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May 25, 2024
DBaker1424
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Back Foot in Front of Mat - Final Clarification

We might have closed the thread one message too soon. I need some clarification on what SSUSA Staff said in #2 - Here are the three points of rule adjustments SSUSA Staff made:


1. Batters must have BOTH feet in the batter's box at the start of the pitch ... "Lines are in" for determining in/out of the box;
2. Batter must have their rear foot DOWN, on or behind the line that extends across the front edge of the home plate/strike mat, laterally to the outside edges of the batter's boxes;
3. ALL other batter position restrictions (like not stepping on the strike mat while hitting a ball, etc.) remain unchanged ... That's it! ...


I believe your intent is -

2. Batter must have their rear foot DOWN AT THE START OF THE PITCH, on or behind the line that extends across the front edge …..


If that is NOT your intent and your phrase is interpreted “when they make contact with the ball,” then we have changed nothing.

I’ll be looking for one more reply from SSUSA Staff…. And if my interpretation is correct, then by all means, close the thread and speak of it no more we will.
May 24, 2024
DBaker1424
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Back Foot in Front of the Mat

I am excited that this madness of comparing apples to oranges (what's good for USSSA and USA has to be good for SSUSA) is gaining traction to be rescinded. And I agree with Fuzzy and others to make this immediate. I'm playing in Columbia, MO next week and would love to have it gone for that!

I believe we all agree that the batters' boxes are of different sizes across various parks and venues and understand that this rule was to standardize the interpretation of "out of the box." But a simple line added 17" in front of home plate, like we do for the commit and scoring lines, would answer that concern. And then the rule remains where the BACK foot must be completely in front of that line to be called out! ANY PART OF YOUR FOOT ON the line (even the pinky toe) is okay.

My "druthers" - do away with the box completely and call stepping on the plate (mat) or in front of or behind as out of the box as we have done when the box wasn't there. If he wants to run halfway to the mound to hit it, so be it. It's pretty hard to do if the pitcher is throwing with any kind of arc on it. (I heard there was some discussion of increasing the minimum height to 8'. Although it's pretty much there anyway - the pitch doesn't have to clear the pitcher's head [if he's 5'9" or taller] to get 6' off the ground. Most umps call that flat. But that's for another post...)

And DD, I appreciate your passion in understanding how this has not been the solution the rules committee sought to achieve. And I certainly forgive you for "being persuaded" in that meeting. Until something is fleshed out, it's difficult to see the ramifications of any new rule.

But now that we know ....

May 22, 2024
DBaker1424
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Back Foot in Front of the Mat

From a previous thread - Left hander in the box...

March 23
DaveDowell
The purpose of the rule change was three-fold, and we can describe it in about 75 words: ... It was [1] to conform the SSUSA rule to what is common in many/most other adult slow-pitch associations, [2] to simply define a very understandable concept of keeping the back foot down as an anchor against pitcher encroachment, and use the front edge of the plate, a common element in ALL ballfields, as the forward limit ... Batters' boxes ARE different from facility to facility, but the front edge of the plate is in the same place everywhere ... Good luck as you adapt to change ...

March 25
txnighttrain
USSSA went to this rule 3 years ago and the players have adjusted just fine.

March 28
3_SoftballFreak
If the plate is not a strike then this rule works fine, with the plate a strike the back foot limit and front of the plate are too close to each other, impossible to protect and stay behind the front of the plate.

April 24
DaveDowell
I can state that we borrowed this one directly from the USSSA rule:

For the sake of consistency across all venues where SSUSA plays, the committee adopted, generally, the USSSA Rule 1, section 5, as follows: “..The batter must take an initial position with his back foot no further forward than a line defining the front edge of home plate. The batter will be called out if he hits the ball when the back foot is completely further forward than the line defining the front edge of home plate. NOTE: All other illegally batted ball infractions regarding the side and rear lines of the batter’s box, along with stepping on home plate, remain in effect..”
• PASSED: 12-0-0

April 26
3_SoftballFreak
Looking here at the USSSA Conference rules we see this rule -
In USSSA, a batter's back foot must be no further forward than the front edge of home plate when they take their initial position. If the batter hits the ball with their back foot past the front edge of home plate, they are called out. The batter is also out if their foot lands on home plate or in front of the plate while making contact with the ball.

Of course in regular USSSA the plate is not a strike which creates a buffer between the front of the strike zone and where your feet can be. You guys didn't consider this when you implemented this rule in SSUSA, bad planning.


My comments -

It's sad that this forum is not used for discussion in rule changes / modifications in the Annual Meeting. Being in Oklahoma, it's not feasible to travel to Tucson (in the even years) or the East Coast (in the odd years). Perhaps an email petition might be the answer... I'd add my name to that.

Two suggestions to modify the current rule -

1) Keep the plate bare and put the strike mat at the back point of the plate. The fairly delivered pitched ball hits the plate = not a strike. The fairly delivered pitched ball hits the strike mat = strike. NOW you have the same rule as adopted by USSSA. It is NOT the same rule if you keep things as they are. (And as a USSSA umpire, I'm familiar with this rule.)

2) As we have added the Commitment Line as well as a Scoring Line, you add a Front of Plate Line 17" (the length of the standard, legal home plate) in front of the strike mat. If it's chalk, and it's rubbed out, give the umpire the authority to drag it back in with his foot or with a bat. And this conforms with the USSSA rule and its intent.

As pitchers learn to hit the front of the mat (or even an inch or two or three in front of the mat), you're needing to pull out your sand wedge to hit that pitch if you're going to keep that back foot behind the front of the mat. You're not going to have any kind of chance to barrel it up and everything hit is going to be on the end cap. With this rule as it stands, we're now teaching and encouraging hitting "out of the strike zone." I don't think that's in any way good for the game.

May 22, 2024
DBaker1424
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: Looking for 55 Major/Major+ team in OK

JEllis07

Midwest City (east side of OKC) has a Monday night "team oriented" senior league starting at age 40. 3 divisions - 40+, 55+, and 75+. 4 teams in the 40s; 5 teams in the 55s (2 upper level, 3 lower level; equalizers apply), 1 team in the 75s (they play against the 3 lower teams in the 55s). There's also a 60+ league on Tuesdays, but it is a drafted league. (Draft occurs in Feb.)

PM me your email and I'll get you to the right contacts.

DavidBaker1424@gmail.com
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