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Discussion: new rule 6.16 WIND OR SUN AFFECTING BOTH PITCHERS

Posted Discussion
Dec. 5, 2015
B.J.
934 posts
new rule 6.16 WIND OR SUN AFFECTING BOTH PITCHERS
I have a question...when I first read this I assumed that it was about the sun being in the pitchers eyes and moving his position for safety which is already donw at times....this rule is for the batters!! So how does this affect the pitcher....he would be glad they had a hard time seeing the ball g §6.16 • WIND OR SUN AFFECTING BOTH PITCHERS – Proposal to amend the EFFECT at end of section. If
the sun is affecting the batter’s ability to see the ball, the umpire may request that the Field Director
allow the pitcher to pitch from up to six feet on either side of the pitching rubber, at the side chosen by
the batter as the only remedy. The request, if granted, shall be applied on a full‐inning basis only. •
PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
Dec. 5, 2015
B.J.
934 posts
sorry should have been amended rule 6.16
Dec. 5, 2015
Dbax
Men's 65
1984 posts
This is really stupid. Move the pitcher to the left or right and they hit the ball up the middle. The sun in the batters eye is part of the game. It is NOT a safety factor.
Dec. 5, 2015
Omar Khayyam
1350 posts
Dbax, I agree that this rule change has nothing to do with safety, but there is always grousing from batters facing a low sun and it does make a mockery of the game. Evidently SSUSA is trying to upgrade the game, although I have doubts that this rule change will be effective. What about pitchers who throw wrong foot or no step at times; pitchers who step sideways as they deliver; pitchers who like to throw from 60 feet (do they also get to step out 8 feet on the same angle?); pitchers who adjust the height to fit the angle; etc.

As a pitcher, I will miss this situation. My team was playing a potent team earlier in the year and it turned out that if I threw the ball about 10 feet and on the outside of the plate, the batters could not see the ball, even with welders glasses. This sun condition lasted most of the game with me throwing a bit higher as the sun rose. We won, 4 to 1, but it wasn't a particularly fun game for either team, although we were happy to have beaten a team ranked higher than us.
Dec. 5, 2015
Dbax
Men's 65
1984 posts
Like I said, it's part of the game. Your effective strategy got you the win.
Dec. 5, 2015
cronin51
Men's 55
20 posts
The Field Director "ALLOW" the pitcher to pitch from 6 feet out. Well as a pitcher I will choose not to move as it doesn't say "MAKE" me move. In a hitters game with the great majority of rules for the hitter I don't believe I want to give away the best advantage I may see during a game.






Dec. 5, 2015
Dbax
Men's 65
1984 posts
You're right! The way it's written, it doesn't make sense.
Dec. 6, 2015
B.J.
934 posts
Cronin51....according to this change and the way it is written you will have no say in the matter and must move if the "field director" chooses to "ALLOW" the request from the umpire
Dec. 6, 2015
NYGNYY
167 posts
Recently in Phoenix I played in a few games where the sun was a factor for the hitters. I see not problem with moving the pitchers--it helped. I do have a question regarding the rule title --noting the "Wind" in the title....can someone give me an example of when "Wind" would be in play regarding this rule?
Dec. 6, 2015
GI
Men's 60
222 posts
First of all before I get to discussion, I want to say to all you that have or continue to have health issues that keep you from the game, We miss you. Terry I continue to keep you in my prayers. I heard from Cisco's wife the other day. Cisco who continues to put up a brave fight with his stroke here in PHX area keeps striving to improve . I miss you on the field and just seeing you in every day life. Bless each of you as you all work to overcome these difficult moments in life.
As for the sun issue, I played last month for 1st time where we CJS played with the sun right in the eyes and umpire told us about rule. As a hitter yes it was nice to see the ball but as a pitcher the batters get enough breaks. I am more concerned with what occurs when the pitcher cannot see the batters box due to sun. That is scary and moving to a better angle while giving up the middle makes it safer for us pitchers. Just a thought or if possible move field locations. We pitchers are already covered up so much at least we should be able to see the ball when it is coming at us. DC great to here from you my friend.
Please all of you have a safe and wonderful new year and if you happen to have a grudge against someone, FORGIVE, life is just to short to not at least be respectful to each other in the world. That's my Christmas wish for you all. May we all be color blind. Hugs and see you in 2016.Bless you, Gary Ingle
Dec. 6, 2015
mad dog
Men's 65
4181 posts
well again the whiny hitters get to move the pitcher for their betterment....wow....but no rule to help the pitcher from being killed when they can't see b/c of the sun........come on SSUSA you can do better than this.........
Dec. 6, 2015
cronin51
Men's 55
20 posts
B.J., not looking for a pissing contest but the way I read it if I am allowed yet not required I am not moving. Maybe a poorly writing of the rule, not sure.

