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Discussion: face masks

Posted Discussion
March 7, 2016
gangerman8
3 posts
face masks
Can a pitcher still sign off on not wearing a mask?
March 7, 2016
SSUSA Staff
3271 posts
NO - Rulebook provision below:

§6.17PITCHER'S MANDATED MINIMUM SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Pitchers shall wear a protective face mask while pitching and must wear the mask consistent with the manufacturer’s intended usage of their product...

March 7, 2016
19
43 posts
Can someone please tell me the real reason why this rule exists?

I suppose it could be that someone believes grown men are incapable of making decisions for themselves that only affect them and NO one outside of their families. But I have a hunch there is more to it than that.
March 7, 2016
SSUSA Staff
3271 posts
A mask for a pitcher is simply a mandated piece of protective equipment to minimize the effects in the event of the pitcher being struck in the face by a batted ball. The best analogy (which we referred to when the rule was instituted) would be the mandated helmets for all players who came into the National Hockey League after June 1, 1979. The rule is not based on any judgment by SSUSA regarding the decision making rights or competence that any individual player might otherwise make. No player is required to wear a face mask unless he or she wishes to pitch.

March 7, 2016
Rick35
Men's 55
78 posts
gangerman8 - No...as I supported the rule of pitchers must wear the mask....why??, because the older the guys are, their quick reflexes do get weaker/slower as they get older. It is up to the pitcher to wear the type of mask they prefer to their comfortable level. I wear lacrosse mask which it did helped/protected me from batted balls.
March 7, 2016
Spock
Men's 60
14 posts
Pitching without a facemask at the senior level would be the equivalent of a major league baseball catcher not wearing a cup. Not real smart.
March 7, 2016
gangerman8
3 posts
I have been pitching for many years,the problem i have with this is creates many blind spots for other parts of the body, it is much easier to move your head then avoid the blind spots. I am 62 and pitch in a competive league,with players in thier 20s to 40s without the bat control, older players have. So I should have the right to make that decision.Everybody has thier own thought on this, so should be left up to individual,to sign a release.
March 8, 2016
PoollShark
Men's 50
88 posts
I was originally against this rule but after playing senior ball for a few years I have to say my opinion has changed. Our reflexes as we age slow down but the equipment we use, specifically the bats and balls, have kept the game at a fast or even faster pace than when we were young.
I blame this on EGO. I've been playing ball with a lot of the same guys since I was in my 20's and I've seen guys as seniors hitting bombs that never hit homeruns when they were young. I personally think we need to outlaw these high performance bats and balls. I played in the World Masters in Vegas last year and the ball they use, the Rock, is ridiculously hot. Seriously, what is the need for these supercharged bats and balls???
I was told by an ump that a couple years ago a 3rd baseman was killed by a line drive that hit him in the chest. Does everyone really need to stroke their ego so badly that we have to put people in danger due to the equipment being too high performance??
March 8, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
Why not just cut the chase and eliminate the "Pitcher" position? Just use the "Tee" from the youth Tee Ball program and put the "Pitcher" in as a 5th Infielder or 5th Outfielder.

Umpire's wouldn't have to worry about high limits (they for the most part can't anyway), if the "rolled" bats are used so be it (again the Umpires for the most part don't worry about them and most couldn't tell a "rolled bat" anyway). This would also save $$$$ for Umpires. Only one would be needed to follow the base-runners for out/safe calls. Of course, that Umpire would have to know how to work a 1-man system and would also have to “move” throughout the field of play.

Just hit the ball, make believe you are a “bonafide Home Run hitter”, impress the women and take all the worry & complaining out of the game.

The game has changed and in a lot of cases, not for the best. Why not just “tee” up a “super Ball”, let a “wannabee Home Run hitter” smack it like he has never smacked one before with a “super Bat” and tell the Umpire to sit back and relax.

Welcome to today's Softball 101!
March 8, 2016
19
43 posts
So the consensus appears to be that middle-age and older pitchers are not capable of making decisions for themselves that have NO impact on anyone other than perhaps their families.
March 8, 2016
SSUSA Staff
3271 posts
19 and gangerman8 ... A not-so-short short history lesson may be helpful here ... SSUSA (and other associations) have for many years tried to reach a sensible rule compromise to protect the pitchers in an era of ever-increasing performance changes to both bat and ball technology, while maintaining as much of the look and feel of the game as possible without unreasonable modification ... Some here will argue that we have done so with varying degrees of success, probably ranging from 2% to 98% and everywhere in between! ...

We tried "dead ball outs" for a batted ball striking the pitcher ... We tried a "no-fly zone" up the middle of the field ... We tried a "safety halo" around the pitcher, in varying shapes and dimensions ... We probably tried everything except screens, and there is no viable support on the National Rules Committee for that solution for National Tournament level play ... We opted for the mandated face mask protection for two simple reasons:

1. The modifications we had previously instituted that required umpire judgment were not consistently applied ... Excellent umpires, exercising sound judgments, could make calls that differed just slightly from umpire to umpire, creating inconsistency, which led to uncertainty and controversy, in that order; and
2. Those modifications were also, with the luxury of 20-20 hindsight, changing the game to a greater degree than was desired or needed ...

SSUSA is hardly unique in the sports world by mandating safety equipment for its participants ... Just a few examples include:
• Helmets for hockey players;
• Shin guards for soccer players;
• Mouth guards and sophisticated helmets for football players;
• Batting helmets for baseball and women's fast-pitch softball players;

We don't accept your premise "...that middle-age and older pitchers are not capable of making decisions for themselves..." We have simply chosen, completely within our rights as the governing body of our association, to impose a sensible and least-intrusive (to the game) mandate for face protection for pitchers ...

