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Discussion: Opinions on being called out of the batters box

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Nov. 27, 2019
cuda65
61 posts
Opinions on being called out of the batters box
In two recent tournaments, I got called out for stepping out of the box. I asked an umpire at the Phoenix tournament who happened to be sitting in the food area when would he call an 80 year old for being out of the box. His answer was not unless he were going up the middle. He said he would call a 40 year old for doing so. Although he did not say this, I think if the other team appealed, he would call the batter out.I know it is the rule, but what advantage do I gain for doing so.? I think it is a ticky tack rule... Comments from more experienced players, coaches, and umpires..
Nov. 27, 2019
B.J.
713 posts
cuda.. it should never matter the age of the player.. remember just because the batter is 80 the pitcher and fielders are also 80.. also this call is not an appealable play..

let me ask you a question.. if you don't gain an advantage stepping out of the box then why did you do it 2 times.. the batters box is 3'X 7' and only a very small percent of batters step out.. my advice it to either shorten you step forward or back up in the box

Nov. 27, 2019
cuda65
61 posts
Thanks B.J. I appreciate your response. I stand near the front of the plate because most pitches that I see are short pitches that I tend to hit into ground balls. I neglected to point out that I walk into pitches. I still contend that I gain no advantage. I hit balls off a tee everyday , so I will try to shorten my stride. Thanks
Nov. 27, 2019
garyheifner
603 posts
I still do not understand the need for a batters box. Regardless of where U stand, U have to defend the mat. All U have to do is start on one side or other of home plate. Also, what is the difference if U step on or in front of the plate during your swing. When I catch, I see several batters a game
step in front of the plate and in 15 years of SSUSA have yet seen a batter called out.

That being said, U do need a line in front of the plate, as current. so a batter can run at the pitcher and close down the distance between the hitter and pitcher.
Nov. 27, 2019
garyheifner
603 posts
My previous--so batter CAN'T close the distance.
Nov. 28, 2019
B.J.
713 posts
gary.. I'm confused.. 1st you say you do not understand the need for a batters box.. then at the end you say .. U do need a line in front of the plate so the batter CAN'T close the distance between the hitter and pitcher.. what is the difference between a line and a box??
Nov. 28, 2019
garyheifner
603 posts
It is really quite simple. Without a line in front, a batter could run up 2 or 3 feet in front of the mat on a short pitch. As to a full box, why do U have to start with 2 feet on the line or inside the box. Who cares how far off the mat U stand. U gotta get back. It helps many batters go opposite field.
Nov. 28, 2019
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1331 posts
A friend of mine made a point to me that I had never considered. He said that over the years that the pitcher was given six extra feet and then ten, but the batter was never given anything. Not sure what I think of that but is an interesting perspective. In all the games that I have officiated, I have only ever had one batter run up on a pitch and come out of the front of the box to chase it. They were out of home runs; so he was trying to peel the middle. Since the box is one of those things that people get emotional about sometimes with no basis, I will keep my thoughts about it to myself here.
Nov. 29, 2019
B.J.
713 posts
gary.. thx for the explanation.. if there was no full box as you call it when would an umpire know that the batter was set? the rule book says the umpire may not allow the pitcher to pitch until the batter is in the BB.. in your setting the batter in theory could start back behind the umpire and catcher or by the scoring plate and move up during the pitch.. I can just hear the griping from the batter now as he walks from the on deck circle toward the plate and the pitcher releases the pitch for a strike.. "BLUE I WASN'T READY"
Nov. 29, 2019
lowprofile
53 posts
Nancy great point, this subject never seems to go away lol. As I have stated before if you watch any videos on you tube the one common denominator is the back foot, I would say 90 percent of batters line up there back foot anywhere from the middle of the plate to the front of the plate, from there they just pick up there front foot and stride forward, some open up or have a bigger stride and step out of the box, but there back foot never moves.

