SIGN IN:   Password     »Sign up

Message board   »Message Board home    »Sign-in or register to get started

Online now: 1 member: Heyboods34; 13 anonymous
Change topic:

Discussion: Reference to thread "First Taste of PPR it was Bitter"

Posted Discussion
May 21, 2009
Rod Sweet
Men's 70
53 posts
Reference to thread "First Taste of PPR it was Bitter"
Again I state, if you want the PPR to go away use a screen.If I wanted to wear all the protective gear as Bruce Ga stated then I would have selected Hockey as my passion.
May 21, 2009
1610 posts
A screen is not a bad idea but would that be something SSUSA provides(invests in) or the teams? As far as protective gear for pitchers I see more of it every year. Although I'm against making it a mandatory rule it would behoove pitchers to invest in protective equipment--especially with over the limit hr's being outs and ultra's being used.
May 21, 2009
Men's 60
1024 posts
Stick first off I hear congratulations are in order your going to be inducted into the Michigan Hall of Fame. We had a small event here last weekend and as the manager of my team at the managers meeting I reserved the right to use the screen, all the other managers had no issue with this. Interesting is that once the games got flowing we never exercised that. It sure was nice though to have the option. We had one as a team and had it in the dugout. I would like to think that when there is a mixing and matching of ages and classifications that this could be a gentlemans agreement. In the big events I would not ask knowing that all the opponents were on the same skill level. I have an exhibition team here in town and we are going to play when we can. The use of a screen if I choose will be the deciding factor in me entering this team in tournaments. Simple yes or no for me.
May 21, 2009
1610 posts
Joe, I am being inducted and thanks for the props! Personally I think the PPR rule is a waste plus I favor getting rid of the ultra (and other similar bats) and go back to the hr rules of before. Since that won't happen a screen makes the most sense to truly protect the pitcher. I understand the logic you applied in reserving it's use for the tourney you had. It's an interesting concept you came up with in the event of mixing and matching of ages and classifications. I could definitely see that as a third option along with giving up 5 runs or using an extra fielder. Hope your winter was good. Going to Huntsman this year?
May 21, 2009
13 posts
i agree with Rod Sweet whole heartedly. The only way to eliminate the inconsistent PPR rule clarification for the umnpires is to use a screen. I have experience with using a screen first hand. I played in Naples, Florida last year for the winter and the screen was used for a 20 game league season. I play the outfield and was reluctant at first because of throwing home from left center, I thought it would not allow to throw home with accuracy because the ball would hit the screen. I had numerous opportunities during the season and it did not come into play. That being said, my overall experience with the screen was positive because there was never any issue with the PPR rule. If the SSUSA wants to eliminate the PPR conflict and continue to urge safety and protect the organization from liability use the screen for a period of time and evaluate the progress. I know the traditionalists will not like the remedy but it WILL eliminate the PPR issues.
May 21, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Stick, Rod and Joe L,
A screen is not a bad idea.
Going to a shitty ball is
s la Elk Grove or Turlock or Vegas.
Everyone will still have fun
hitting with good equipment
and no one has to worry as much about
the pitchers.
I prefer changing some of the rules
regarding pitching
to make it safer
without taking away the fun
of hitting a ball hard and well
I'd go along with screens
to keep good bat/ball combo
in the game.
May 21, 2009
1610 posts
Einstein, a screen is the only true way to protect the pitcher. I've played in local tournaments where a screen was used and it was fine.
How was your winter?
May 21, 2009
Omar Khayyam
1243 posts
Most of the games I pitch are with a screen (play in a year-round senior day play groupó140 games a year here in California) and it is really not a problem. Very, very seldom does an outfielder hit the screen on a throw home and I have never had a third baseman hit the screen, even when fielding a dribbler (would be different if bunts were allowed in slow pitch).

The nice thing about the screen is that the pitcher doesn't have to "armor up" (loved Rod's point about choosing hockey if he has to put everything on), can still pitch from 50 feet, can still field popups and ground balls and lots of line drives, back up throws, cover home if necessary, etc.

