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Discussion: SAFETY in SOFTBALL

Posted Discussion
June 6, 2007
Men's 50
535 posts
LECAK: U r right, Gary 19, is a jerk. SAFETY in SOFTBALL. In 2003, the major ball makers informed the public thru SGMA, that there were only 2 Safe Balls. The 50 cor 375 comp & 47 cor 375 comp balls. In this article, it was stated that the 40 & 44 cor balls were just to hard & that a 40 cor ball treveled 3.57 MPH faster that a 50 cor ball. It was also stated, that in the 1st 60' to 70', todays SOFTBALLS, will travel thru the infield, in less than .4 of a second. But, ASA, etc, will not listen & still remain dumb.

Bat Speed or Batted Ball Speed (BBS), has been increased do to the lighter weights of todays Softball bats. If, one is truely think' about Safety, than the SOFTBALL GODS, should raise the weights of todays bats. That means NO 26, 27, or 28 oz Bats...

A few of the Bat Test' labs, r look' into just how much faster a Batted Ball travels, when lighter bats r used. IN OTHER WORDS..... how much Bat Speed & MOI. This then INCREASES the BBS.

Let c how much B.S., this post gets. The STONEMAN
June 6, 2007
Gary Heifner
248 posts
On several of the HR/hitting web sites, the concenus was to swing the heaviest bat you can without losing bat speed. If you had to use a 29 oz. or higher, wouldn't that that favor the big burly guys and stick it to the weaker singles hitters who would have a hard time generating bat speed.
June 6, 2007
Men's 50
535 posts
GARY: Just what do SENIOR want? Lighter bats has increase Batterd Ball Speeds. ASTM 2219, is greatly flawed.

Should everyone be able to hit home runs? Best bat weight for Maxium distance.... 41 oz. Maxium weigh for Bat Speed.... 20 oz. Safest Ball.... A 50 cor ball w/ a 375-400 comp!!!!

Does anyone remember just how far Outfielders were play' Seniors, before the lighter bats( Aluminum or Composite Bats)??

Does anyone remember St George, Utah, NSA's 2003 Western Worlds?? No real good bats, balls, & teams stopped coming.... How about the soft liners, soft hits just over the Infielders, & how deep the Outfielders were play'??

How many of u understand the New & revised ASTM 1890 or the Flawed ASTM 2219?? Is it true, that the SENIOR COMBAT & U-2's, CAN & WILL PAST THE revised ASTM 1890 Bat Standards??

How many SENIORS, can hit a H.R., w/ out the U-2's or Senior Combat's? I for one, DO NOT NEED a SENIOR BAT?

What is SGMA's, solutions: 1) A 50 cor ball? 2) Bats that r heavier( No 26, 27, or 28 oz bats)? 3) No Flex in Bat Handles? 4) Forget ASA's ASTM 2219? 5) Move the Pitch' Rubber back to 55'-60'? 6) ETC, ETC

June 7, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
Gary Heifner not always. I am 5'11" 182 lbs and I swing a 30 oz in a balance bat and a 28 oz in an end loaded bat and have no trouble generating bat speed and they give me more bat control than the lighter bats.

I also read that article and it makes a lot of sense. You may not get the distance with the 40 cores but that first 60 -100' where the safety concern is for the infielders it is coming just as fast.
June 7, 2007
Hit the gap
Men's 60
151 posts
Maybe we should all take up golf.

Here is a list of the most dangerous sports in 2005 according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. These are the injuries reported in that year. I wouls add that there were 740 deaths in 2005 from ATV accidents (1/3 of which were children under 16)

The Top 15:

Basketball: 512,213
Bicycling: 485,669
Football: 418,260
Soccer: 174,686
Baseball: 155,898
Skateboards: 112,544
Trampolines: 108,029
Softball: 106,884
Swimming/Diving: 82,354
Horseback riding: 73,576
Weightlifting: 65,716
Volleyball: 52,091
Golf: 47,360
Roller skating: 35,003
Wrestling: 33,734
June 7, 2007
Men's 65
322 posts
Every pitcher has the option to wear personal protective equipment PPE (and I do) to protect themself from the unexpected or expected shot up the middle (and I go there when necessary). Most of the injury data points to;
1. Running into objects,
2. Incorrect sliding
3. Muscle strains and sprains

BTW, when I pitch in open league I ALWAYS expect middle shots.

No matter what the sport / occupation most people will use the best equipment available, i.e. Evil Balls, composite bats, 16 gloves (lol), etc.

Len Rizzuto
Environmental / Safety Specialist
June 7, 2007
Men's 60
273 posts
Just a thought, but calling each other jerks and playing who is mas macho doesn't address the issue of safety in senior softball. If we want change, or not, we should focus on what can or can't; should or shouldn't be done to protect pitchers in our game. That is what started this thread and the one started yesterday by Einstein.

I, for one, would like to see some progress and resolution on this. There is a serious discrepancy when someone demands to use the hottest bat around, yet also wants to shrink the usuable field by closing the middle. IMHO headhunting is never acceptable, I'm just talking about hittng a ball where it is pitched.

Good points about anticipating shots up the middle and getting in a defensive fielding stance. Also good points about using any and all protective equipment on the mound. Do we need to do more than that to avoid serious injury to the brave souls that take the mound, or not? This is enough of an issue that there is pending legislation in the State of New York to outlaw aluminum bats in baseball due to excessive bat performance.

As I see it, here are the variables and options:
bats - tone 'em down or deal with the capacity of the U II's etc.
softballs - do we need anything here? Based on the impressive science quoted by Stoneman, we may have this covered.
"No fly zone" up the middle the width of the pitchers box that would be an out if any batted ball entered it. Might seem lame, but headhunters would have to answer to their own teammates for purposedly making an out in going after a pitcher. Something like this exists in the 40's.

