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May 14, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitching screen preferences

I have never seen an L shaped screen used in softball. Seems unnecessarily bulky, interferes with pitchers who like to release near the ground, heavy to set up and break down, etc. As sbswat24 said, it is designed for overhand pitching.

I have pitched with a mandated screen for the pitcher for 18 years, ever since a pitcher got plunked in the chest with a hot shot (more dangerous than getting hit in the head some doctors say). The simple, straight, 7-foot high screen is easiest to carry, to store, to set up and break down.

The screen needs to be four feet in front of the rubber since the supporting legs extend behind it and can be a danger for the pitcher's feet and mobility if any closer.

Our league allows the screen to be set farther away than the edge of the pitching rubber and it is a personal preference by pitchers. Some who like to pitch from 55 or 60 feet move it back closer to them. Lefties position it differently than right-handed. I like to field ground balls so I like it farther away from the pitcher's rubber line; less mobile pitchers cover half the rubber since they are comfortable just peering around the edge when releasing the ball (the safest use).

During these 18 years of play the screen is much less of an obstruction than fielders at first perceive. Third basemen worry about hitting the screen on a throw to first; outfielders worry about hitting it on a throw home; both of these worries are negligible. Playing about 100 games per year with a screen, a third baseman hits the screen about once every couple of years—usually on a foul pop up trying to double a runner off first; an outfielder about once or twice a year. These occurrences are for 3600 half innings of play a year!

The main issue you will have is what to call a batted ball that hits the screen: live ball? dead ball? a foul ball? A foul ball only the second time it happens in a turn at bat? A dead ball out if it happens twice at bat? Each rule has its advocates.
April 30, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Runner's right to the base

Here are a few potential scenarios as to why the runner should just stay put on third:

1) runner plays the outfield and cannot accurately estimate where the pop-up is coming down
2) third baseman can see the popup, but the sun angle is slightly different for the base runner so he just ducks and covers his head
3) the wind is swirling and if the base runner moves he might actually step right in front of the third baseman
4) runner assumed popup was going farther and actually has his head turned watching the shortstop and left fielder to see if this is going to be a Texas leaguer with a chance to advance

Umpires on here agree (with the exception of Wayne 37) STAY PUT! The best way to avoid being called unintentionally for interference.
April 8, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Still waiting for a rational answer

On our Las Vegas world winning team, our most powerful hitter (and the only one who hit home runs over the fence) batted in the middle of our lineup. He is a great slugger but in the middle of the pack as far as batting average goes. Our manager values men frequently getting on base because we have so few power hitters. And yes, he got moved up with the rest of us for winning in Vegas. Don't think he ever played down an age group.
April 6, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Still waiting for a rational answer

tugboat must be one of the few successful players who can turn it on in a tournament. He sees himself as an "average" "AAA Player", yet a world-beater 60-year-old Major team has him playing in five or six tournaments, including the World Championship which they win! I would love to have a teammate who could soar above his average playing to contribute to a top-class team.
March 15, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: Chief perez looking to join a 50 or 55 team

Nope, my team is full. Just trying to help a guy looking for a team.
March 14, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: Chief perez looking to join a 50 or 55 team

The extra needed information is where you live and your exact age.
March 14, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: moving up

I believe the thinking is that when a team is forced to move up it is because they have shown themselves to be superior to that level of competition. Therefore, after the move, they are still competitive, even with the "so-so" players. I have been on three teams that were moved up and in every case, they did not dump the "so-so" players but continued to play together.

Their move-up allowed us to add a couple of better players without penalty, but our team friendship was more important than dropping guys just to pick up better players. Did we win again? Not yet. But we still enjoy playing together.
March 3, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Are you serious.

I'm surprised that Kelly's is offering the heat treatment on all of its bats to "make it hotter". They have had a good reputation and I have ordered bats from them in the past online. This seems to be a new approach. I wonder if they realize it conflicts with SSUSA (and perhaps other associations), or is is just a come-on that they lay it in the window to warm it up before shipping. They do imply that you receive it still in the wrapper.
Feb. 28, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Are you serious.

Cowboy Jimmy, good decision and God bless.
Feb. 28, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Are you serious.

Cowboy Jimmy, I don't think you are hearing SSUSA correctly on this issue. If you bring your "heat-treated" bat to a tournament and use it and then find it fails the testing, it doesn't just mean the bat is destroyed. It means you lose your reputation, you risk being banned from tournaments for years, you jeopardize your team manager and any teammates that used your bat, especially if you told them it was heat-treated.

It is evident from your earlier posts that you are a Christian. It isn't just losing an expensive bat and learning a lesson. It is losing your testimony and future playing enjoyment in the tournaments you find well-run and fun.

By SSUSA rules, the bat is illegal. Whether testing "hotter" or not, it is illegal. Don't take a chance on your witness as a Christian. That is worth far, far more than a bat.
Feb. 26, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Is it time for Full Time Screen?

Webbie25, I think you are not giving pitchers their due. I have been pitching more than 60 years and I, too, pride myself on defending my position and starting a double play. And I have never reached M+ status. But that's not the whole issue in this age of super bats and lively balls.

I have played in a league that has mandated a screen for the pitcher since 2000 after a near fatal hit on a pitcher at that time. And now I am in a second league that also mandates a screen, beginning last year. It just makes sense to avoid incapacitating injuries as long as we have these hot bats.

As we age, our reflexes are getting slower. If we were all still using the old wooden or aluminum bats, the ball, along with our bodies, would lose some power. But that's not the case. And so I can see the age of screens in tournament play coming quickly.