Maybe draw a line at the front of the PLATE and let people stride as big as they want as long as there back foot does not protrude further than the line drawn at the front of the plate. Your only talking about maybe 6 inches of stride from person to person at most. The only reason I say this is at every tourney and every game the rule is broken and end the end people get pissed at the ump for either calling someone out or not enforcing the rule.

Also if were worried about the pitcher getting hit, why not just put up a screen in front of the pitchers....problem solved. Logistic nightmare for SSUSA I'm sure with the amount of fields they use to have to drag these things from tourney to tourney IMO not ever gonna happen. I feel for the pitchers as I would never want to pitch unless I was in full tactical gear ready for war lol.
Nov. 29, 2019
mck71
217 posts
lowprofile - they do this in USSSA Conference, where as long as the back foot does not come past the front of the plate doesn't matter where your front foot lands as long as it's within where the box would extend (i.e. they can't step across the plate like Gary mentioned).

I agree with Nancy that with the advent of the pitching box but more importantly the plate being a strike, the batter, especially those with a long stride, are at a disadvantage when pitcher is working the front of the plate, By allowing the batter to have at least the back foot at the front, at least gives them a chance.

I know as an umpire this does put more onus on me but I would like to think that with over 30 yrs of experience I know the difference between a batter running up and shooting middle vs a proper swing where their foot might go outside the front of the box. I just believe as long as you are consistent with your call, this should be a "non-issue". JMHO.

Hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving, I know I am grateful to still be able to play! :-)
Nov. 29, 2019
B.J.
713 posts
MCK... I worked U-Trip for years.. and there are 2 big differences

1) is the size of the BB.. u-trip's box is only 3' X 5 1/2' ..with the 1 1/2' shortened part being the front of the box..

2) is that an umpire actually has to call a strike zone of front knee to highest shoulder in height..not a pitch striking a mat.. also I can't remember anywhere in their rule book where it says the batter can step out of the box with his front foot?? please share that rule #
Nov. 29, 2019
lowprofile
53 posts
mck,71 I was not aware that u-trip was doing this? it does make total since so ty for the info. As I said most batters don't move there back foot so yes some batters have maybe longer legs, maybe there stride is a little longer, hence stepping out of the box.

mck71 I totally agree with all of your points, and yes if some idiot is completely running up and pissing middle and out of the box, by all means CALL HIM OUT! So anyways ty for the info maybe there is some method to my madness about a line drawn at the front of home plate! so ty mck!
Nov. 29, 2019
cuda65
61 posts
Wow, thanks ladies and gents. Just as I had hoped, I got some valuable opinions on the subject. Nancy Allen`s was valuable in that the pitcher can move about, but he batter is restricted to a 3 by 7 foot coffin. lol Other comments such as if the back foot is still within the designated area, how does the batter gain an advantage? When I was called out, my 10 and one half foot shoe was maybe 2 inches away from the line. Note, that only happens when I want to go backside..Thanks all again...Solution. Batter called out when the back foot is outside the box.
Nov. 29, 2019
k man
Men's 65
292 posts
In our local league, the batters boxes on the turf fields were deemed to be too small so our league amended the rule to be that the back foot had to be completely inside the batters box. This has solved the issue for us. We also do allow screens to be used if a pitcher wants it.
Nov. 29, 2019
mck71
217 posts
Doesn't site a rule number BJ, but this was taken off OldScout Message Board:

Further, for Conference USSSA play, the following batter’s box guidelines will be used: The batter must set up with at least their back foot even with home plate. Any forward stride will be allowed. Home plate and the area in front of home plate, will remain an out if the batter’s foot lands there while contact is made with the ball. Any batter who runs forward to hit a ball will be judged in or out of the box at the time they make contact with the ball.

Again, this is ONLY for Conference, USSSA below Conference does not follow this rule.

