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Discussion: 9. Make safety bag plays safer

Posted Discussion
Jan. 13, 2023
Men's 70
1200 posts
9. Make safety bag plays safer
I think this rules change misses the mark. I believe this creates more of a safety issue than solves it. It also requires the umpire to make a ruling regarding the trajectory of the ball when the fielder utilizes the safety bag. I envision more collisions at first as opposed to less.

9. Make safety bag plays safer
RECOMMENDATION: If a throw or play pulls the fielder into foul territory, allow him to touch the safety base to put out the batter-runner.

MOTION to adopt ASA/USA rule: “On any force out attempt from the foul side of first base, the defense and the batter-runner may use either the white or contrasting color portion of the base. On an errant throw pulling the defense off the white portion of the base into foul ground, the defense and the batter-runner can use either the white or contrasting color portion.” And separately, the rule says: “When the defensive player uses the foul portion of the double base, the batter-runner can run in fair territory when the throw is coming from the foul side of the base, and if hit by the thrown ball, it is not interference. If intentional interference is ruled, the runner is out.”

Jan. 13, 2023
1046 posts
i agree 100% .. and now the defense is being rewarded for making a bad throw
Jan. 13, 2023
30 posts
Not sure I understand the logic on this one. This will cause a lot of controversy and probably some serious injuries.
Jan. 13, 2023
Men's 50
170 posts
Logic? What about 1 and 1 count with an extra foul? Advantage to the batter!
Jan. 13, 2023
Men's 75
554 posts
And with one umpire games, as long as the majority of umpires stay behind the plate, there might be more issues with calls.
Jan. 13, 2023
Men's 65
2066 posts
This passed 11-0??? What are they thinking?
Jan. 15, 2023
Men's 50
38 posts
I dont' understand how you guys think this isn't a safer option. If a one hopper smashes off the 1B and into foul territory and he runs out to get it and you want him to run back past the safety bag to step on the white bag? Ultimately having to cross right in front of the runner greatly increasing the chances of a collision. This rule has been around ASA/USA for several years now and it's seen it prevent collisions like it supposed to.
Jan. 15, 2023
1046 posts
john028.. I have umpired senior ball for over 20yrs and I've seen more off line throws at 1st base than I can remember but I rally can't remember where there was a collision because of the defensive player COMING BACK to the bag.. the collisons happened when the defensive player crossed over into the runners lane to go after the bad throw .. what I don't like about the rule is that it REWARDS the defense for the bad throw from the fielder and makes it easier for them to record an out.. also the runner has always been told to make sure to touch the safety bag if there is a play being made on him and now you're going to allow the defense to use it..

how's this for a play.. batter hits a ball to deep SS and runner is racing down base line and 1 step away from the base when 1st baseman crosses over standing on the safety bag and reaches out to catch a bad throw on foul side of base line and runner collides with him .. using old rule with a bang bang play I would have obstruction on the defense for blocking the safety bag .. now I have no idea what the call would be because the defense is allowed to use the safety bag
Jan. 16, 2023
30 posts
The fact that ASA/USA has this rule is irrelevant. We are talking about guys who are 50 to 70 plus in age. We move at a different pace and we don't have the agility that the younger guys do. Like BJ, I have umpired and played for a long time and I really can't remember a play where a senior softball player had a ball bounce off their chest into foul territory and have the quickness to retrieve the ball and make a play on the safety bag side of first. BJ is correct, the more likely scenario is an errant throw pulls the first baseman off the bag and into foul territory. The runner now has the responsibility of changing the direction to avoid the collision. Again, maybe a 30 to 40-year-old can do this without problem but a 60 to 70-year-old is not going to have the agility to avoid collisions.

Just my observations. SSUSA has not commented so it appears this rule is as newly drafted and the data will speak for itself as the year progresses. It just seems like a solution in search of a problem for our age groups.
March 22, 2023
Men's 70
180 posts
i have delayed responding to this rule change hoping that SSUSA would possibly comment as DirkPitt has alluded to above.

Also the reasoning given by BJ and others is very sound. I agree that this change in the rule might negate the need for a double bag at first base, puts even more onus on the runner to avoid collision as well as to "require" the runner to change course but not the defender.

The use of a double bag at first is intended to give the defense a bag to tag and the runner a bag to tag thus minimizing the opportunity for a collision, at least i think this is the primary safety reason for the double bag. When a routine play is made the double bag has a home - safety first.

As this new "amended rule" is read by me and many others, you now just have a 1st base bag that is twice as wide as a single bag, 1/2 in fair ground, 1/2 in foul ground.

And now a source for possibly more disputed calls (fair or foul? did it skip over white bag or orange bag? did the defender tag the wrong color bag? did the runner tag the wrong color bag? or was his foot wide enough to tag a portion of both bags?) and more potential collisions.

Just some food for thought from another one of the older guys playing and still umpiring. thanks, RR

March 23, 2023
68 posts

Play the game by the way it was intended, before you know it
the game will not be worth playing. There is always gonna be
injuries. The orange(safety) bag is "NOT" an out.
March 31, 2023
18 posts
I agree 100% with "nickname36"about the safety bag,
plus never, ever use a pitchers net in a tournament if you
want to use them in leagues go for it I don't play league ball.
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