As mentioned above, no player is required to wear a face mask unless (s)he chooses to pitch in an SSUSA sanctioned event ... The only decision a potential pitcher must make is whether or not (s)he accepts the governing rule ... (NOTE: In 2014, the National Rules Committee was required to add the language about how the face mask is to be worn ... Incredibly, two players asserted during the year that they were in total compliance with wearing a face mask, despite the fact that one was wearing his to protect the back of his head and the other was wearing his to protect the elbow of his glove arm!)

We hope this helps in understanding our thinking on this topic ... This rule is highly unlikely to be eliminated or have opt-out provisions enacted any time in the foreseeable future ...

March 8, 2016
Fabe
Men's 60
450 posts
Those examples are ways that grown people still throw a tantrum when not having their way! Just my opinion...sometimes we take the variables we have for granted to play this great game. Be safe, stay healthy n have fun this year! Aloha, Fabe
March 8, 2016
Dancer
114 posts
I am a pitcher and don't have a problem with a mask. I have been hit in other parts of my body too many times. In my opinion, you have to be a fool not to wear one, I have seen some pics of pitchers who got hit in the face and not pretty. Maybe the rule is in place to protect those, who cannot protect themselves.
March 8, 2016
magic #25
Men's 40
24 posts
excellent answer by ssusa staff, this rule is here to stay. please pitchers just wear the mask and lets go play ball.
March 8, 2016
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3210 posts
I don't pitch much in tournaments but when I do I don't mind wearing a mask.
I even wear catcher's shin guards at first base. I've been hit twice in the shin and tell myself that I won't happen again. I just laugh off the remarks about me catching or pitching.
March 8, 2016
Omar Khayyam
1357 posts
BruceinGa, seems like it takes a secure ego to laugh off comments. I've heard them, too, especially when the mask was first introduced a few years ago. I even wear my mask in rec league, primarily to stay in tournament form as we also use a mandated screen and I could pitch without a mask.

I'm amused by 19's view that NO one is affected other than the pitcher and his immediate family. Really? A broken face…a concussion…a loss of eyesight…a death…none of that would affect anyone else? What about the slugger who hit the pitcher? I know a couple who stopped playing because of injuring a pitcher. I stopped playing co-ed ball because of hitting women who were not at the skill level of their boyfriends/husbands…and none of my hits were serious injuries, just enough to bring tears and an exit from the game.

What about the emergency room costs for uninsured injured pitchers? My taxes pay for those. What about rehabilitation costs for uninsured pitchers? Etc. Etc.

And even if it were just the pitcher's family. Is it fair to expect my wife to deal with a concussed person for years? Is it manly to drive my family into financial despair because I lose my job from injury…or have to retire too early…or get overwhelmed by medical bills beyond my ability to pay immediately?

John Donne said it well 400 years ago:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
. . .
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
March 9, 2016
mad dog
Men's 65
4184 posts
this all well and good ssusa....but who now has to pay for this mask.....for all the sports you have raised as using safety equipment now...their safety equipment is bought by a multi-million dollar org.....not some individual.....are you gonna provide a mask to the pitcher if he/she doesn't have one......if you require it...you should provide it.......
March 9, 2016
19
43 posts
Omar,

Sorry, but I just don't think it is SSUSA's place to be protecting the interests of my or any other pitcher's wife. Or protecting the taxpayers. As far as the guy who hit the ball, he knows he is running that risk when he chooses to step to the plate with a bat most likely banned for all under-50 play. He took that chance, he pays that "price".

mad dog, GREAT point!
March 9, 2016
'Skerz
Men's 60
9 posts
mad dog/19 - please get over yourself. SSUSA is doing what they know they need to do to make our game safer. SAFER, not safe (which is impossible).

A few years ago our pitcher took a line drive off the mask...it was scary, and without the mask, those of us that were there are very confident he would have been pushing up daisies. Fortunately he's ok, although he no longer plays.

As far as paying for the mask goes...with the $ we spend on everything from bats, bags, gloves, sunglasses, uniforms, batting gloves, hotels, travel, and favorite adult beverages, the cost of a decent quality mask is negligible. Other recreational sports require safety equipment as well, and it's not "provided because it's required". You're required to pay a player registration fee too...maybe they should do away with that too? Get real.

Pretty simple though...if you don't want to wear a mask, don't pitch. If you don't want to play because masks are required, DON'T.

Whiners.
March 9, 2016
PoollShark
Men's 50
88 posts
mad dog, a mask doesn't exactly break the bank. I have 2, a $30 Schutt which is nice but provides just face protection with your head still exposed. I've seen come backers where the pitcher turned to avoid getting hit but ended up taking one off of the cranium. I just purchased a new Worth Legit face mask/helmet for $90 and I think I'm going to be very happy with it. The examples SSUSA listed are not just multi-million dollar organizations. I take it you have no children who've played sports?
In a sport where players spend hundreds of dollars on bats alone, complaining about buying a $30 mask is kinda silly.
March 9, 2016
19
43 posts
'Skerz, if they really want to make the game safer they would do a much better job of controlling/limiting what bats can be used. Anything and everything else is just lip service.