Dec. 6, 2015
SSUSA Staff
3160 posts
NYGNYY - The "Wind" part of the rule addresses extreme windy conditions where the ability of BOTH pitchers to throw strikes is greatly diminished and a remedy of strikes only MAY be invoked. Notable locations where this can occur frequently include Carson City, Reno, Las Vegas and Mesquite, NV, and St. George, UT. We know people here can provide other similar sites, but in reality, the implementation of this rule is a rare circumstance.
Dec. 6, 2015
cronin51
Men's 55
20 posts
SSUSA Staff, can you shed some light on this rule pertaining to the sun for batters also? It seems to me pitcher has option. Maybe some clarification and if you make the pitcher move to assist batter maybe a little explanation please.
Dec. 6, 2015
SSUSA Staff
3160 posts
This amendment affects the batter's sun issue only. When BOTH managers AND the umpire believe that circumstances are such that batters and possibly the umpire cannot see the ball, they may REQUEST that the Tournament/Field Director allow the pitcher to pitch from up to 6' left or right (batter's option) from the pitcher's box. The Director will either grant or deny (non-appealable) the request.

If granted, the batter may specify which side, and the allowance is to be employed on a "full inning" basis one inning at a time, out of a sense of fairness. This remedy was used on a couple of occasions in Phoenix at the Winter World's last month and was well received by the players. It is being tried this Season and may be re-evaluated next year by the Rules Committee. It is the only remedy available to the batter. Games will NOT be suspended while awaiting a consensus that the batter can see, as WOULD be the case if the sun affects Pitchers and their safety.

Dec. 6, 2015
cronin51
Men's 55
20 posts
Thank you
Dec. 6, 2015
Dbax
Men's 65
1984 posts
Even after this explanation, it's still silly.
Dec. 6, 2015
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3205 posts
I can just imagine the umpire's thoughts after being asked to move the pitcher, "If I grant the request more than likely the hitter will have a better chance of getting on base (longer game). If I don't, probably an out will result, making the game shorter (ding, ding, ding)."
One more thing, if the pitcher is moved will the mat be lined up with him or the rubber?
Dec. 6, 2015
k man
Men's 65
304 posts
Bruce, you bring up an interesting point about the mat but I can imagine they wouldn't move it since the plate is stationary on most fields. Picture this- I'm a left-handed batter. Sun is coming over pitchers left hand shoulder so I ask pitcher to move toward 3rd base. He move 6 feet closer to 3rd. Touches the pitching area with his left foot toe. Now spread legs wide apart so his right handed pitch is coming from say 10 feet or so from center.
He pitches to the back corner away from me of the mat. How many players will have to step on or in front of the plate in order to make contact with the ball. And if a player can only pull the ball ...

Hopefully this sun thing won't come up too often. In our 7 tournaments this year it only occurred in 1 game and it was only the right handed batters who were affected for an inning or 2.
Dec. 7, 2015
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
With each additional rule that is added, the game is getting more and more bastardized.
The Rules Committee apparently cares more for the batter's sun issues than the pitcher's safety. WTF?
Have these folks ever actually played the game?
Here's a thought... don't schedule games at those times of day on the affected fields.
Bob Woodroof
Dec. 7, 2015
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1224 posts
I agree with 16wood, it seems silly to move the pitcher for the hitters when the hitters are not in danger, however having a pitcher pitch when he can't see, is a Brutal life threatening situation..