As one who has had to play with a screen for more than 2000 games, it is no biggie. All of the fears about hitting the top of the screen, hitting the screen on a throw from shortstop or center field, are so seldom, measured on the fingers of one hand in a year's time, that they are not worth thinking about. I should mention that our leagues have no restrictions on a pitcher leaving the protective area of the screen to field a pop up, a ground ball, a line shot, etc. Not every screen-requirement league does this.

Like it or not, safety (and liability for the rec departments and softball associations) will mandate their presence.
Feb. 21, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: T.O.C

txnighttrain, your logic is impeccable and this has been brought up many times over the years. I don't believe there was ever a poster who disagreed with you. What could be a possible reason that it is better to play as a team 4 or 5 months after your season where the team may disband, move up in age, lose some important players to other teams, etc.? The answer of SSUSA is always that there is a contractual obligation to stay on those dates. Can't remember why they couldn't switch the tournaments to preserve team integrity.
Feb. 21, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: MITTS

As a pitcher and an older player, I have thought about using a mitt while pitching. Then I considered what are the functions of my glove other than fielding a grounder? Line drive; popup, protecting shots that I don't necessarily expect to catch (groin, face, chest).

My current glove is better for ground ball fielding and popups and has served me well as protection. A mitt is heavier and I worry that I might not bring it up as quickly for protection. On the other hand, I am still quick enough to cover first on a ground ball to the right side, so a mitt would be handy on catching a throw to first.

All things considered, I will stay with the glove.
Feb. 4, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Forfeit or not?

Here is another recent scenario where it wasn't technically a forfeit because both managers signed the score card.

My team was playing its 9th game (yes, coming out of the loser's bracket). Our guys were falling like flies to injury and exhaustion, and our pitcher was losing the plate. We finished a complete inning, our manager walked over to the other team's manager, and offered to end the game at 5 innings with the other team way ahead. They accepted and we happily trudged back to our dugout as no one thought we had the energy or ability to catch up in two innings. There were no complaints from the other team either as we all shook hands and exited the field.
Feb. 4, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Spot the Major + player

OZ40, great discussion starter. The definition changes a bit as teams age. Teams over 70 seldom have more than a couple of guys who can hit home runs over the fence, and usually none who can "hit 'em on command". As a result, my experience playing on major teams in this age group, is that we can occasionally win over Major+ teams, especially in mixed tournaments where we get runs.

There are lots of recorded home runs in our tournaments, but it is usually the combination of a gap shot and slower outfielders with weak arms. In my last tournament, with 4 major and 1 major+ teams, there were no over the fence home runs that I saw, but one "singles hitter" on our team, for example, had two home runs in one game by hitting hard shots that gapped the outfielders on the 300 foot fields.

Another difference between teams is that there is no top for Major+, so they can completely dominate major teams by consistently hitting power shots at the appropriate time. As a result, older teams can be major+ and still have a ton of guys like #2. I would love to have a teamful and win without "fence power" sluggers.
Jan. 18, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Drum Roll thread closed ?

OZ40, great idea! Not only would the rule be frequent, but there could be a second rule when restrooms are more than 100 yards away (which happens more often than it should on some fields). This could be the P-1b rule and allows the missing player to return to the game at any time, at bat or in the field, once he has caught his breath from running a 100 yard "dash"...which might be a couple of innings later.
Jan. 18, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Drum Roll thread closed ?

I usually agree with OZ40—he is a thoughtful and experienced player (and is also wise enough to agree with my positions most of the time). lol But I take one exception to his analysis of slow play as being "lazy".

As a member of older teams for some time (playing 80s this year), my observation is that it is not laziness that slows down the start of each half-inning—it can be the nature of an older player. Here is a sampling of comments from the dugout that go beyond the understandable inability of an older outfielder after one game played to "hustle" out by running 250 feet to his position.

"Where's my glove? Who has my glove? I can't find my glove! Oh, here it is, behind the bench."
"Man it takes forever for [the pitcher] to put on all his protective gear."
"Is Bob in the men's room again? He's supposed to be out in left field."
"It's not my turn to play left center this inning. You have another inning to go."
"Bill! Bill! Get back in here. It's Mick's turn to rotate in right field."
"Let me just get my wind back, fellas. Going second to home took a lot out of me."
"I'm not going to run for him again. My legs are giving out."
"Where are my dark glasses? I know I laid them right here! I can't see without them in this sun."
"Where's my bat? Who used my bat? I can't find my bat! Oh, here it is. Someone put it in the corner."

You get the idea.
Jan. 10, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Shin guards

I have been using martial arts shinguards, they are lightweight and easy on-and-off, but they don't cover the knee. A fellow pitcher uses hockey shin guards that cover the knee, but they are a bit bulky for running over to cover first. I'll try AncientOne's suggestion!
Jan. 10, 2018
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Drum Roll...the Starting Count decision results.

I don't have a problem with the process—I thought it was well thought through. I am dumbfounded by the low response to the online poll. It takes about two minutes to respond...and the reader is already on the computer! Dave, do you have any data on what the response percentage was a few years ago? Most 60+ that I know are traditionalists and prefer the 0-0 starting count, so the change surprises me (the preference by the 50s did not surprise me).
Dec. 20, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Single wall

Our league is a single-wall only league for those under 70, and we have discussed banning the Demarini Steel because of its extraordinary pop. Any thoughts on why it is so hot?
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