You act like only pitchers are affected by the silly bats being used. What is being done for the corner infielders?
March 9, 2016
'Skerz
Men's 60
9 posts
Infielders are free to wear whatever protection they want as well. Grow up, deal with it, or find a new hobby. I'm out.
March 10, 2016
Vance+50
Men's 60
58 posts
I don't pitch, not brave enough to stand that close. But I have played both corners. Never contemplated wearing a mask, but that might be changing. Saw a guy in Birmingham take a bad hop right between the eyes. Because he had a mask on, he simply picked the ball up and threw the guy out. If not for the mask, he would have most likely been busted open and through for the day. Had nothing to do with the bat or the ball, but the field conditions after being played on all day. Hit a bad place in the infield and jumped straight up.
March 10, 2016
19
43 posts
'Skerz, thanks for making my point for me. Infielders are free to wear whatever they want, and conversely free not to. Pitchers don't get that second freedom.
March 10, 2016
SSUSA Staff
3271 posts
19 ... The extra 20' from the Pitching distance (50') from home plate to the 1B or 3B distance (70'), assuming the fielders play even with the bag, from home plate makes your theoretical argument favoring the same options impossible for comparison ... Pitchers in SSUSA sanctioned events WILL wear face mask protection and other defensive players MAY do so if they wish ...
March 10, 2016
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
Staff:
The addl 20' you mention is not the entire issue...
Most pitchers do not pitch from the front of the box and, therefore, may be 60' from the batter. By the same token, few corner infielders play even with the base path.
The difference in distance from the batter is less important than the anticipation of the infielder/pitcher. Being in the center of the diamond allows the pitcher to see/feel where the ball will be hit... most of the time... not every hitter follows form.
Being a corner infielder does not afford you this luxury.
The short reaction time in either position suggests that you really need to be 'on high alert'... with or without a mask.
BW
March 10, 2016
taits
Men's 65
4548 posts
IMO the rational solution would be to do a 180* and return to the alloy bats and 47 cor balls. Balls will still fly out of the park as they did back then. If that is what your trying to get now. I can't recall anyone getting seriously wacked back then. But I have seen many with the newer composite bats.
Sure the money would dry up for the associations on sanctioning the high tech bats for a bit, too bad. But IF it safety that IS your concern, thats where the focus should be, on the bats, then the balls would fall in line as they were back then.
I think the mask issue is a facade, it keeps the manufacturers happy and money coming in to assns. But that too would come back with the re-tooling. Maybe even provide more jobs. I doubt they trashed the old extruder machines.
No need to this forcing someone to purchase & wear the gear should they pitch.
March 10, 2016
bkb555
298 posts
seems a pretty simple rule...if you pitch, you wear a mask...I play hockey, I wear a full cage .....I have lost count how many times I have gotten hit by stray sticks, lifted pucks and errant elbows which definitely would have knocked out some teeth or broken bones or blackened eyes...some guys wear 1/2 visors and some wear only the required helmet........I have NEVER seen a guy need stitches while wearing a full cage......sure it is great to skate without a visor or half shield or a cage BUT, bottom line is safety.....I choose full protection......rules are rules...I don't like going 55 on the highway but its a rule...it probably is better for everyone and that's why there are rules...it is a small price to pay for a mask then to see someone get seriously injured playing a game without one....
March 10, 2016
UMBACH
68 posts
SCREENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
March 10, 2016
k man
Men's 65
317 posts
I play in a 40+ night league - pitcher face mask mandatory, no screens
60+ senior day league - pitchers face mask and screens both optional
SSUSA - pitcher face mask mandatory, no screens
ISSA - pitcher face mask optional, no screens.

There are pros and cons to all. I don't pitch so it really doesn't affect me personally.
And would hate to see anybody get hurt especially if it would affect someones quality of life.

Bottom line- if you want to play in a league/tournament, you abide by the rules of the organization.

Wishing everyone a safe and competitive softball season!

PLAY BALL!

March 11, 2016
19
43 posts
Any pitcher who is not approaching being at least 60' from the batter at the moment of contact is not doing enough to help themselves.

16wood, those are some great points!

taits, that was the best post of the day/week/month!!!!

NO comparison between being a pitcher and a hockey goalie. NONE! Pitchers don't face deflections off of stick and other players literally a foot in front of them.

Again, any pitcher or player who wants to OPTIONALLY wear a mask is certainly within their rights to do so. Others telling grown men what to do, in this case, is absurd.
March 11, 2016
SSUSA Staff
3271 posts
Or to paraphrase, we believe:

Any pitcher who is not [wearing a face mask] at the moment of contact is not doing enough to [protect] themselves.

We also somewhat concur that "..Again, any pitcher or player who wants to OPTIONALLY wear a mask is certainly within their rights to do so.." Since this appears to be about your choices, you will just have to choose an association or league that permits it. SSUSA is not such an association.

March 11, 2016
19
43 posts
Any anybody who is overweight or has high blood pressure or is diabetic or a hundred other things are not doing enough either. Should we/you legislate those requirements to be able to play too?

Be honest, if you really care about safety for EVERYONE you would legislate the bats.
March 11, 2016
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4017 posts
19 ... Only if those health conditions can be linked to increasing the likelihood of being hit in the face by a batted ball during a slow pitch softball game ... As for changing the bat standard, SSUSA could look at it if there was a ground swell of support from 305' power hitters who think being a 275' power hitter on 300' fenced fields is where they want to be at this stage of their careers ...

