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Discussion: CHOPPED / TOMAHAWKED BALL

Posted Discussion
Oct. 14
dud

11 posts
Cannot find "TOMAHAWKED" in rules....what is the difference between "TOMAHAWKED" & "CHOPPED"?
Oct. 14
lowprofile

65 posts
My interpretation of a TOMAHAWKED ball is a ball being swung at above my head swinging vertically as opposed to horizontally. I see your quandary where both swings are going down towards the ground after contact with the ball. I think a chopped ball is a swing deliberately beating the ball into the ground, where as a tomahawked ball is more of a full swing and if you can make it go into the ground after contact then you got a good thing going and I'm not sure anyone would complain about that? my interpretation could be wrong, but it's probably an umpires judgement call.

Happened to us in Vegas, guy clearly chopped the ball down it dribbled towards 3rd base for an easy base hit and I complained to the umpire to no avail as the umpire never called it, but I think because I complained the guy never did it again.
Oct. 14
Turbobob
Men's 65
71 posts
Here is a youtube video link of a tomahawked ball:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg3yLdmAM6E
Oct. 14
B.J.

1113 posts
to get a chopped ball call it would have to be blatanly done.. I've yet to ever call it or seen it called
Oct. 14
B.J.

1113 posts
I should have added that a batter purposely hitting the top of the ball on a normal swing is legal.. it would have to be more of a blatant tomahawk swing to get a call
Oct. 14
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
BJ, I have never called it or seen it called either. I have seen a few at bats that I thought were more of a downward swing, but I did not think that it was a deliberate chop, just a reaction to already having 2 strikes. The chopped ball is usually bundled with a bunted ball. I have only had that happen once.
Oct. 14
Garocket
Men's 55
259 posts
You have the chopped ball more in the young mans ball. The fast runner that thinks if he hits in in a chopping motion and it hits the ground more than twice he can beat it out. BUT I have only had it maybe 7-8 times in my 35 or more years of umpiring.
Oct. 15
Rick35
Men's 55
78 posts
I have done tomahawked the ball few times....and I have seen some guys that did chopped swing to get base hit quickly...by rule, the bat must complete the swing around, otherwise the batter will be called out if the swing doesn't complete around (known as half swing or swing bunt..)I did saw a guy that choked up at least 5 or 6 inches and swung the bat for a bloop hit over the infield..
Oct. 15
B.J.

1113 posts
Rick.. as far as the bat making a complete swing around.. I have never liked the wording of rule 7.6 E "FULL SWING"

I agree that the rule says that the batter must take a full swing when deliberately hitting a pitched ball.. but it just doesn't happen.. usually the big hitters take "the full swing" what about all the players who hit to the opposite field .. at best most take a 1/2 to 3/4 swing and I have never seen anyone called out on this.. in fact it's a great hit



Oct. 15
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
dud, you will probably never find tomahawked in any set of rules. In a day and age where a professional team feels like they have to change their name from Indians, you will never see that word used in any context. The definition is the same as chopped except with the American Indian connotation. There is no difference mechanically.

Garocket, I have about 10 years less umpiring experience than you, most of what you termed young mans' ball. I have never seen a ball chopped intentionally. I have seen what could be considered a chop after someone reacted to what might be strike three. I personally don't get the advantage except for an unorthodox movement on the ball as with what you said a very fast runner. I do know that teams will whine and cry on a good slap hitter, but that is a completely different approach. I am sure that a chop has happened before, or it wouldn't be in all of the rulebooks.

Rick35, I apologize, but I do not agree with your definition of a complete swing. In Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee as well as many other states, I have never seen an intentional chop. If I did, I would kill it just as the rulebook says to. Does it happen a lot in Illinois?

B.J., I also have some reservations about the definition of a full swing but am happy with it is not being squared up and without movement like a bunt. You and I have both seen slap hitters. It is very effective to those who know how to do it. You hear lots of flack from the defense including some less than nice names, but he turned his wrists and didn't square up; so it doesn't bother me. It is just a tool that the batter has mastered.

Oct. 15
lowprofile

65 posts
Hey Nancy, I have played tourney ball my entire adult life, I'm surprised you have never in your time umpiring or playing never seen it done? When a batter swings down at a 45 deg angle with barely anything behind the swing to me that is a chopped ball. As I stated above it happened earlier this year in Vegas and it sure is funny how the guy never did it again because he knows it was an illegal swing and I complained about it, not WHINING just stating to the umpire a rule violation IMO.