In reality, knowing most of the batters I play against (about 80 different players), I know who hits up the middle and depending on their power, I might choose to step behind the screen on a few. In a tournament, I would be behind the screen more often with unknown batters.

We don't use composites or double walls for under 70 during my play, however, so it is safer all around. The only danger is a ricochet off the edge of the screen when an unexpected batter hits the sweet spot. Haven't solved that one yet and have taken a couple of shots over the years.
May 22, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
I would prefer not to have a screen
but it's better than using a dead ball.
Screens would settle all the arguments
we're now having, protect the pitcher to the max and still allow players to have fun hitting a good ball trat's intrinsic
to the experience.

May 22, 2009
Men's 50
1375 posts
Rod, if I wanted to pitch from behind a screen I would have become an MLB BP pitcher.

Instead of gun control let's give everyone bullet proof vests. :( C'mon, if you really believe there is a safety issue get rid of the culprits.
May 22, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
There's a terrific point made here
by someone and it's worthy of real note.
When someone does something wrong
like using an illegal bat
you go after them and stop THEM
and not change the rules for everyone.
This is not only gutless
but doesn't work.
You end up punishing everyone but
those who are guilty and should be singled out and stopped.
This whole movement to the new safer
ball is very much like that.
We're going around vital issues
and problems that need/should be addressed by looking to the new ball
to solve all our problems.
Cheaters need to be discouraged and prosecuted when found.
Super penalties can/should be used
for players, managers and teams

So, the new safer ball is an argument
that is fundamentally flawed
on 2 counts.
The ball must be lively to sustain
the true experience of playing ball
changing the ball to deal with cheaters
is punishing everyone to keep from having to deal with the criminals
and enables them at the same time.

Going around problems and punishing everyone but the perps will never work
in the long run.

May 22, 2009
Men's 65
333 posts
Ok let say the screen solves the problem

1. How tall is the screen say 60" so most pitcher can see over it and duck
behind it or is it 80"(as tall as a door)so that he does not have to duck or
is it adjustable so the pitcher can put it where he wants it??????????
2. How wide is it --as wide as the rubber or 12" +/- on both sides of the rubber, Etc.???????
3. Where does he put it 12" in front of the rubber,24" in front of the rubber,Etc.????? Does he get to chose or
will the rules tell him where he must put it??????
4. Does it have sides on it or is it just on the front side ????
5. What happens to the ball when it hits the screen??? Is it still in play or is it a DBO. I think it should be still be in play just as if it hit the outfield fence.
6. Is the screen set parallel to the rubber or can the pitcher set it at 45
degrees to deflect the ball to the 3rd
baseman or SS or to the 2nd basemen????
7. Is it fixed in the ground so you can not knock it over or is it sitting on
legs so the pitcher can move it out of his way or the ball can knock it over???
8. Does each team have it own or is there one for both teams???????
9. Is it flush with the ground or 6"+/- off the ground?????
10. Is it red/blue/green or yellow or all the above so that it is a distraction to the batter or must it be white string ????
11. Is the fram Aluminum-PVC or steel???

May 22, 2009
Men's 60
1718 posts
And what about throws to the plate? Wouldn't it be in the way on some throws? I think the screen idea is stupid. Wouldn't it be much easier for a pitcher to have the option of wearing protective gear?
May 22, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Some very good questions and all
can be answered easily/simply.
SSUSA could check each team's screen
at sign in and could sell
one (Kevin and Terry
you go boys) to any team whose screen isn't up to standard.
Home team's screen is
used for entire game.
Aluminum PVC or Steel OK
And so on, down the line.
Terry and Kevin could get together on the only approved, sanctioned and signed by Terry and Kevin screens
and make a bundle
and earn lots of good will for promoting safety in softball.
And what about Einstein screens
the smart player's choice.
A likeness of Einstein
not unlike the head of Medusa
scares the hitters from hitting any balls near it.
Dirty screens whose likeness
is so obnoxious it makes batters
want to hit it even with bases
loaded and the game on the line.
Stoneman screens who begin reciting
history and stats when hit
and my favorite
Mango screens which block and deflect
every ball without holding on to or catching any one of them (Hey Dave,
say hi to Bull and Mickey for me).
Screens are a better choice
than going to a dead ball.