March 11, 2016
19
43 posts
Dave, those guys will never say that. Otherwise they would not be able to tell their grandchildren that "Grandpa hit a home run with someone else's R & D". We both know that will never happen.

Do you think those are the same guys who put trampolines under the basket, dunk a ball, and feel good about themselves? LOL
March 11, 2016
19
43 posts
I wonder when middle-age and older men started losing so much pride.
March 11, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
When they allowed "high-tech" equipment into the sports (a.k.a. Golf, Softball, etc.) Why do they allow Aluminum Bats on the NCAAA Baseball level and if your are good enough to become a "Pro", welcome back to Wooden Bats.

One of the major reasons that Senior Ball keeps its status/growth is due primarily to the use of these "high-tech" bats. Back in the day, your Bat could be used in all of the Associations and now, get it "stamped", no "you can not use it in ASA play", etc.

As I mentioned prior:

Why not just cut the chase and eliminate the "Pitcher" position? Just use the "Tee" from the youth Tee Ball program and put the "Pitcher" in as a 5th Infielder or 5th Outfielder.

Umpire's wouldn't have to worry about high limits (they for the most part can't anyway), if the "rolled" bats are used so be it (again the Umpires for the most part don't worry about them and most couldn't tell a "rolled bat" anyway). This would also save $$$$ for Umpires. Only one would be needed to follow the base-runners for out/safe calls. Of course, that Umpire would have to know how to work a 1-man system and would also have to “move” throughout the field of play.

Just hit the ball, make believe you are a “bonafide Home Run hitter”, impress the women and take all the worry & complaining out of the game.

The game has changed and in a lot of cases, not for the best. Why not just “tee” up a “super Ball”, let a “wannabee Home Run hitter” smack it like he has never smacked one before with a “super Bat” and tell the Umpire to sit back and relax.

Welcome to today's Softball 101!
March 11, 2016
19
43 posts
Sparky,

A BIG reason why aluminum, and now composite, baseball bats became popular was how frequently wood bats break and the cost of frequent replacement. Yes, I am sure at this point the extra pop from them has become addicting, but that was not the original reason.

So now we would have to play t-ball because old guys have lost all sense of pride? :( That is a funny comment, but also kind of sad.

Great post!!!
March 11, 2016
crusher
Men's 75
524 posts
Hi tech single wall + 47/525 ball went out of park, pitchers got hit.

Now:

Hi tech composite + 44/375 ball goes out of park, pitchers are still occasionally being hit.

97 DeMarini $300, 100 to 200 swings.
2015 Ultra II 100 to 1000 swings at $170 to $180.

I pitched against the T2000, wow, nothing else can compare to speed to that ball.

Masks are good. imo

And Finally:

I LOVE THE GAME TODAY JUST AS IT IS, THANKS TO ORGS
THAT PUT ON TOURNAMENTS.

James
March 11, 2016
19
43 posts
Where is the pride??? :(

I have nothing against masks for anyone who wants to wear one. It is the mandating what old men have to do, as if they cannot think for themselves, that I strongly question.
March 11, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
Thanks for the compliment 19.

Without the "high-tech Bats" and the "high-tech Balls", the Great Game of Slow-Pitch Softball would soon be forgotten on the Senior level of play. You only have to look at the great loss in numbers with the younger ages and the amount of teams lost within a local association.

Such is the nature of our game in today's world!

"the Rattlesnake" (just for Dave) [grins]
March 11, 2016
19
43 posts
Sparky, you are welcome.

I am sure your assessment of what would happen to the Senior game is correct. I still find it sad that so much of the pride has left our generation of players.

I occasionally wonder how many of these guys jump off a trampoline, dunk a ball, and then go and tell the grandkids that "Pappy looked like LeBron James today". :(
March 13, 2016
Ray Ray 34
Men's 70
3 posts
I agree with the SS USA staff. I have been playing super major ball and I believe in the facemask. Even if you still have quick reflexes the ball can take a bad bounce. You should test the facemasks and see which one is the best for you. On some of the brands of facemask when I looked down I would loose the ball. After you find the right one it is just like not having one on. And I always agree with Bruce F from GA
Ray Ray
March 13, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
Ray Ray 34.............Just what the heck is "SUPER MAJOR BALL"?
March 13, 2016
Omar Khayyam
1357 posts
Sparky, Super Major Ball is when a pipsqueak like me on the other team can still hit a home run that clears the fence. Wait. I can do that with my hot Miken bat. I never could in the first 50 years of playing. I guess we are all playing super major now with the composite bats.
March 13, 2016
19
43 posts
Omar, you're the best!!!
March 13, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
I understand SUPER MAJOR BALL now Omar!

It's simply a new division for the MIGHTY MIGHTS to hit a MIGHTY BALL with their own MIGHTY BAT and finally achieve a MIGHTY "Rose-colored" STATUS in softball.

Thanks so much for clearing that up for me Omar.
March 13, 2016
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3210 posts
Thanks Ray Ray. I'll define super major ball for those of you that don't know. It's a major plus team that can hit hrs but they know their odds are better hitting singles. Then, after the outfield moves in they burn the outfielders or hit it out.
Ray Ray's team probably has won more national championships that any other team. Maybe Ray Ray will clear that up.
Also, a large majority on the team are in the sshof.
Did I say Clattah is also on this team?!
March 13, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
So what you are telling everyone is that this "unknown" Super Major Ball is solely for those teams from the southern or western climates that don't have to pack it it for the winter months, have a big money sponsor or two which will secure everyone on the squad as well as a few Hall of Famers. Gee Bruce, you think?

