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Discussion: Taping of bat handle.

Posted Discussion
Jan. 7, 2017
Jethro
Men's 60
60 posts
Taping of bat handle.
At a recent Batting Practice, a prospective player had a unique tape job on the handle to his bat. He had removed the original factory grip and replaced it with athletic tape. No problem in the rules with that. However, he had wrapped the tape on the handle and flared it at the knob end without going over the knob. In effect he created a cone of tape about the same size as the store bought plastic/rubber cones that are approved.
My question after reading the illegal bat and altered bat rules is it legal? It adds nice feel to the bat for sure just like the store bought cones.
It doesn't appear to be illegal per the rules as written. The tape job is not over the original grip at all because it (the grip) was removed.
Jan. 7, 2017
crusher
Men's 75
524 posts
Jethro, in 1994 while playing in the Industrial "A" national championship l had my bat taped like this. The umpire made me remove the extra tape before l could bat.
Jan. 7, 2017
Fred S
Men's 85
297 posts
I have a 2010 rule book but I don't think it has changed and it would be illegal. No more than 2 layers of tape allowed.
Jan. 7, 2017
DieselDan
Men's 70
408 posts
If Fred's rule book is still current in that particular rule, how is several layers of tape near the knob any different than buying the rubber cones?
Jan. 7, 2017
B.J.
713 posts
it's illegal ...below is the rule.... G. Shall have a safety knob of a minimum of inch protruding at a 90-degree angle from the handle. It may be molded, lathed, welded or permanently fastened. A "flare" or "cone" grip attached to the bat will be permissible as
long as it is a commercially manufactured flare or cone. Taping into a cone will be considered altered. The knob may be taped as long as there is no violation of this section
Jan. 7, 2017
titanhd
Men's 50
570 posts
It not illegal to have more than one wrap of tape. However,and I am talking SSUSA Senior ball it illegal to tape into a cone. You can tape over a cone but, not "shape" tape into a cone.
Jan. 8, 2017
Jethro
Men's 60
60 posts
well, I went to the rule book and read it very carefully and under G. It specifically says that taping into a cone shape is altering the bat.
hhmmm
Jan. 8, 2017
Downs
60 posts
Sorry to say, I think you failed to read Section 3.4(4) of the 2015-16 SSUSA Rule Book. I know that the 2017-18 rules have been adopted, however, the new rule book has not been distributed as of yet and the new rules adopted on Dec. 5, 2016 did not change for approved bats. Now, one thing not mentioned in the prior messages is: "a bat that has excessive tape (MORE THAN TWO LAYERS) applied to the bat grip (HANDLE) is an ALTERED BAT. Remember, there is a major difference between an ALTERED bat and an ILLEGAL bat. An ILLEGAL bat is a bat that has not been approved for SSUSA play but has not been modified. (i.e. a standard baseball bat is an ILLEGAL bat.) The penalty, the bat is removed from the game and the batter is called out. Now, an ALTERED bat is one that is LEGAL for SSUSA play, but has had it's physical characteristics changed; painted, excessive tape, weight change, etc. The penalty for having an ALTERED BAT; the bat is removed from the game and SO IS THE BATTER......a cone grip made of tape requires MORE THAN TWO LAYERS OF TAPE, therefore, constitutes an ALTERED BAT.. Jim - WA
Jan. 9, 2017
Jethro
Men's 60
60 posts
Thank you everyone for your replies...
Jan. 9, 2017
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1221 posts
Crap.. been swinging Altered for 6 years now... have to go by cones now.. uggggggg!
Jan. 9, 2017
softball4b
Men's 65
1119 posts
I guess I have been in violation for years. I suppose I will have to quit writing on the bat, "this is the sweet spot, hit here" or the the one on the handle "guaranteed out if you hit it here".
Jan. 9, 2017
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1221 posts
edit Buy not by LOL..
Jan. 11, 2017
fennellwg
Men's 60
97 posts
It's interesting that there are more than a few ways to illegally alter a bat using potentially benign components such as tape or paint.
Yet, when it comes to being penalized for using an altered bay the descriptive term becomes " altered to enhance performance ".
I'm sure the exact phrasing was not an oversight. If staff or anyone one is willing...
What was the rational for the added description? i.e. What form of tape job or paint job would be considered a performance benefit? And how would SSUSA determine that it was done to achieve enhanced performance?
Regards,
Bill
Jan. 11, 2017
k man
Men's 65
292 posts
Good point Bill, I was wondering myself what the additional tape on the handle would do in order to make it illegal. I was thinking it may be a safety issue,easier for the bat to slip off the knob and out of ones hand. Tried using the manufactured cone. found it uncomfortable but that's just me.
Jan. 11, 2017
HAT MAN
Men's 40
210 posts
I use the knob and oddly cant bat without it (headgames).
I discussed this on another board as well. the rule is interpretive.

To enhance.... well I can tell you take the tape and knob off my bat and i will hit worse. So by rule it is enhancing my at bat.

I truelove believe most umps, myself included understand these rules and only enforce major violations of such.
Jan. 12, 2017
fennellwg
Men's 60
97 posts
Thanks
I guess I'm wondering how paranoid SS USA is , or how paranoid I should be?