May 22, 2009
Men's 65
333 posts
As I understand it some people out there
do not like Terry and the boys making
decision or making the rules--- Would it be possible for us take a day or two
on this board and at the end have agreed on 1. The screen is good.
2. Develope a set of standards(rules) for it's use.
We could we use this board for somthing more than BS.
May 22, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Wes,
The website has monster capability
for disseminating, collecting,
developing, teaching, connecting,
communicating and more
but it's dynamic capabilities
aren't realized as of yet.
SSUSA should use it to poll
and survey and gather info
regarding their policies
but their priorities and ours
need to come more into line.
The key decision is to go to a screen.
The specifics about it's use
would naturally follow.
Why not pose a question and see
how many guys/gals think
going to a screen and using a lively
ball is the way to go????
May 22, 2009
Men's 60
1024 posts
I'm asking for a screen in the following scenarios. 1.) In tournaments where there are not enough like teams and they have to be mixed and matched. 2.) Where it is obvious your there to get your work in. When I inquire I ask the TD if I will be allowed to use a screen if I choose. If the answer is no then I will leave it up to the team to vote yes or no. We will bring our own screen. In the last tournament we played we had the right to use a screen and it gave our team enough confidence to play against a strong 50 major team and a strong 55 major plus team. We opted not to use the screen but we had one and kept the option open. This is my criteria only but I will not attend a tournament that I feel using a screen will not hinder the tournament and would allow my team to confidently play against almost anyone. On a side note in the last tournament we played keeping the screen option allowed us to use an X-Rock 44-375 which is a very good ball and everyone seemed to enjoy. We are planning to attend a tournament on June 20-21 and I will ask if we can keep the screen as an option if no we vote as a team whether we attend or not. I personally can see where the use of a screen can enhance certain not so well attended tournaments by giving confidence to teams to play up.
May 22, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
I mentioned adding a polling function before this new site was launched.
I guess it wasn't liked.
Trouble here, web site, is that you do not know if it would be edited, or results would be posted as replied to (accruing), or someone could post to it multiple time to alter findings.
There was a post about something like this earlier this month, but asked about verification using assn card numbers, a good idea, but if one chose to remain anonymous, as many do or did not want the assn to know who posted (it easily found by them any way), their goes that idea.
Polls are a good tool but only as good as written and for their purpose. People like to know where they stand on all aspects of them as well, that is why they (accrued reply results) need to seen. But like most things they can be worded as to get the results wanted as well. Not that any of that would be done.... :>$

Test this ball, referred to as the "sock ball" and a screen in the processes in place. lol
Now you have a modified senior SSUSA-ASA kids or questionable function. Encompassing actual protection, no DBO worry, and middle shots that should subside.
So what about the HR run rule, that's another

May 22, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
Why would your team vote is theTD said no? You wrote: "When I inquire I ask the TD if I will be allowed to use a screen if I choose. If the answer is no then I will leave it up to the team to vote yes or no."
you might have miss worded the no reply or for attending the event, I'm not sure. But a good thought.
May 22, 2009
Men's 60
1024 posts
Scott easy answer, my inquiry as the manager would be to get the TD to agree to my request for a screen if he says no, then I would leave it up to the team to vote whether we enter this event or not. We all split the entrance fee so at least the team and specifically the pitcher is going in eyes wide open. We enter as a team and say no as a team.
May 22, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
That is what I figured. Excellent idea.

What I really think is needed is a senior softball convention, another idea I mentioned in the past.
If FEEDBACK is really wanted, a "face to face' verbal exchange of ideas should get results with witnesses. Just as long as any hot head can temper it. Might even be another 1st someone could boast about, who knows. I do not know of any senior softball conventions ever taking place.
I'd venture a guess that Vegas would more than welcome one given the strips down turn. I mention Vegas only because most people like going there as a "vacation spot" as well.
Maybe even arrange one of the free for all (OPEN ROSTER) tournaments while there...