March 13, 2016
dead weight
6 posts
Does college hockey players complain about wearing a cage? Does the women fastpitch batters complain? We have safety bags, a home scoring line, and five run limits that we accept to play in this organization. Maybe there is someone that feels their "pride" is hurt because they can't touch home plate safely when scoring, but I doubt it. It seems to me the more you wear protection the less you notice it, kind of like wearing a hard hat at work.
March 13, 2016
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3210 posts
I'm sorry sparky, I thought you knew the name of the team. Superior
March 13, 2016
Omar Khayyam
1357 posts
Sparky, you've got it! All my life I played the equivalent of AA or AAA ball, depending on who else was on my team. I was purely a singles hitter—not one home run in my decades of playing, and only a few triples, an occasional double because I can run. I usually batted 7 or 8. Suddenly, with my Miken, I can send the long ball. In the friendly tourneys with fences closer than 300 feet, I can clear the fence! I am now a mighty mite who can hit a mighty ball (Trump Rock is the mightiest) with my shiny mighty bat, and I am admired by all, hoisted on the shoulders of my teammates, focus of parades held in my honor when I return to my home town, given the key to the city by the Mayor, etc. I am a Super Major Ball Player.

Unlike RayRay's team which has probably been hitting home runs with a wooden bat since they were teenagers, my prowess is purely the result of a hot bat. As a consequence, I have argued for years on this forum that the hot bats are ruining the sport and the source of the decline in number of players when they should be growing as our generation has better medicine and better health!
March 14, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
Bruce.......The level you are talking about is in the vast "minority" in today's game just like it was in the old days such as Michael's Lounge, Little Caesars (I ran with these men back then), Howard's/Western Steer, Steele's, Rich's/Superior, Copper Hearth, etc.

These type of clubs eventually led to the APSPL (American Professional Slo-Pitch League) of which I was on the scouting staff for the Stepien's Cleveland "Competitors".

These levels only included a small percentage of the vast number of players and so to is this Super Major level you are discussing in today's game. I can appreciate where you are coming from Bruce as far as big time sponsorship, hall of famers, etc. but it is not the case for the majority of teams and how they are financed & their ability to secure the best available player without buying them.
March 14, 2016
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
Bruce, you can lead a horse to water...

Bruce tried to explain to you, Sparky, that what Ray calls 'Super Major' is what others call M+. Surely your vast experience as a scout would enable you to understand its meaning. If the scouting itself didn't, perhaps your hobknobbing with Howard's (and the like) would.

Ray happens to be one of the very best M+ pitchers (65 M+ division) but isn't one to toot his own horn. Knowing Ray as I do, I'm guessing that he was simply stating that he's pitched to some of top hitters for a long time. Top hitters hit the ball hard and they don't always hit HRs... but as a top scout you'd know this.

Sparky, this thread is about pitching masks. If you have something meaningful to offer on it, fire away... if you prefer to rag on the upper division you might want to open a new thread. But having played against the teams of the 70s that you mentioned (and those like Superior today) I have an extremely high level of respect for guys like Ray.
Bob Woodroof
March 14, 2016
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3210 posts
Very well put Bob!
March 14, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
Do you have any more "Bruce" fan club members?
March 14, 2016
Dbax
Men's 65
2057 posts
Awesome post Bob! We all knew what he was referring too. Sparky, I thought this board was for players only.
March 14, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
Back the truck up Dbax........You mean "Sponsors" can not post? Since when?
March 14, 2016
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
Dave, you know the old axiom... those who do the least want to be heard the most...

I'm sure that there are hundreds of folks in the 'Bruce Fan Club' because he actually gets out there and does it... and he does it well. He also only speaks on matters about which he is well versed.
Count me in...
BW
March 14, 2016
Dbax
Men's 65
2057 posts
Post all you want. Just realize it means nothing.
March 14, 2016
19
43 posts
Getting awfully chippy in here.

Still my only point is masks are fine, and anybody should be able to wear one if they want, but to mandate what should be a grown man's free choice is a bit much.

Though I am pretty sure it is NOT about player safety but MUCH more about sanctioning organization potential legal and financial liability. If it is all about safety we know what the right action would be by the sanctioning organization.

We are still looking at lip service and butt-covering, and keeping the cash cow healthy.
March 14, 2016
Sparky.1
Men's 75
284 posts
Simply an outstanding response Dbax!
March 14, 2016
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
'Getting awfully chippy in here'... you think this is chippy? You should have seen it when that peckerhead, Gary19, was allowed on here (many years ago). I wonder where that phony sob is today... but I digress.
Didn't you already post your 'only point'?
we get it... you think it ought to be a choice.
But at least you brought the dialogue back to the main point...


March 14, 2016
19
43 posts
Gee thanks, I think.....

Of course it should be a choice. Well, not unless SSUSA wants to say what the real reason for the rule is.
March 14, 2016
Ray Ray 34
Men's 70
3 posts
Did not intend to upset some on my post above. All I was trying to say is that I always wear a face mask. I stated that I played on a super major (or Major Plus Level)team which are controlled by the different sanctioned tournaments that we play. I believe that senior hitters do not try to hit the pitcher but try to get it by the Pitcher. Nobody is perfect hitting the ball and if the batter mishits the ball just a little it can come right at you up the middle. Most of the time the line drives at you or not the problem but it is the balls that take a bad bounce that will get you. It only takes one time during the year when you get hit in the mask that you are glad you have it on. Ray Ray
March 14, 2016
OZ40
549 posts
If it's stipulated that this board is expressly for players only then I must have missed that section of this site.

