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Posted Discussion
May 23, 2009
Men's 60
78 posts
Several independent researchers have studied the use of composite bats such as Miken's Ultra 2 and have concluded they produce Batted Ball Speeds (BBS) that are unsafe.

Daniel Russell in ongoing research; Mark McDoewll and Michael Ciocco in a 2005 study reprinted in The Sporting Journal and the British Journal of Sports Medicine; and R.K. Adair in a 1997 paper entitled "The Physics of Baseball" were all able to prove empirically the ball speed attained by hi-performance bats (in Adair's case, he accurately predicted composite bat speeds because they were not available in 1997) WERE UNSAFE FOR PITCHERS. (emphasis added)

Moreover, many studies conducted for ASA, USSSA, and other national softball organizations have concluded the same thing. In some studies, BBS exceeds 104mph and travels at a height of 5'10" making it almost impossible for pitcher to get a glove up in time to protect his chest or face. Factor in slower senior reaction times and you have a recipe for disaster.

There is little or no debate in the arena of softball safety. The universal assessment---empirically proven with conclusive and incontrovertible data---is simply COMPOSITE BATS ARE UNSAFE. This is why they are not allowed in virtually all major softball associations and city-sponsored tournaments.

In that light, then, if you were running an organization that allowed composite bats, how would you deal with the reality that any injury occurring as a result of the use of composite bats would almost surely expose you to a lawsuit?

In the ongoing debate over the use of "dumbed down" balls...let's keep our eye on the real issue. It's the bats, not the balls.

Are we willing to allow a screen to be put on the field? Are we willing to live with home run limits? Are we willing to have an unenforceable and wildly subjective PPR---and who knows what further changes are being contemplated in the name of "safety"? Are we willing to suffer the use of a 52/275 pillowball? All because we insist on using bats that are proven unsafe?

What say you?

May 23, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
I've read the B&N paper on that some years back. Let's say we go back to the alloy or wood era. Some of those alloys were really good bats, BUT then we got the banned bats and with that the fixers (Dr.'s) found a market. They made them better, temporally, (then they broke or dented) I think we would be going back to that even more that you can find easily on the net. Wood bats might also be corked, another problem. Having a bat splinter that could be just as bad hitting a player as would a ball.
If a person has the will, he will find a way, to made it work for him, right or wrong.
Balls can be done almost as easily.
It really come down to checking equipment and enforcement. When was the last time you saw anyone REALLY check bats out?
It's a vicious circle.
May 23, 2009
Men's 65
330 posts
I vote for wood bats
May 24, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Yeah, but no, Dennis.
It's the bat/ball combo
that must be good
for us to enjoy our game.
It doesn't matter if it comes more from the ball or bat or both.
It has to be lively to enjoy the game.
We could go back to single wall
bats and 47 x 525 balls and we'd still have a blast playing and hitting.
Sorry Dennis.
Nancy was right.
Hi Nancy.
The game has to be fast enough to be dangerous or we might as well be playing
video game softball.
Screens are OK because they would allow
the good bat/ball combo
we want, need and
deserve and put an end to worrying about
So, let the 1.2 bats stay.
Don't flip out about Ultra 2's.
I hit a Combat, a Rip it, a Freak
and a Super Freak that hit better
than an Ultra 2 when broken in.
1.2 bats are here to stay
and let's use them with a good ball
and have some fun
just like we did in Reno
and Phoenix last year
and I'm sure everyone's hoping
Kevin sent the good balls to Reno
for this year
instead of the ones he wants
us to hit.
May 24, 2009
Men's 65
44 posts
play ball DD
May 24, 2009
328 posts
""""The universal assessment---empirically proven with conclusive and incontrovertible data---is simply COMPOSITE BATS ARE UNSAFE."""""

The bat is only half the equation.

They forgot to add "using current COR/compression balls"

They make balls that would render even an original Ultra useless. I think I still have one. An SB 12 I believe.

This issue, like most issues in the US, is consumer driven.

One way to make the game safer would be for everyone to use the same bat/ball that is deemed safe.

That aint gonna happen in our lifetime unless Obama steps in to save us......right Geo?

May 24, 2009
197 posts
The bottom line: I've been playing 'senior" ball for 14 yrs, and have seen no injuries in this 1500+ game period of time that ANYONE could convince me would have been avoided if we were still using bats we were all swinging at the beginning of this 14 yr. period. NONE NONE NONE! Including my 3 cracked ribs 12 yrs. ago when I was unable to get out of the way while coaching 3rd. You can do all the "studies" you want. They mean NOTHING! The proof is in the real world results. My injury was caused because I could not get out of the way fast enough NOT because my teammate was swinging a "Demarini'. This injury was unavoidable and nobody was at fault. Injuries happen. PERIOD!!!
May 24, 2009
58 posts
"The game has to be fast enough to be dangerous........" Wow! That comment really made me raise an eyebrow.

I guess I'm a bit of a traditionalist. I remember when the term, "dangerous", was ascribed to individuals & not the equipment! I wish that we could go back to those days.

How about that? How about a bat/ball combo that neither adds nor detracts from an individuals' natural ability? How about bats with realistic sweetspots that don't encompass the entire barrel?

Or is that asking too much?

I remember the first time I ever used a U2. It was a bp in the fall of 2002. Pitching screen..... 525 comp ball..... all the infielders playing in the outfield grass..... open field with all outfielders at 300+'..... It was someone elses bat so I was only swinging at about 80%. I was easily putting the ball 50+' beyond what I would with a good multi-wall bat. I immediately knew something was wrong.......

Why others don't also realize the same thing is a bit of a curiousity to me.
May 24, 2009
197 posts
And what was wrong with that!
May 24, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Great testimonial, L.
There are no stats that support today's game is more dangerous than 10 years ago.
We're the victim of our own ignorance,
fear and herd instinct rendering us
able to be led by the nose
even away from our own best interests
by a powerful few, marketeers and their business associates.
They say we need new balls that have been developed to save our game.
From what and for whom
we must ask and it gets clearer
all the time who's zoomin' who.
They keep trying them out
hoping we'll lose our minds
and say yes.
Our game, the senior game,
is not the 40 and over game
and needs to be administrated as such.
We do it in NorCal.
It can be done anywhere.
If an association doesn't/won't come around to what it is we want, need
and deserve, we cut 'em loose.
We don't want need or deserve
a not to be take seriously PPR rule
and a HR as outs rule that makes our game more dangerous and
at the same time,
vulnerable to change by those whose mantra, sincere or otherwise
is safety at all costs.
(Why not use tennis balls if safety is the key issue)
Its not the key issue.
Fun is the key issue.
If it's not fun
we won't/don't play.
Are you listening, Terry and Dave?
Give us back our game.
Get rid of the PPR and HR's as outs,
leave the good balls in
and let's have some fun a la 2009.
You say you won't change anything till December.
Think that passes the smell test?
Think again.
Say, "Sorry, our bad and
here's your game back"
and we'll care about and appreciate you
a lot more.
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