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Discussion: Plate & Mat

Posted Discussion
June 20, 2007
Men's 60
336 posts
Plate & Mat
I am not trying to start a discussion as to whether the plate & mat are needed, because everyone has their opinion. I am interested as to when & why the plate became a strike & when & why the mat became a strike?

To my knowledge, the Senior Associations are the only ones that use a plate & a mat as a strike.

I have placed this question on several boards, but cannot get an answer.

Can SSWC, SSUSA or some association give me an answer as to why these are used?
June 20, 2007
Men's 60
224 posts
Tater- I don't have a solid factual answer, but I have a couple of reasoned guesses. I'm thinking that the plate and mat became a strike under one of two possible situations. First guess is that the Sr. associations didn't have a lot of umpires available, and making the plate and the mat a strike seemed like a good thing to do to make it easy to call with inexperienced umpires. Second guess is that maybe the Sr. game was more casual and you 'called your own' like sandlot ball (baseball or basketball). I don't have a lot of confidence that either of my guesses is the correct one, but, heck, there's as good as I can come up with at the moment. Thanks for a great question!
June 21, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
DesertGuy: I think that both those answers are probably correct. Most Senior leagues are casusal rec leagues that play weekday mornings in the older div where the majority of senior ball is played and they are just going out each morning to have some fun and don't need the added expense of umps even if you could get them in the morning.
June 21, 2007
5 posts
In regards to the use of the Plate & Mat, I am not sure exactly where this originated, however, when I was in the Air Force, and stationed in Panama Canal Zone, we used the Mat in some tournaments against the local Panamanian teams. We did not use the plate as a strike, the ball had to hit the Mat.
June 21, 2007
6 posts
SCMAF is where I first incountered the mat, as far as I can remember 1975 (somewhere around there) I started playing and the rec leagues all used them.
SCMAF (Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation) had always used them. ASA & USSSA used the strike zone (front knee, back shoulder). Easier to call strikes and balls because they were judgement.
June 21, 2007
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
hate scmaf rules,we played it up in hanford,ca.i've seen the mat around for a long time(early 80's),most every place in central cali(fresno,visalia,lemoore,hanford,etc) played mat ball regardless of out here in tx i rarely see it.with the mat i knew what i could hit for a strike,without it you have to depend on the ump to know what a strike is.
June 25, 2007
3 posts
Well up here in the Nort land of billions of bugs. we have played MAT Ball for many years. In Wis, they have leagues called just that. MAT BALL one stike hits the mat, your out, So you better be swinging. Makes the game go faster. Now in Minnesota, we have been using the MAT since the 1970s. Hits the mat twice and your out. Three balls and Two strikes, but we play nine innings. 40 games a season. We have over 250 ball players, from55 to 85. Senior Softball in Rosville.
The question is? Where are the rules for size of the MAT?
June 25, 2007
Men's 65
3146 posts
bittersdug, go to Team Ratings and Summit, then Comparison of Rules. Here it is:

Strike mat (Plate and mat are included in strike zone for all associations. Mat is 24" long -- 32.5" long including plate -- and 17" wide)
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