Sparky loves the game as all of us do and I enjoy his perspective and insight that I read on this board.

As far as the post saying we as players should have a "choice" regarding the pitching mask question, well we do have a choice: Wear the mask or go to another association without a mandatory mask rule. That's your choice just as it's the choice of SSUSA to enact rules in THEIR association.

As a side note, at our age senior players are only 1 season, 1 game, 1 inning, 1 injury 1 split second or 1 play away from never playing this game again. Would you be able to quit cold turkey and never post here again if you were suddenly not a player anymore? Be thankful that you can still play this game and try to understand why others who cannot still try to remain close to the game.
March 14, 2016
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1224 posts
Hey Omar, I know who you are and your size.. I would love to see you just hit 1 ball out of 20 swings out of a 300 fence! I would even put $$ on it you couldn't..
March 15, 2016
Dancer
114 posts
I believe a pitcher only has .43 of a second to react to a hit (that is with most hitters). Now if you got a homerun hitter it is less then .43 of a second. Say if you had a homerun hitter who can smack the ball 330 feet with a non senior bat. He comes up to the plate with a shave and rolled senior bat, I bet no one will be able to get out of the way of that hit no matter how fast you THINK you are. Sure I could sue the guy for using an illegal bat, but that is not worth the pain I will endure getting several bones broken in my face. It is a good rule about the face mask, it protects those who can't make a good decision on their own. I hit a pitcher, but he had catcher shin guards when I was using a senior bat. I was not even though bringing the bat around finishing off my swing when the ball already hit him. I usually avoid hitting pitchers, but accidents happen. I am not even a homerun hitter, but I did get all of it. The ball was inches away before he even started flinching.
March 15, 2016
Omar Khayyam
1357 posts
Hey Swing, good to hear from you again. I hope to see you again in person at a tournament this season. You missed a crucial phrase in my response "In the friendly tourneys with fences closer than 300 feet". I would go broke trying to bet you that I could clear 300 today. That train has left the station. Wish I had such a thing as a Miken back in my 30s or 40s. I even borrowed a friend's titanium bat a couple of times and it didn't have the pop of my trusty Ultra II. Maybe then I might have been able to send it that far…or even better, since most of the fences where I played back in my 30/40s were 250-280, I could have had a few pops then with a Miken.
March 15, 2016
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1224 posts
Ha, I thought the way you were talking you could do it at will ;-)
I would just say, at all the levels. I would judge it power wise like this, M+ probably all in the dugouts can get it out or should. major level, probably 60 percent maybe a little higher, AAA 50 to 40 percent..

Anyway, just because you have a good/great bat, doesn't make yourself a home run hitter... I can hit them and hit them pretty good when I get them, but still consider myself a line drive hitter with pop.. Hopefully we will see you in a tourney soon, Mr Turtleman!
March 15, 2016
Mango
Men's 50
158 posts
SSUSA says SSUSA says "A not-so-short short history lesson may be helpful here ... SSUSA (and other associations) have for many years tried to reach a sensible rule compromise to protect the pitchers in an era of ever-increasing performance changes to both bat and ball technology, while maintaining as much of the look and feel of the game as possible without unreasonable modification

I respectfully disagree. Two things that SSUSA can do to “lessen” the risk factors for serious injury to pitchers that they have refused to do are- 1) get rid of the Rock Ball/use a lesser ball 2) get rid of the DBO at the 50, 55 and perhaps 60 Major Plus divisions

As I enter my 13 year at the 50 Major Plus division I have seen many many many games at that level. The bat ball combinations used today are much hotter than ever before. This means batters are hitting the balls at higher rates of speed.

Add to this the reduced number of homers allowed and the DBO and logic dictates that more powerful hitters will hit the ball down more often. More hard balls hit down increases the chance of someone getting hit. Its simple math. The rule “ENCOURAGES” powerful hitters to hit the ball down increasing the likelihood of injuries, serious injuries and catastrophic injuries.

This is actually the opposite of “reaching a sensible rule compromise to protect the pitchers”


March 15, 2016
Omar Khayyam
1357 posts
Swing, I can't even hit singles "at will!" Anyway, a guy my size shouldn't be able to hit one out even with 250 foot fences…except for the hot bats. I think you are too modest about being a line drive hitter with pop. I would describe you as a doubles hitter with pop, even playing against the Major Plus guys.
March 15, 2016
Omar Khayyam
1357 posts
Mango, good points.
March 16, 2016
hitman
Men's 70
339 posts
As a pitcher I was against the mask at first and then when it was mandated I changed my mind and am totally for it. I use it in local league and it has saved me several times, not from the line drive but from balls that have hit the pitchers rubber and take the unpredictable bad hops. I sure I would have had a broken jaw on several of the impacts off the mask. IF IT IS ALL ABOUT SAFETY GET RID OF THE PITCHING RUBBER AND USE A LINE, NOBODY USES THE RUBBER ANYWAY AND MOST ARE STICKING UP, BROKEN IN PLACES OR HAVE BEEN DAMAGED FROM DRAGGING.