May 22, 2009
Men's 50
1 posts
we've been using the pitcher screen for league play for at least 3 or more years now in NorCal. The pitcher can move & adjust the screen side to side, up and back within the lines drawn. we had a couple pitchers hit in the face in our area & they had to have facial & oral surgery. One almost lost eyesight in one eye. After that the screens were adopted. At first there was complaints and criticism that protective screens aren't part of the game but we're used to it now. If a batted ball hits the screen, it is an out. I think I've hit the screen once in a 10 game league & better the ball hits the screen and be an out than it hits the pitcher and be an out. There is still plenty of base hit room on either side or over the top of the screen. The main benifit is we no longer have to worry about pitchers being seriously injured by 100+ mph line drives. I highly recommend the screen for senior ball.
May 22, 2009
Men's 60
279 posts
Anybody getting bored with this never ending cycle? It is possible to keep the current bat/ball combo AND protect pitchers WITHOUT changing a thing. The fact that a pitcher can be plenty mobile enough fielding the middle with a full catchers rig on shows that pitchers can be safe AND field effectively today. Thousands of baseball catchers survive just fine and have to be more mobile than softball pitchers. Stick 8 solves Rod Sweet's concern by suggesting that protective equipment be optional for pitchers. Right on! Let those that ride decide! But if you choose to not wear equipment and take a shot, it's on you, no whining or crying or beggin g for punitive rules. With protective equipment obody has to vote or argue with a TD about screens or be subjected to crusading umps with their own version of the alleged PPR.

Screens are a less viable option that complicates and dilutes the game, but can work. They make sense when the pitcher is blinded by a low sun. A Pitch Safe would do the trick. What happens, though, when the pitcher instinctively goes after the middle shot and comes out from behind the screen. I'd prefer the protection provided by a helmet/mask etc. than ducking unnaturally behind a screen that creates a bunch of other variables. Finally, having played infield with Stick 8 swinging, I believe he could blow a hole in any screen with a wooden Big Daddy bat and a 30 year old DeBeer 212!! No wonder Michigan is putting him in the HOF! Congrats.

Don Newhard
OLR Nighthawks 55 M+
May 23, 2009
1610 posts
Dbax, I've actually played in a tourney where a screen was used and it can get in the way of a throw home from the outfield (lcf or rcf) but how many 50+, 55+, 60+, etc. outfielders are there with great arms (besides me of course--lol)? In that tourney (it was a mens tourney) that scenario didn't come into play that much. Your suggestion of pitchers wearing protective gear is probably better. Although I'm against any mandatory rule for that it would behoove pitchers to invest in some--especially with the hot bats and the new hr rule--out after the limit is reached.
May 23, 2009
1610 posts
Tate22, by coincidence for one season (in 1995) I swung DeBeer bats and they were the worst!! They were so bad that in an NIT tourney I went back to my blue TPS--right in front of the DeBeer rep! Your suggestions regarding pitchers are spot on. While a screen is OK protective equipment is probably the better option for pitchers--although I don't feel it should be mandatory. I still play utrip with the young'ens and every year I see more and more pitchers wearing protective equipment. If kids with quicker reactions do it then the seniors should seriously think about following suit.
Finally, I really don't think I could blow a hole in a screen but thanks for the props!!
May 23, 2009
Omar Khayyam
1243 posts
Wes, good questions. I have been pitching for 9 years with a screen during rec play, installed because of a near-fatal injury to a pitcher hit in the chest! The first couple of years I pitched, I took the screen off the field when my team was in the field because I feared a ricochet off the edge of the screen, but then the club mandated its use after a few more pitcher injuries.