Scheduling games on sun fields at these poor visibility times is not right for everyone involved.. My team decided to boycott a tourney in north cal because of this situation.. my team played on that sunfield at the same time three years in a row, and in 2014 we played three games in a row.. nobody could see.. (which I rather stay home than play in crap like that)IMO
Dec. 9, 2015
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
172 posts
I strongly agree with Bob - don't schedule games at those times of day on the affected fields!!!! Never made sense to me all you're doing is asking for complaints- legitimate complaints. Both for pitchers and hitters and I understand the objective is to get the games in but how much additional time does it take to stall a field for an hour??
SLi
Dec. 9, 2015
Mason's Grandpa
23 posts
I do agree with not playing games on the fields that have SUN issues. I have played in tournaments that when the sun is an issue for the PITCHER, they put a SCREEN in front of the pitcher. As a batter, if you hit the screen you're out. The screen is not much wider than the pitcher. You still have the middle to hit the ball. The only thing you lose is the one hit straight up the middle between the pitchers legs. That's a small price to pay to keep a player safe. But that is only to come in play when the Field Director will NOT change game times to avoid the sun. Also, I have played in tournaments where the sun affects the BATTER. Not only can the batter not see, the UMPIRE couldn't see either. Many pitches were over 14 high. We'd talk to the Ump. His response was "I CAN'T SEE IT EITHER). If a field director refuses to change the game time or use the screen, at that point it puts all the blame on the FIELD DIRECTOR and UMPIRE. It seems that all the FD cares about is keeping the tournament on-time.
Dec. 9, 2015
OZ40
549 posts
Mason,
I thought once the game is officially started the umpire has sole discretion to rule on all issues that are not covered in the rules. He OWNS and controls the diamond, right? I'm not sure this new rule needs to be there if the umpire has true control....The UIC at the fields should back up his umpires. I don't think a field director and UIC can or should be one in the same person.
Dec. 10, 2015
Mason's Grandpa
23 posts
I agree they should not be one in the same. During a game in Mesquite, NV in March, somebody parked their car where the Sun was shining off the windshield. The reflection was straight in our shortstops eyes. The reflection was between the Batter and the Umpire. He couldn't see the ball when it was hit by the batter. The umpire walked out to SS to see what the issue was. After seeing the issue the umpire stopped the game for a short time while the car was moved. A few minutes later someone else parked in the same place. The same issue came up. This time when our SS asked him to have the car moved the umpire said and I quote "I gave it to you once, I won't give it to you again". At that point our SS told the umpire If he gets hit by a ball because of the sun issue, he was going to personally be SUED. At that point he had someone go out and put a blanket over the windshield. Now let me ask all of you. WAS THAT SO HARD TO DO? Why should it come down to a threat of a lawsuit to get something done? My point is, umpires are told to keep their games on schedule. They will tell you that it's not up to him to make that decision, it's up to the Field Director. Playing the outfield I know how hard it is to see a fly ball when the sun is an issue. Imagine being an infielder when the ball is hit back at you at speeds of 80 -100 mph. Granted the ball isn't always hit straight at you, but it only takes once
Dec. 10, 2015
stick8
1932 posts
This happened to us (OKI at the time) during the last game of the day on a saturday. Both teams asked the umpires if we could move diamonds (there were open diamonds). The umpires had no problem but the tournament director said no.
Dec. 11, 2015
Mason's Grandpa
23 posts
No disrespect to SSUSA. They are doing the best they can. It seems that ALL tournaments have at least one field that the Sun effects. SSUSA should have a back-up plan to cover the issue. As players what recourse do we have? Refuse to play?, Threaten the Umpire or Field Director with the threat of a lawsuit? It should not come to that. Safety comes first, no matter what. Whether or not it effects your team or and arch rival. SAFETY FIRST. PERIOD!!
Dec. 13, 2015
TheCat43
Men's 55
26 posts
Let's see... If I move the pitcher to my left about six feet from the rubber. That ought to put him right into the center of my power zone about half-way to the shortstop... OUCH!!

The pitcher would most likely be "requested" to pitch from the batter's strong side. This will put the pitcher on the batter's "hot side" right smack between the sun (behind the rubber) and the foul line. That seem's pretty darn tough on the pitchers.

I don't get it...
Dec. 14, 2015
curveball
Men's 65
691 posts
Cat, wouldn't you rotate to keep the pitcher at the same angle? We did this pitcher movement in Mesquite tourney during rising sun for one game 2 weeks ago. It was OK. Better than swing and miss when you couldn't see at all. As a right handed batter, the only down side I saw was a smaller area to pull down the line.
Dec. 14, 2015
TheCat43
Men's 55
26 posts
Curveball: Perhaps I don't understand. But it seemed that the batter had the choice of which side the pitcher moved to. Therefore, my sarcastic post above. I am doubting that the Mesquite tournament was a SSUSA tournament as that move is not in their rule book.

The SSUSA rule seems reasonable as written below:

"In significantly windy conditions, if, in the judgment of the umpire, the wind is having a discernible adverse effect on the accuracy of both pitchers, the umpire may declare that only strikes count.

In the case of sun interference potentially affecting the pitcher’s safety, the umpire may invoke a short suspension of play. EFFECT: Softball is an outdoor game played in the elements. Sun position affecting the batter is not a potential safety issue and shall not be the basis for a suspension of play."
Dec. 14, 2015
garyheifner
608 posts
We were in an SPA World championship game. 3 of our left handed batters never hit the ball in 3 swings ea. and even the RHBs struggled to see the ball. A pitcher move would have made it a better game. Actually, being the final IF game, there were 3 other fields open and the powers in charge chose not to move the game. A move over to an open field, if available, would a smart move.