BAND THE RUBBER!!!!!!
March 16, 2016
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1224 posts
Mango,, as far as the bat and ball combo... Einstien told me they were playing with senior bats and the 525 ball, he said they would go 500ft. LOL...if this is true then that would be the hottest combination...
March 16, 2016
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
Swing:
There was an LVSSA tourney in 2007 when a couple of balls went close to 500'... this was on a particular field at Lorenzi Park before it was reconfigured. It was the field facing southeast (for the most part)... and the wind was blowing pretty strong out to left center...
This was clearly an exception, not the rule.
You've been to Reno a zillion times perhaps and you know how the altitude and wind can 'change things'... that's how it was for that event in LV.
The ball we used at that time in LVSSA may have been the Decker and it was, relatively speaking, much more lively than other balls that were stamped '44/375'... thus began Einstein's Theory... :-)
BW
March 16, 2016
DCPete
407 posts
In 2002 we were all using the 47/525 Dudley Red Thunder & the original Ultra (1) came out and Everyone that owned one could hit it out.
Way, way, way hotter than today's bat/ball combo.
March 16, 2016
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
Pete,
I certainly agree that almost everyone could hit it out with an Ultra I (upper levels). But this bat came out in the spring of 2002 and only lasted until early August. They were banned 2 days before the 2002 USSSA Master's Tourney in Salem, OR.
Following that, the Ultra II showed up in Phoenix for the SSUSA event (Oct of 2002). We used ASA bats in all the National Tourneys except for those two.
I do not recall the Dudley Red Thunder being used... this isn't to say that they weren't. We played in USSSA, SSWS (aka NASCS) and SPA in 2002.
Which assns are you speaking of?
BW
March 16, 2016
Mango
Men's 50
158 posts
Swing
SSUSA cant regulate hot bats as cheaters will always cheat. But they can regulate the rules that help dictate the strategy of the game and influence where people are going to hit the ball. And they can regulate the ball as well.

I was actually playing in that particular game you are talking about (as was Einstein. And as Wood says-hitting conditions were sick. And yes that ball did travel well over 500ft at Lorenzi Park hit by teammate of mine ... . But Homeruns were NOT an out but a DBW. Thank goodness. It would have been horrifying if that ball were hit at a pitcher standing 55 feet away.
March 16, 2016
DCPete
407 posts
BW; sadly can't even remember what Senior association(s) we were playing in back then but on the East Coast the only ball we used in that era was the 47/525 Dudley.
Then in 2003 the Ultra 2 bat was introduced & was still a much hotter combo than today with that 47/525 ball.
By the fall of 2003 we had switched over to the 44/375 ball which was the Dudley White Thunder that was/is a much hotter/harder ball than today's 44/375 balls especially the current lousy Trump Stote that many on this board have complained about.

March 17, 2016
19
43 posts
Mango, your "logic" has been used before and it just a weeeee bit flawed. The DEA has a hard time stopping drug-runners, so should it all be legalized? Special Victims Units have a hard time stopping rapists, should rape be legalized? That is NO excuse, and NOT the reason, why the senior bats are allowed.

And for an association to regulate strategy is patently absurd.
March 17, 2016
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4017 posts
19 ... The Major+ rules set very closely mirrors the HR/DBO combo that the USA National Team plays in the annual "Border Battle" with Canada and other similar tourneys where they compete ... They have a 10-HR limit, then DBO's thereafter ... Strategy IS an important factor in how they utilize them to maximize the number of runs ...

Rules that dictate strategy isn't exactly a new concept in baseball/softball nor is it patently absurd ... An good example is that NL pitchers are required to actually hit, which leads to the double switch substitutions, pitchers having to learn to get a bunt down, etc., strategies driven by the rules ... A change in the DBO treatment for excess HR's is unlikely any time soon ...

March 17, 2016
tattooball
769 posts
Variables is what it all comes down to.
A .47/525 has less Severity index then than a .44/375. Severity index is force. More force more wall flex, more wall flex more performance. This is why shaved and rolled bats perform better.

So balls and bats are tested at 72 degrees. (here's where variables are important)
If you take a .44/375 composite cover ball and hit it against a .47/525 ball at 72 degrees. The .44 will outfly the .47 every time except (again variables) by player that cannot maintain bat speed through the impact.

So bigger players will hit .44's farther and lesser players will hit .47 farther because they have less of an impact and don't slow the bat down as much.

Variables
A .47/525 ball is less prone to lose compression in heat, not because it is higher compression but higher cor poly losses less in the heat than low cor poly.
So the higher the heat,the less a low cor/comp ball will perform for all.

The test facilities have to have a set temp for the ASTM testing and 72 is the number but it is really not reflective of real game play most of the time. A .44 at 82 degrees is around 300 compression and at 92 they are around 250 compression. Now if the testing was done in the lab at 82 the balls would fly well into the 90's but the lab does not take variables into effect just raw test data. A .47 with these same heat indexes would not go much below 400 compression. There is ways to make a ball that will perform right where they should but the associations would have to throw out the numbers used today. They could play better in all conditions and lower the SI at the same time. Here's the problem, how do you get people that don't understand the science to change to some thing else they don't understand. At least by following other associations they are doing what has already been accepted as normal.
March 17, 2016
Mango
Men's 50
158 posts
Dave
I agree with you that strategy is not absurd and is definitely a part of the game. Rule changes often dictate changes in strategy, as did the recently adopted DBO rule. I also agree with you that the DBO rule will not change anytime soon (vested interest of people on the committee). I was responding to the premise that SSUSA has done everything they can to protect the pitcher. The DBO does the opposite of that. It changes the strategy and encourages more hard balls to be hit down, with the pitcher being the most susceptible to injury.