OR just leave it all alone, man up and quit whining. We can't legislate everything. Per Hit the Gap, at least we aren't playing hoops or skateboards, but we still have some risk in this game.

There likely is a compromise on this topic, we need to focus on a resolution and enjoy this game as long as we can. Let's keep the dialogue objective and positive, and get on the same page.

Don Newhard
Evolution 50's
June 7, 2007
Men's 55
563 posts
here lets try this mmmmmmmm

pitch to your own team! have the defensive pitch play a 5 th man and anything hitting the pitcher (THIER) will be a dead ball inning ending out! LET see if they still go at them then!
June 7, 2007
Men's 60
224 posts
softballer- I played with that pitching arrangement in college intramurals. Each batter got two pitches to put it in play or he was out. Of course, the game was a bit different then. Wood bats. Ty Cobb replica gloves that were the brand new style. And the pitcher would wear a WW-I leather bomber pilot's helmet that his older brother gave hm just a couple weeks before when he got back from Germany! he he he
June 8, 2007
mad dog
Men's 65
4099 posts
monta did that when i was in san deigo and we did 3 pitches and if u hit your pitcher it was a deadball but no out unless it was the third pitch.personally lets go to 1 or 2 pitch(other team pitching) so if its close u need to be swinging and not just waiting for a cookie to come floating in.ya hit or walk.
June 8, 2007
Men's 55
563 posts
mad dog i didn't do anything while u were in sandiego !lol
June 10, 2007
62 posts
The fact that these:

1. Running into objects,
2. Incorrect sliding
3. Muscle strains and sprains

doesn't have much to do with the severity of the possible injuries from a line drive to the head or chest of a pitcher.

100 sprained ankles doesn't equal one concussion.
June 10, 2007
Men's 50
68 posts
Jetboy, I think he key word in your whole statement is the word "possible" injuries. If you've got data that can back up the amount of injuries from muscle strains, sliding incorrectly, running into objects, etc. Then the data "should" be available for injuries to the pitcher's head or chest right? Where is that info? I've never seen any data directly related to these injuries. Yes, you are correct about "possible" injuries to a pitcher, but at the same time, there is a "possibility" that if you go outside today, a plane will fall on your head.
June 10, 2007
Men's 70
481 posts
A little in jest here, however if players make a big issue of pitcher safety some possible changes are: The pitcher plays behind second base and the batter hits off a T (I hear you sometimes return to your youth). Put a net in front of the pitcher and the ball is live nomatter if it hits the net.
Or we could just find out who wants to pitch on our team.
And Yes, I pitched in the young leagues until my mid 50's. Those boys really liked the middle.
June 10, 2007
Men's 65
322 posts
Jetboy / Mitch
A few years ago Stoneman and I were sharing data pertaining to baseball / softball injuries. Below are a few site that can be used for discussion points. Btw, I enjoy playing this game and take responsibility for all the risks that are associated with it.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Through the public information link on the AAOS home page (, you can access fact sheets on injury prevention for many popular sports, including baseball. AAOS's phone number is 1-800-346-2267.

American Academy of Pediatrics

Review AAP's policy statement, Risk of Injuries from Baseball and Softball in Children 5 to 14 Years of Age - ( AAP's phone number is 847-228-5097.

American Red Cross

If you coach a youth sports team, get advice from the American Red Cross on conditioning young athletes. ARC's phone number is 703-248-4222.

Brain Injury Association

BIA's fact sheet about sports and concussion safety ( provides data on brain injuries for several sports, including baseball. Call BIA at 1-800-444-6443.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

CPSC's phone number is 1-800-638-2772.

Little League Baseball, Inc.

Link to the Little League home page ( to access facts on health and safety.

National SAFE KIDS Campaign

Visit the SAFE KIDS home page ( to access fact sheets on sports and recreation injuries, or call 202-662-0600.


The data and safety tips in this fact sheet were obtained from the following sources:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Baseball. Available at Accessed July 8, 1999.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Seminar (Sullivan J, Grana W, editors). The Pediatric Athlete. Park Ridge, IL: The Academy, 1990:141,149-151,259.

American Academy of Pediatrics. Risk of injury from baseball and softball in children 5 to 14 years of age. Pediatrics 1994;93(4):690-692.

American Academy of Pediatrics. Sports Medicine: Health care for young athletes. Elk Grove Village, IL: The Academy, 1991:148-150.

American Red Cross. Red Cross gears up to help prevent sports injuries this spring: coaches advised on proper conditioning of young athletes. News release, May 7, 1998.

Caine D, Caine C, Lindner K, editors. Epidemiology of Sports Injuries. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1996:63-85.

CDC. Sliding-associated injuries in college and professional baseball - 1990-1991. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1993;42(12):223,229-230.

Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine. Softball injuries: Phase I of a study on the costs, causes and prevention of recreational softball injuries. Available at Accessed July 7, 1999.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Baseball safety. CPSC publication #329. Washington, DC: The Commission.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Reducing youth baseball injuries with protective equipment. Consumer Product Safety Review 1996;1(1):1-4.

Len Rizzuto
Environmental / Safety Specialist
June 10, 2007
62 posts
"I sure hope no league allow, or God forbid requires, a screen. What about all of the throws across the infield or to home plate from center or second base that the screen interferes with?"

I'm not saying I want the screen, heck I don't pitch and don't want to. But if a screen was considered a good idea the pitcher could be responsible for laying it down or getting it out of the way. Just brain storming here.
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