Hereís some answers to your questions:

1. The screen should be 80Ē tall. You donít want the pitcher peering over it, or getting bopped on the top of the head. It is not adjustable in height. Pitchers still snag some line drives over the top of the screen.
2. The screen is 3 feet wide. This has accommodated all of our pitchers including one who weighed in at 300 pounds plus.
3. Most pitchers put it 4 to 5 feet in front of the rubber so they donít make contact with it while making their stride forward. I put it closer to 6 feet to get more room to field line drives with less fear of a ricochet. I could live with a 5 foot maximum. To put it too close to home shuts down the field for the batter.
A lot of pitchers, especially those around 70, like to put the closest edge overlapping the width of the pitching rubber for maximum safety. I am the opposite, as stated above, putting it about 18Ē outside the rubber.
Left-handed pitchers move it to the other side of the rubber. It is easily moved.
4. No sides, just a flat surface.
5. In our play, a ball hitting the screen is a no-pitch, dead ball. Some associations call it a strike. DBO would be pretty extreme. I could live with it being live like the fence, but it would result in a lot of ďbuntsĒ when the ball bounced back to the catcher.
6. The screen should be parallel to the rubber. It is for maximum protection, not to carom hit balls here and there.
7. It is not fixed to the ground, but supported on legs extending in front and behind it. I have never seen one knocked over by a batted ball in nine years, even by the hardest 350í hitters.
8. In our case, the club has bought two screens. Many individual teams have one for batting practice. They are extremely portable, fitting easily in a trunk.
9. It is flush with the ground.
10. It is all dull color, usually camouflage green and the netting is dull green. It is less a distraction than a brightly colored shirt worn by pitcher.
11. I have seen frames made out of both materials. They donít break. Eventually the netting has to be replaced. I have never seen a ball penetrate a netting, although a torn netting is dangerous and should be replaced.

In general, despite my earlier misgivings when I moved it entirely off the field, one quickly becomes used to it. I have still gotten hit on the shins and have saved my face with my glove from a quick line drive, but thatís because I like to field and donít have the screen too near me. I am scared to death pitching directly into a low rising or setting sun without a screen. As I get older, Iím at the point of letting the younger guys pitch when you are flat out blind and then I worry over THEIR safety from the dugout.
May 24, 2009
Men's 70
326 posts
I donot like the screen for play.
In practice I get lazy cuz the screen is there and I just chuck and hide behind the screen.

We use the a screen for rec play and most of the pitchers DO NOT get behind the screen. Even Omar doesnot use the screen properly cuz he likes to field. So what is the purpose of the screen if you don't get behind it?

How much safety do you really want? I can save 35-50,000 lives a years. How you ask, reduce the speed limit to 25 mph. BTW, You can safe yourself right of business.
Here is an old suggestion, move the rubber to 60 feet with a 10 foot box and basepaths to 70 feet.

And today/tomorrow stop for a moment and remember all those who are serving and putting their lives at risk for this great country.
May 24, 2009
197 posts
My opinion. LISTEN TO THE GUYS THAT HAVE THE EXPERIENCE. If you haven't at least tried using a screen, your opinion is just that. YOUR OPINION! "Try it. You'll like it" My opinion.
May 24, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
Make it pitchers option only, if he wants it, it goes up & used regardless if other team like it or not. After all it's for his protection...
Can be done in the time it takes for fielders to get to their position between innings, if necessary.
Just a thought.
Sign-in to reply or add to a discussion or post your own message and start a new discussion. If you don't have a message board account, please register for a free nickname. It will only take a moment.
Senior Softball-USA
Phone: (916) 326-5303
Fax: (916) 326-5304
9823 Old Winery Place, Suite 12
Sacramento, CA 95827
Senior Softball-USA is dedicated to informing and uniting the Senior Softball Players of America and the World. Senior Softball-USA sanctions tournaments and championships, registers players, writes the rulebook, publishes Senior Softball-USA News, hosts international softball tours and promotes Senior Softball throughout the world. More than 1.5 million men and women over 40 play Senior Softball in the United States today. »SSUSA History  »Privacy policy

Follow us on Facebook