Suggesting as a justification that Senior Major Plus Rules “very closely mirrors The Border Battle Rules” is a specious (extremely misleading) argument. They play their games in stadiums with 375 power alleys 400 feet to dead center and 335 down the lines compared to Senior fields with at best 300 foot fences. . That changes the game/conditions/strategy dramatically. You are comparing apples to oranges. The end result of the SSUSA rule , logically , results in more balls being hit down and hard at pitchers.
March 17, 2016
B94
Men's 50
138 posts
Actually Mango the Border Battle has only been played in a Stadium once(last year) in Michigan. In previous years when it was played in Oklahoma and Kitchener (ON Canada) the Border Battle has been played on diamonds with a 300' wire or very close to it. After watching these games (they are available on youtube) the bat control of these players and their stellar defensive abilities becomes quite apparent.
March 17, 2016
B94
Men's 50
138 posts
To add to the border battle analogy and to put this back on topic you wouldn't see any of these guys pitch without a mask/helmet on and I don't believe that batted ball speed there is a lot different than what happens using a senior bat and ball combination. Andy Purcell, who's arguably the best pitcher in the conference, is now wearing a pitching helmet too and I'm quite confident that his reactions are better than 99% of the senior players playing the game.
March 17, 2016
DOERBAUM
Men's 55
86 posts
DANG IT KEVIN !! NOW YOU DONE WENT AN GOT THAT CONFOUNDED SCIENCE STUFF INVOLVED??? MOST OF THESE GUYS ARE CORNFUSED ENUF WITHOUT THAT SUBJECT FROM HIGH SCHOOL THAT HAD 'EM FLUMMOXED. (COME ON GUYS, I'M JUST JOKING!) IMHO THE MASK OR THE SCREEN IS JUST FINE. DON'T WANT TO DEAL WITH IT, PLAY GOLF.....OR TIDDLEY WINKS. I STARTED PITCHING AND PLAYING INFIELD IN 1991 WHEN THE SPONSOR OF THE LOCAL CINCINNATI TEAM I WAS ON (AND OUR PITCHER) WAS KILLED IN A CAR WRECK TWO DAYS BEFORE THE RUMPKE PARK "METRO" TOURNAMENT. HAD NO REAL IDEA ABOUT THE SPEED "BACK AT YOU" THAT WAS INVOLVED AT THAT POSITION (HAD ALWAYS PLAYED OUTFIELD UP TO THAT POINT). BATTED BALL SPEEDS HAVE DEFINITELY GONE UP WITH THE ADVENT OF "NEW TECHNOLOGY". SO FOR THE ONES THAT ARE NOT QUITE SMART ENOUGH TO REALIZE THAT THE REFLEXES ARE WANING AND THE AVAILABLE REACTION TIME BEFORE YOU HAVE A POLY-CORE LUNCH IS THE SAME AS IT USED TO BE, OR DECREASING...... JUST THINK OF IT AS THE POSSIBLE MITIGATION OF THE APPLICATION OF "DARWIN'S THEORY". I PERSONALLY DON'T LIKE THE SCREEN AS I FEEL I DONT PICK UP THE BALL OFF OF THE BAT WELL, BUT ITS PART OF THE GAME, SO I DEAL WITH IT. WENT OUT AND BOUGHT A LACROSSE HELMET TO SATISFY THE LEAGUES THAT REQUIRE JUST A MASK. DON'T LIKE IT EITHER, BUT, AS SOMEONE MENTIONED ABOVE, SOMEDAY I'LL HAVE GRAND KIDS, AND I WANT TO HAVE A KNEE JUST WAITING FOR THEM.
March 17, 2016
Adiktiv6
Men's 60
90 posts
The Best pitchers are the Smart pitchers, and the Smart pitchers are the ones who wear the mask!

Omar, it's not the bats, it's the hands around the bat! Take a deep breath and enjoy watching your ball go over the fence and realize that maybe after all these years your swing has improved!!
March 17, 2016
Omar Khayyam
1357 posts
Adiktiv6, oh how I would like to believe that I am not only getting smarter as I age, but better! Here is my actual reality.

In 2003, a teammate started using the first Miken Ultra II that anyone on our team had ever seen. He was very generous and let the rest of us use it the second week. We were anxious to give it a try since we had noticed the dramatic improvement in how his ball travelled.

We were playing at a park I had been playing at for 50 years. The fence distance had not changed (street behind it) but the height had been raised a couple of times. I had never hit the fence in all those decades of playing there. On my first at bat with his bat (no batting practice), my ball hit the base of the fence on the fly! And my second at bat I again almost reached the fence. The first time I got a triple (left fielder was playing me customarily pretty shallow) and the second time I got a double.

I don't think I improved my swing from one week to the next with no batting practice. Not that dramatically to extend my range by 40 feet! I went home and ordered a Miken that same day. I will admit that with the new power I did change my swing to repeat the feat, and it is also true that the Miken was the best balanced bat I had ever swung, but in my mind, the bat made the difference!

But I like your thinking. I must be a better player now than 13 years ago! I'll go with "hands around the bat" as a reason.
Feb. 10, 2017
DorisJurgens
3 posts
It is important to always wear an face mask.
Feb. 12, 2017
Graphite
56 posts
Count me in Bruce's fan club. All men should have his dedication and dignity for the game.
Feb. 13, 2017
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3210 posts
Thanks Speedy, hope to see you again this season.
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