I agree it is due to the called strke at the knee (I used to umpire u-trip and ISA a LONG time ago) but I was using this as a reference that with us adding the front of the plate as a strike without changing the BB at all (i.e. moving it forward say 18"), it CAN put a batter at a slight disadvantage.

Not trying to state anything here other than what WAS doesn't necessarily means SHOULD CONTINUE (and yes, I am a pitcher when not umpiring! :-)
Nov. 30, 2019
grayhitter59
Men's 55
258 posts
I understand the rule, I believe when this rule was written softball did not have a mat and the box was marked with this in mind, so when the ball hit the plate it was a ball, not a strike like it is today, do to the use of the mat.

So the box when using a mat should be extended the size of the plate forward.

Now a days we play on artificial turf which have the batters box already in place, that makes it harder on some players who have a large step forward and or run up to hit.I saw this happened a lot in Vegas (BFD)

Don't know how to solve this problem, but the facts are the facts.
Nov. 30, 2019
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2861 posts
The National Rules Committee sessions for this year are upcoming this week ... I won't be there this year, and am not not sure it's even going to be on the Agenda, but here's my opinion on the topic: You will never have a problem with this call if you STAY IN THE BOX, like at EVERY level of softball and baseball play from MLB down through Little League ... I don't see seven votes (of 13) on the Committee carving out an exception to make Senior Softball unique from EVERY other level of play in either sport ...
Nov. 30, 2019
Wayne 37
Men's 65
713 posts
It would help if you would define what constitutes being in the box before the pitch. The SSUSA is the worst I've ever read.
Nov. 30, 2019
B.J.
713 posts
just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... he's back
Nov. 30, 2019
SSUSA Staff
2904 posts
Here's an "English as a Second Language" version for you, Wayne ... Page 41 in the Rule Book ... You are likely the ONLY person unable to comprehend this very simple and clear concept ...
__________

§7.3BATTING POSITION
A. The batter must have at least some portion of both feet on or inside the lines of the batter's box at the start of the pitch. A batter who steps out of the batter’s box at any time during the pitch and then hits the ball, fair or foul, shall be called out. Steps out means touching the ground completely outside of the lines of the batter’s box. (See §1.5)

Nov. 30, 2019
Wayne 37
Men's 65
713 posts
I WOULDN'T TAKE EXCEPTION TO THE WORDING, BUT YOU HAVE SOME YAHOO'S WHOSE INITIALS RHYME WITH E K THINK THAT SOME PART OF THE FOOT CAN BE TOUCHING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX. I DON'T NEED AN ENGLISH LESSON. YOU NEED A LESSON IN HOW TO GRAMMARTIZE IS WHAT I'M ALLUDING TO.

AND TALKING DOWN TO PEOPLE DOESN'T MAKE YOU SMART. IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE AN *******

I'LL LET YOU HAVE THE LAST WORD.
Nov. 30, 2019
TimMcElroy
692 posts
What the firetruck?
Nov. 30, 2019
titanhd
Men's 50
570 posts
The issue is that the hitter has to protect 34-1/2" of strike zone. Any portion of the mat is a strike. If we might uncover the plate and it not be a strike when hit by a pitch-(only the mat is a strike) a lot of this discussion goes away. Having to protect the front of the plate AND it's two inches wider than the actual plate because of the mat size is really the contributing factor to staying "in the box"
Nov. 30, 2019
TimMcElroy
692 posts
Teams combine for 30+ runs in a high percentage of games played under the current rules. The size of the batter's box, strike mat and strike zone haven't lead to 4-3 pitcher's duels. The game is fine AS IS. There is no need to change anything. For the love of all things holy, can we please just move on?
Dec. 1, 2019
B.J.
713 posts
Wayne.. since my initials rhyme with EK I will assume you mean me ..LOL

I don’t know why you can’t understand that as long as some part of both feet are touching the line of the batters box you are considered to be In the batters box.... yes both feet can be toeing the far outer edge of the box and NO both feet do not have to be completely inside the box
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