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Discussion: Pitch height, mats, zone

Posted Discussion
Nov. 24, 2007
Men's 65
4549 posts
Pitch height, mats, zone
Since the height (low as well as high) is so often questioned by players, batters, pitchers and the umps, why not just make any pitched ball that arcs at the top of the pitchers head or above good, no matter the height. Whether that pitcher is a stub of a guy, or a jolly green giant. Surely the ump can see that, an not have to worry about height limits. Like a lot of their calls, judge mental. The lower limit, the pitchers height, and no limit up.
Adding a hitting zone might make it interesting as well….
I agree with what mad dog said, but there are too many mat sizes, how about just one standardized like there used to be.
While were at it, why not include the mat as a part of "home plate" and a place where the catcher may touch to get a guy out at home. Any why not, the mat is part of the balls-strikes.
Nov. 24, 2007
Hit the gap
Men's 70
154 posts
I can see it now. Teams will be out recruiting the next Eddie Gaedel who was the shortest Major League Baseball player ever at 3'7'. That way the ball would only have to reach that height and when it reachs the mat, it would be ankle high.
Also, have you ever played unlimited arc? I have and it was the worst thing softball ever came up with. I believe it lasted 2 years and was so universally hated, it was stopped.

What's wrong with the way it is now??? Most umps do a fair job of calling it right.
Nov. 24, 2007
Men's 65
601 posts
OK Taits I can hear the hue and cry now from everywhere. I did play for a few years in the Los Angeles area (San Fernando Valley) where a normal sized mat was used and the pitchers could throw any height. It was normal to 18 to 23' pitches all the time and it was amazing to see how accurate these guys could be.
I actually hit it pretty well. It really teaches you a flat, patient, disciplined swing coupled to early pitch recognition.
I don't think it would work to standardize it that way given todays player (us) and atmosphere. People are starting to whine when it gets to about 10-1/2' actually "selling" the Umps well before the ceiling. I think this is where some of the less experienced Umps fall for it.
As far as the mat for a force out at home. That would conceiveably put a "tag" out play 8-10 feet away from home plate (6' cather stretching to 8'+ with glove) and wouldn't be feasible since the mat extends behind the plate beyond the runners "line" to cross where no tag could have ever been made. The game/play is designed to "cover" the plate meaning that contact with the plate by a defensive fielder contitutes a tag play at the plate and in that regard is liberal enough already.
My 2 cents worth - next ..........
Nov. 25, 2007
Men's 65
4549 posts
I just threw it out there for some discussion. I still play unlimited arc ball. Primarilly used only in church leagues now. The point I was trying to make is that there are so many different rules we players have to be aware of between the different assn's we play in, that trying to remember which one has which rule for that specific circumstance, is gettting out of hand.
Basically, most calls are done well.
As for a standard, pitchers height for the low end would vary with that idea, but still be decided upon by his height.
As for upper limit, 12' is fine but so is to 16'. Which is pretty much the average back stop fence height. Though that also varies.
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