastro.
Oct. 23, 2012
southernson
261 posts
nuklball15,
I'm almost 59 years old, there are NASA scientists working part-time in underground labs with Miken and more, senior players carrying multiple loaded weapons in their bag, and you want me to tell you how to load a ball?

Somehow I don't think that's going to happen...but it made me laugh anyway. Thanks...

BTW, I like Malach's video the best, just personal opinion.


Oct. 23, 2012
southernson
261 posts
nuklball15,
I'm almost 59 years old, there are NASA scientists working part-time in underground labs with Miken and more, senior players carrying multiple loaded weapons in their bag, and you want me to tell you how to load a ball?

Somehow I don't think that's going to happen...but it made me laugh anyway. Thanks...

BTW, I like Malach's video the best, just personal opinion.


Oct. 23, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
i have played 1-pitch quite a bit(since the late 80's),and like it....as pitcher i don't worry about having only 1 pitch to throw,in fact i like that idea,i think it gives a good pitcher the advantage,as the hitter knows they are only getting 1 pitch to hit.....
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