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Discussion: Mask or Pitcher Protection Screen

Posted Discussion
Jan. 19, 2014
Capt Kirk
516 posts
Mask or Pitcher Protection Screen
Mask or Screen, which one would provide better protection for a pitcher? We use them in our C-Division League in Austin, no problem with the screen, hit the screen, dead ball. We use a
screen at all of our practices, as an infielder it does not restrict or impede my ability to throw or catch the ball (there are other factors that come into play that will prevent that). It seems to me that it is a natural progression to go from mask to screen if we want to protect the pitcher.
Capt Kirk
Jan. 19, 2014
Fred S
Men's 85
275 posts
If pitcher uses screen correctly then no question the screen offers better protection than the mask. Screen protects your whole body.
Jan. 19, 2014
Men's 65
3146 posts
We've used the screen in our league for the past year. At first I thought I wouldn't like it but now I'm sold on it. If we hit the screen it is a foul ball.
The difference that I see with tournaments is that the tournament director would probably have to supply the screen where the individual is now responsible for the mask. I can't see LVSSA and SSUSA furnishing screens for every field of every park.
I think a screen would have been a much better rule change than the required mask.
Jan. 19, 2014
Michigan Vet
Men's 65
252 posts
We use the screen in our league in Detroit. The main thing is that it must be used for protection, not another fielder. The pitcher must stay behind the screen, not pitch from next to it.
Jan. 19, 2014
17 posts
The screen is not going to protect the pitcher 100%
by being hit in the face. the Ultra II just has to much
power and gets to the pitcher to quickly for a pitcher
to move behind the screen all the time. I am not saying
it won't help, because I also use it in the Austin league but it gets in the way for me, and I have to look
out for it not to trip on. Lets just play softball and
now the new pitchers face mask rule into effect, this
should be enough. Pitchers should wear shin guards also
in my opinion.. 30yrs of pitching tells me that! it takes a hell of a long time for shins to heal and more
balls are hit harder on the ground than in the air too..
Jan. 20, 2014
223 posts
We are starting this year if a batted ball hits the screen foul ball.With 2 strikes batter out.Masks are like seat belts takes awhile to get used to.
Jan. 20, 2014
223 posts
Screen must stay in contact with 24" pitchers box.Very easy to step behind.
Jan. 20, 2014
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
screen for bp yes...and even then it gets in the way of how ya moving side to side..unless you don't mind letting the batter know how/where your gonna pitch him.....yes it is the best protection tho......i prefer a mask and shin guards.........
Jan. 20, 2014
40 posts
In our leagues most pitchers only use the screen as an additional fielder. Rarely do they get back behind the screen after they deliver the pitch.
Jan. 20, 2014
Men's 70
291 posts
You should never be penalized for hitting a ball into fair territory ... Hit the screen? ... Dead ball, no pitch.
Jan. 20, 2014
85 posts
in our league we use the screen it does protect the pitcher dead ball on the first time you hit it strike the second time in same at bat the mask i believe may give them a problem seeing a ball hit at there chest or shin
Jan. 20, 2014
56 posts
If you use the sreen you don't have to worry about the middle when home runs are gone, we use screens, in Chicago area, they should run a sreen tournament and see what response and feedback you get
Jan. 20, 2014
316 posts
Capt. Kirk i myself do not like to be forced to wear a mask it should be the pitchers choice. But about the screen my thoughts are that is wussifing the game to much if you can't play the position defensively change positions. With the screen you take the pitcher out of alot of defensive plays. Next 3rd base might be the progressive choice for a manatory mask or screen on and on and on. Just my thoughts please don't get to excited .
Jan. 20, 2014
526 posts
While in Florida, after the Winter Nationals, I played 4 days in a T-Th pick up league. Intermixed ages with many 50s big time power hitters. They use screens. Ball hits screen-do over. At most, the screen was hit 1 or 2 times a game. I found it not to be a disraction or did it cause it not to be senior softball. I liked it. Even with the screens, the pitchers made some very good defensive plays.

Now, on the other hand. I play in a Tuesday pick up league in Joliet Illinois. I have a screen my tournament team bought for batting practice. I offered to bring it for these fun games as several of the pitchers had taken some hard shots. After 2 days, the organizer told me guys were bitching about the screen and not to bring it back. The next set of games the pitchers had some hard shots at them and were bitching about hitting the middle.

I pitch and play outfield. I can go with either the protective gear or screen. For total protection, the screen makes more sense.
Jan. 20, 2014
Omar Khayyam
1243 posts
There is no argument that the screen provides better protection for the pitcher who uses it for that purpose. But not every league insists on its use that way.

We have a mandated screen in our league and have for more than a decade. Setting it up and taking it down is no more a bother than putting out the bases and collecting them, marking batter's box, etc.

Our rule is any ball hitting the screen is a dead ball. Sure, the occasional ball will glance off the side of the screen (about one a year in my personal experience pitching) and can become dangerous to the pitcher transitioning to a fielder (permitted in our league).

As I have stated in other threads, the screen soon becomes natural. In the course of a year we usually NEVER have a third baseman hitting the screen trying to go to first, and maybe a few times all year does an outfielder hit the screen throwing home. It is not a factor.

Guys who want to practice going middle like it because the pitcher can be safe. We have a league where teams are chosen each day from players present, from 50 to 80s in age, including a few skilled women players. Usually, as a courtesy, a batter will warn the pitcher that he is going to try to hit up the middle.

Experienced pitchers, who know where a ball might likely be hit depending on the location of the pitch or experience with the individual batter, have become quite skilled at being an important part of the infield defense. I could live with using a screen in tournament play. It's not that big a deal.
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