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June 1, 2013
Survey on Adopting 1-1 Count Falls Short
Ruling on one of the most divisive issues facing the sport, SSUSA Rules Committee decided not to adopt a “1-1” pitch count – meaning batters in all SSUSA tournaments start with a “0-0” count for the 2013 season.
The results of the poll this time were virtually identical to the same poll from six years ago, in which the players favored the “0-0” count by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
“As an association, we only change rules of the game when there is a clear majority in favor of the change,” said Bill Ruth, chairman of the Rules Committee. “The survey showed that there is growing support in the younger age groups – and solid support in the Midwest, but a majority of players still favor the ‘0-0’ count.”
In both polls, there was strong regional support for going to the “1-1” count in three Midwest regions, but not in the other 10 regions throughout the nation.
Those favoring the “1-1” count believe it makes the games go faster so that more games go 6 or 7 innings. However, a study of the 1,200 games in the World Masters Championships in 2012 showed that more than 95 percent of the games using the “0-0” count went 6 or 7 innings, with more than half going the full 7 innings.
In addition, there was strong support among the 40 Masters, 50 and 55 age divisions across all regions.
In contrast men’s 60, 65, 70, 75 and 80 divisions and all women’s divisions were just as strongly opposed to the “1-1” count.
The current survey of 5,143 respondents was taken in January at the direction of the SSUSA Rules Committee.