https://www.vspdirect.com/softball/welcome?utm_source=softball&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=partners

 
SIGN IN:   Password      »Sign up

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

Online now: 3 members: Dsing, RD-4, cecil; 12 anonymous
Change topic:

Discussion: Probably a silly question, but asked anyway.

Posted Discussion
Feb. 27
AKA: Southpaw

179 posts
I have pitched in senior leagues and tourneys for over 20 years. I am most familiar with AA/AAA and occasionally Major teams/tourneys. I have absolutely no experience with Major+, even watching an entire game.

So, With a base philosophy that pitching is primarily about the ability to throw a lot of strikes and allow minimal walks (I know there is more than that) my question to all levels is about the impact or importance of pitching in all levels.

My attitude is that pitching is no more effective as the defense and vice versa, the defense is no more effective than pitching. The essence of my question then is: Is there a greater burden or importance placed on a pitcher in!

Certainly want to hear from those who are much smarter than me!!
Feb. 27
AKA: Southpaw

179 posts
It would help when I ask a silly question if I completed sentences!

Is there a greater burden or importance placed on a pitcher in any one level or the other?
Feb. 27
AKA: Southpaw

179 posts
I have another silly question. Please forgive me.

With the very good quality of softballs and the extraordinary quality of senior bats, why are there so few homeruns allowed in AA/AAA? One homerun in AA or 0 allowed and yet AA is allowed 3 AAA players and AAA is allowed 3 Major players.

At each level those 3 allowed players are usually the better, more capable hitters and homeruns are punished after the limit is reached.

In light of the quality of bats especially, I would allow 2-3 homeruns for AA then 2-3 walks instead of instant punishment for those capable of hitting the long ball. For AAA, it could be 4-5, etc.

Silly, I am sure for a bunch of reasons, but I really just hate to see those guys with pop taken out of the game to some degree. Thanks and God bless!
Feb. 27
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts
Southpaw ... The answer to your HR question is pretty simple ... The graduated levels of allowed HR's [SSUSA: AA (1), AAA (3), Major (6) and Major+ (9)] are designed for two principal purposes ... First, to keep players of similar HR power grouped into one of those four rating levels ... Second is to provide an incentive for a team to move up (voluntarily or otherwise) if they have an appetite and/or ability for more HR's per game ... That's why we ask our umpires to track any and all balls hit out of the park over fair territory, regardless of whether they are scored as an HR or as a DBO ...

Feb. 28
Scott Harder
Men's 60
53 posts
I can only provide an opinion... The pitcher does carry a bigger burden than any other single defensive player. It all starts with the pressure to throw a strike, if you cannot do that nothing happens. Once you throw a strike, then you become a fielder, just like the other 9 guys out there; except you're in a spot that is dangerously close to the hitter and in the space that is the most natural path of a batted ball. Adding to that, you will see the best pitchers have some movement on the ball and make it hard for a batter to know whether its going to be a strike or not, with the idea is you want batters to swing at non strikes, which decreases their likelihood of success. So pitchers must not walk anybody but don't give them anything to hit. Don't walk anyone, don't hang meat, field the middle, don't die, immediately know what to do if you to catch one, back up plays, cover first, be a cut off and also you have to have a high batting average because what you do is so simple anyone can do it!!
Feb. 28
Punch
Men's 60
18 posts
I must say that this response by Scott Harder is amazing. I rank it as the best input that I have ever seen posted on this message board. It is concise accurate and to the point. In my glory days, I was able to excel in all of the above. Now at age 75, it has gotten too hot in the kitchen for me. My hat is off to all who still take the mound, in this day of hot bats, hot balls and diminishing reflexes. I have now retired to the short stop position which is a whole lot more safer and fun to boot.
Feb. 28
AKA: Southpaw

179 posts
Great comments on pitching Scott and Punch; would love to hear others as well especially those from Major+ since I have no experience at that level.

And of course, Dave, you are right, concise, and thorough. I believe a part of where I am coming from is that other aspects of the game decline more and quicker than hitting (like fielding, running, etc) with the result that some players are overlooked at the higher levels where they once excelled.

They drop down but are limited by lower allowances of Hr's. This might just be a problem in the South because of far too much fried chicken!!

For the record, this is not at all about me. I have not hit a homerun in 30 years!
Feb. 28
k man
Men's 65
329 posts
Very good points by Scott. Cannot overemphasize defense on the part of the pitcher especially the ages where there is no middle fielder and the middle is wide open. The ability of the pitcher to retreat and clog the middle definitely a plus. Also of note because our 60's pitcher does it so well When a batter hits a ball with a man on 1st, he's already on the way toward 2nd base to take force play throws from 3rd or SS. It kills the momentum of the other team. Also allows SS and 2B to play further from the bag knowing the bag will be covered.

Also, I've noticed that many of the better pitchers make use of the 10 foot pitching box. Once the pitcher has a strike on the batter, moving further changes the arc of the next pitches instead of the same relative arc.

Much respect to those who have pitched and put themselves in harms way!
Feb. 28
Omar Khayyam

1357 posts
Excellent response by Scott. I have pitched at the AAA and Major level. There is certainly, in my experience, a difference at the Major+ level. I throw a high arc around 12-13 feet. I have found that about 1/3 to 1/2 of batters at my level have trouble hitting that height well. In those cases, a pitcher makes a difference. I admire a pitcher I watched at a tournament who threw a knuckleball that moved all over the place. Not a very high arc, but very effective as few could really dig in and hit it. He was the difference between two 50-year major teams.

In my limited experience pitching against Major+ in seeding rounds, it seems like neither height nor knuckleball make a significant difference. These boys can it anything! There, fielding well can make a difference, but unless they have a nasty streak, they have enough bat control to hit to other places than right up the middle.
March 3
Scott Harder
Men's 60
53 posts
Humbly adding my experienced based opinion... the pitching does change from level to level. You will see all major plus and most major teams have pitchers who throw deceptive pitches. The batters at those levels are generally patient and strong, they know what pitch they want to hit and have the discipline to wait. No sane person tries to hit the pitcher, but those pitchers know it comes with the job and some even want you to try to hit it to them; protective gear is a must. The M+ pitchers also understand that they are part of the field and you can't bat .800 without using the entire field and where it is hit largely depends on where it's pitched. High level hitters know what adjustments to make to their swings as the ball is arriving at the plate. If a pitcher hangs a low pitch out over the plate, he knows its coming back at him.

As you go down in levels, you will see pitchers who have a repetitive delivery because they are just trying to not walk people, kind of like bowling or golf where you just want replicate and adjust from a baseline of muscle memory. Those are also the players who are likely to get hit and hurt unfortunately. Although the batters make it look easier, it is much harder to hit at M+ and Major just because the crafty pitching.

If the pitchers make batters fail to square it up, it takes someone behind the pitcher to covert that to an out. Great pitchers do not make a team good, but great teams always have great pitchers.
March 6
AKA: Southpaw

179 posts
My original question: "Is there a greater importance placed on a pitcher at any one level or another?" has been wonderfully addressed by Omar and Scott. Scott's insight especially made all of us think I believe. Thanks to all.
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
Email: info@SeniorSoftball.com
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

Partners