I agree with you though in the aspect of it not happening a lot or never in your case?, but it does from time to time happen. As for a slap hitter, that is different than a chopped batted ball, IMO a slap hitter is still taking a full swing or close to it and it's a more level swing as opposed to a chopped ball being beaten down deliberately into the ground. Believe me I never complain to the umpires, if I do it's a quick one time verbiage to the umpire and I'm done. only been hosed out of a game maybe twice in in over 30 years of playing.

Anyways this is an adult conversation with our opinions to agree or disagree and I don't want you mad at me because you always have good opinions on here and always enjoy your comments. and lastly I just want to say you look wonderful today :)

Oct. 16
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
lowprofile, thanks for the discussion. No, in my 31 years of softball, playing, scorekeeping, coaching, umpiring, directing, and sometimes just watching a game with friends and an adult beverage, I have never seen an intentional chop hit. I have had 2 times that I remember very clearly where a batter went after an inside pitch because he had two strikes on him that might have qualified as a chop, but I thought about them but did not call them because he was just trying to get a bat on the ball worrying about a third strike not intentionally chopping. If I ever see someone chopping the ball as a strategy, I am pretty confident that I would call the dead ball out (DBO). I like to think after all of these years that I can recognize situations fairly well. I am thinking that it is just not something that happens here. There are a few other things that I have noticed over the years that I have seen in other parts of the country but not here. The reverse is true as well. I didn't think that you were whining. I hear it a lot on a slap hitter at times. I won't repeat the word that they use about it. You are definitely good with me, and very little makes me mad. I appreciate you having a concern about that. I love to discuss softball because I am passionate about it. We don't learn without discussion. Thank you for the compliments. I like to think that I usually apply common sense in when dealing with situations. I hope that is true.

You look nice too. Thanks.
Oct. 17
OZ40

550 posts
Back in the day up here in Michigan we used to call that the "Ohio Chop" for obvious reasons. I have seen it called here often, not so much in Ohio and south. There is a difference between a tomahawk swing and a chop. As long as a full thrust swing at the ball was taken with an outward motion as opposed to tomahawked almost straight down swing it was a good swing. With U-Trip having a low point pitch arc of 3 ft. it was easier to intentionally chop the top straight down with a slow half swing. It gave all umpires (including me) fits.
Oct. 17
TXTrouble3
Men's 50
10 posts
Here in Texas...there is quiet a bit of "chopping"...but when I chop the goal is to beat the infield as the outfield is playing deep....is a full swing to hit over infield...usually is indefensible as ball drops before it reaches the outfielder...
I have also been accused of the Tomahawk...but this generally occurs because of a high arc pitch that i swing at when its above my head...i do this because when struck in correct spot it generates backspin and creates a good hard line drive....

I swing from 2 O'clock to 7oclock trying to hit ball just above center...

Cant stop da Chop!!😉
Oct. 17
SALSAKID49
Men's 60
161 posts
A TOMAHAWK swing is a great Power Swing, I do it as needed. STOP THE CHOP!!!! LOL!!!!
Oct. 17
lowprofile

65 posts
TX sounds like your describing a slap hit to me? thinking a chopped ball where we are here in so cal is a ball beat down into the ground kind of opposite of what your saying? either way I think we all get it and I will let this one go because I do believe this subject is left to interpretation by the umpire, it is such a fine line of a hit or illegal swing?

Nancy...well said girl as usual! and you do know your game! Peace out and if you weren't married I would have your children, but I am 55 yo and male hahah. tc
Oct. 19
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
Thanks, guys, I am finding this very informative. They just do not do it here, and I have not run into it in other places that I have been, officiating, playing, or observing.

lowprofile, thank you that is sweet and appreciated. I am actually a widow. Coachie and I were together 28 wonderful years, and he gave me this awesome legacy of softball. So how many kids were you planning on?
Oct. 19
doker
Men's 60
185 posts
Hey guys the chop swing was used all the time in the late 70's and early 80's...when the bases were just 60/65 ft...the really fast left handed batters would chop down on the ball toward third...and it was an easy hit for them until ASA WROTE THE CHOPPING RULE and it has hardly been used since...especially since the new base is 70ft away!!!!! fyi
Oct. 20
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
I never chopped at the ball, but I would take a slow full swing and hit a slow grounder to the left side out of the right handed hitter's box. That was many as 30 years ago. I could run a 4.6 40 yard dash then and break 50 seconds in the 440 in HS.

I would rather swing away though.

And TXTrouble3, if you beat the ball directly down into the ground, you might be in violation of the chop rule. Knocking it over the infield is a different story.
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