Dec. 14, 2015
Dbax
Men's 65
1984 posts
During the Winter Worlds, in a morning game against Joe Browns All Stars, I was playing right field. The sun was in my eyes on every fly ball. The field director would not allow us to change fields. I was outraged!

Seriously, if it's not a safety matter, it's part of the game.
Dec. 15, 2015
TheCat43
Men's 55
26 posts
Somebody had no commons sense - Why not move to a different field if it is available?

"Sun safety" should not be exclusive to the pitcher. If you have a field where the sun is unobstructed and directly in ANYONE'S eyes, something should be done. More specifically, if ANY defensive player is confirmed to be "blind to the batter" because of the sun, play should be stopped. With that said, if it is possible to "get and angle" which allows reasonable safety, not necessarily a comfortable or easy play, then play ball.
Dec. 15, 2015
Dbax
Men's 65
1984 posts
I was being sarcastic.
Dec. 15, 2015
TheCat43
Men's 55
26 posts
@#$%^????
Dec. 20, 2015
Mason's Grandpa
23 posts
I guess what it comes down to is both teams need to refuse to play under those conditions. That will throw a big monkey wrench in their bracketing.
Dec. 20, 2015
Duke
Men's 65
898 posts
Mad dog, I concur with your comment!

SSUSA Staff, Your statement regarding Pitchers, "Games will NOT be suspended while awaiting a consensus that the batter can see, as WOULD be the case if the sun affects Pitchers and their safety", is SO untrue depending on the Field Director. I was in a game in Vegas several years back, where the sun was so bad and safety was a hot topic at the time, that the pitcher, 2nd baseman, and SS, could not see anything hit or thrown at them. Our catcher had to role the ball back to me for 3 innings. I just guessed where home plate was and apparently hit it. I asked the other team if they wanted to wait until we could see, and they just laughed and said play. I went to the umpire, and he said to ask the Field Director. The Field Director said to play or forfeit, mostly because they were already behind in their game times. In that case, what options do I have? If I did not play and forfeit, then my team was out of the tournament. The other team did not give a crap, because win or lose, they had not gotten their 5th game yet. Balls were screaming through the middle of the infield as I ducked with my back to home plate after every pitch. The other team laughing the entire inning. When we came up, I said to their catcher, we are not going to try at all to hit your pitcher, but every batter on my team has been instructed to slam the ball up the middle and let me know if you still think it is so funny. Well, they did not. LOL! All I could do after the first inning was to move my first baseman between 1st and 2nd where he could see something, then I ran to cover first base.

Andy Smith
Dec. 20, 2015
BCA80
12 posts
In Phoenix, the sun was in the batter's eyes a couple of games. The pitchers moved. Instead of playing a 5-4 game where good softball players swung and had to guess where the ball was, we played a real softball game. It worked great and it is probably the reason for the rule change.

Major league ballparks are generally built with the sun setting on the third base side since fewer balls are hit to right field. It lessens the affect the sun has in the game.

If we can make a simple change to make the game more playable, I don't know why we wouldn't do it. Great change.
Dec. 21, 2015
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
It's my feeling that most MLB parks are built with the right field line going east and west. This puts the setting sun in the RF's eyes and right side infielders if the stadium has open areas for the sun to shine between tiers.
But whether it affects the RF or the LF the concept is the same.
The late afternoon game times also affect the MLB hitter due to the increasing shadows around home plate. To my knowledge, no one has convinced MLB to move the mound to the left or right.
They instead try to plan around this by controlling game times, unless TV overrides them.
In lieu of moving the pitcher, why not limit the arc to 8' (as an example)?
If it's in the pitcher's eyes put up a screen for 2-3 innings.
Best scenario in both cases (sun in batter or pitcher's eyes) is to plan/schedule around it. If it rains do we not work around it? To prevent injuries or to preserve the field? Whichever or both...
BW
Dec. 22, 2015
BCA80
12 posts
It's actually written in to the MLB rulebook (1.04)-- "It is desirable that the line from home base through the pitchers plate to second base shall run East-Northeast."
Dec. 22, 2015
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
Yep, but several stadiums must have received variances because their left field lines run east-west (as you previously stated).
TX, Cle, Mil and others... Why?
Each location probably has its own story as to why they were better served with a different orientation. Some even have the pitcher looking into the setting sun... but I'm told that none of them put a screen in front of him during the game... (-:
Rule 1.04 seems more like a suggestion than a rule.
BW
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