Does SS USA believe the improper use of tape may change the BPF of a bat?
Or is it a deterrent from something more sinister , like a paint job for your "new in wrapper" OG Ultra to make it look like a freak 98 ?
...just curious.
Bill
Jan. 13, 2017
Tommy00
13 posts
It actually comes down to how many players actually know that more than 2 layers of tape makes a bat "altered", or whether or not you can tell that the "cone" at the bottom is all tape or a store bought cone covered in tape. Bottom line, someone in the know has to call you out for it to truly be illegal.
Jan. 15, 2017
Q19
Men's 60
74 posts
Hey "Swing for the fences", there goes your power.

Hey "Downs", the 2017-18 Rulebook is online and you can download it. Also, since when is an "altered" bat legal for use in any association.

Rulebook (P. 16): 3.4(4)- ALTERED EQUIPMENT

A bat or ball is considered altered when the physical characteristics of a legal softball bat or ball have been changed (EXAMPLE: chilling softballs). Replacing the handle of a metal bat with a wooden or other type handle, inserting material inside the bat, applying excessive tape (more than two layers) to the bat grip or painting a bat other than at the top or bottom for identification purposes are considered altering the bat. Applying a foreign substance to the barrel of the bat constitutes altering the bat. (For penalty, see 3.4(6)). Replacing the grip with another legal grip is not considered altering the bat.

Rulebook (P. 16-17): 3.4(6) - PENALTY FOR USING AN ALTERED BAT OR SOFTBALL

SSUSA agreed to follow the 2007 Summit Altered Bat Recommendation:

A. Penalty for using an altered bat - If a bat is suspected of being altered to enhance performance, a tournament official will determine if the bat will be allowed to be used in play or will request that it be voluntarily surrendered by the owner for inspection. (I'll stop right here).

In other words, I couldn't find anything written in the new rulebook where "altered equipment" can be used.

I read Rule 3.4 (G), and "BJ" is verbatim on this one.

Jan. 15, 2017
?
121 posts
So is overlapping the tape on each wrap around considered to be a double wrap of tape?
Jan. 15, 2017
Jawood
Men's 50
926 posts
I don't think anyone is worrying much about cone shaped tape or more than two layers. Juiced bats are becoming an epidemic in senior softball, yet no one seems to be too concerned with doing anything about it!
Jan. 16, 2017
Grimmie
17 posts
Jawood good point the bats we use are so hot now. My opinion is the bats don't last that long anyway,if u shave one of these they couldn't last. Every division has a home run limit now a days. How could u test for this after u break one of these bats in how would it pass compression. Taping bat handles was never the problem. Played Major-plus last 5 years the hitting doesn't leave us its the other parts of the game getting harder lol. Have a great year everyone playing 55 this year.
Jan. 16, 2017
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1221 posts
Yep Q,,, I will have to replace my loaded tape with a loaded cone.. Maybe squeak on out of the park... ;-)
Jan. 16, 2017
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1221 posts
one not on.. lol
Jan. 17, 2017
k man
Men's 65
292 posts
Swing, now you tell me. I could have used one this past summer. Hit a ball deep to right. Ball hits off the point of the yellow covering on top of fence, ya know like a 'spaldeen' hitting the corner of a stoop in stoop ball - ah them memories of childhood. Well the ball hits the point and bounces up in the air, back into the glove of the right fielder for what becomes my longest single. Needless to say it continues to be a source of ribbing from my teammates. If only for a loaded cone. lol
ps- my next over the fence home run will be my 1st.
Jan. 17, 2017
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1221 posts
K man, I wish you luck on that first one.... Run it out all the way... and get that ball! ;-) I kind of find it silly that you can't Tape more than two wraps of tape... some guys like thicker handles and some like thin. I don't believe you get better performance by the thickness of the handle. If we are talking Softball;-)
Jan. 17, 2017
k man
Men's 65
292 posts
Didn't run it out because circumstances didn't dictate it. There were men on 1st and 2nd.
The 5th run of the inning was on 2nd ( our fastest man) and there was either 0 or 1 out.
Both runners were looking to tag up on the fly. He took off when it hit the fence and barely scored ahead of the relay throws. My teammates did make a 'trophy' for me with a ball attached to the top of a shoebox covered in yellow with an inscription.
ps- I've tried the cone and don't like the feel of it
Jan. 18, 2017
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
Downs:
You cite rule number 3.4(4) and insert the word 'handle' in parenthesis after the word 'grip'.
Did you do this to pinpoint to us where the grip is located or to suggest that the handle and grip are one and the same?
If it's the latter, I'm not sure how you can connect those dots.
Anyone:
Does the rule really state that more than two layers of tape on the bare handle constitutes an altered bat?
Or does rule 3.4(4) speak to the layers of tape on the cone or the grip?
If we're going to discuss rules it behooves us to get it right.
BW
Jan. 18, 2017
fennellwg
Men's 60
97 posts
3.4(4).ALTERED EQUIPMENT
A bat or ball is considered altered when the physical characteristics of a legal softball bat or ball have been changed (EXAMPLE: chilling softballs). Replacing the handle of a metal bat with a wooden or other type handle, inserting material inside the bat, applying excessive tape (more than two layers) to the bat grip or painting a bat other than at the top or bottom for identification purposes are considered altering the bat. Applying a foreign substance to the barrel of the bat constitutes altering a bat. (For penalty, see 3.4(6)). Replacing the grip with another legal grip is not considered altering the bat.
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