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Discussion: softball replacement

Posted Discussion
Aug. 13, 2023
800
59 posts
softball replacement
Can someone from USSSA please clarify. We played in a sanctioned tourney and had the manager from the opposing team replace the softball in use with a brand new one every time they came to bat and then took it back after they were done hitting. They did this every inning for 7 innings. It was the same ball as the Baden ball that started the game. Not that the ball deteriorates, but the Fire ball goes from yellow/green to brown after a couple infield hits. I asked the umpire and he said it was totally legal. It seems like an advantage for teams with large budgets. Is this legal?
Aug. 13, 2023
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4283 posts
Maybe there's something in the USSSA book on topic, but here in SSUSA, we are not aware of any rule prohibiting what you describe ... As to your last two sentences, your assertion of an advantage of wealth is not, in and of itself, against the rules ...
Aug. 13, 2023
800
59 posts
Dave thanks for the response. Don't get old cause SSUSA and USSSA look a lot alike. I did mean SSUSA.
Aug. 13, 2023
softball4b
Men's 70
1243 posts
Walt, previously of AZ Ancients, when you are blessed to win tournament or two. Sometimes you get a credit instead of t-shirts. We took our credit and bought balls. That being said, a little soap, water and elbow grease; almost every ball looks newish. Considering we only had one game today, why not not use new balls.

We did not hit for crap today, so not much scuffing thus the 4 new balls still look newish.

The team that scored more runs and caught more balls, won today. Always great competition between Ranalls and ourselves. Hopefully we both will represent AZ well in Vegas.

Mike Adair
Scorpions 70
Aug. 13, 2023
Dbax
Men's 65
2099 posts
Wouldn’t using a new yellow ball every inning benefit you on defense since they get dirty and are harder to see?
Aug. 14, 2023
Rob64
Men's 50
207 posts
It's a stretch to say a new ball every inning is a difference maker in the game as well as one getting dirty and hard to see is laughable! I don't believe you can stop them from changing it for every batter if it doesn't impede with the time frame of the game!
Aug. 14, 2023
800
59 posts
Just a thought, if there is no benefit to using a new ball each time you bat why do it?
Aug. 14, 2023
31Bull31
8 posts
800…..Because some teams can! Teams throw balls in as they have not been sitting in the sun for a few innings and those that get put into to the game in the later innings have been preserved in the shade for the most part. Heat does do something to these balls. Just an observation.
Aug. 14, 2023
nickname36
90 posts
"EXACTLY"

2 balls per game, umpire puts a mark on the ball and changes his/her mark each game umpired, no umpire
mark on the ball during that game you can not use it. If and when a new ball has to come in the game the
umpires mark for that game is added and both teams use the same 2 balls. If both balls go out of play as
per foul balls or over the fence homerun you just wait till one or both balls come back on to the field, no if
and or butts about it. Umpire gets paid the same if its a 3 inning or 7 inning game. 1st base team chases
right side foul balls and homeruns etc etc and 3rd base team chases left field out of play balls. If both balls
are out of play at the same time so be it the teams are losing playing time and innings till one ball comes
back on the field.
Aug. 14, 2023
TimMcElroy
939 posts
Well if this isn't the most "Congress-like" thing I've read in a while... Stop the madness, people. If a team or sponsor wants to purchase extra balls because they don't want to chase them, don't have enough bodies to chase them, or are unable to rowboat out to them (i.e. F2 at the Twins Complex) then so be it. Let 'em buy balls and keep the tourney rolling.

10 guys chipping in $4 gets you another 6 pack of balls and solves the problem. And, if $4 cramps your travel budget, that's a different converstation.
Aug. 14, 2023
Webbie25
Men's 70
2402 posts
As a member of the team that was described as 'wealthy', I find it incumbent upon me to add my two cents worth to this. (My wife is allowing me to spend this extra 2 cents since we are now wealthy). The first thing I did was check the date. Nope, not April first. I would have been upset if someone had stolen a great idea for an April First joke. Then I checked the Calendar to see if we had gone back in time to the infamous Timberworks/Old A's 'Rock' game from 2017 where they inadvertently threw in rock balls for four batters until the error was caught with no harm done. Nope, not that. We lost the game and got a whole 11 runs, so it would seem that putting in all those 'new' balls did absolutely no good, so it couldn't be that by allowing the changing of the balls that Walt's team lost the game. I then wondered if maybe it had slowed the game appreciably? Nope again, as we played all 7 innings. After studying the issue from all sides, I now have one question for Walt. Why did this bother you so much that you actually posted it here?
Aug. 14, 2023
AJC
Men's 60
217 posts
Have to agree with Dbax, this could help the defense because the new balls are so much brighter more than the offense.

I cant see anything wrong with a team throwing in a new ball if they so choose and have them at their disposal. These balls do seem to be slighty affected when its over 90 but if the game balls are the same temperature and say the ball has been used for a game or 2 i think it still fly as far as a new one. We use old tournament balls for bp and actually mark them on year also besides our team name. The Badens from last year seem to fly as far as balls we just used at our last tournament.

I cant see a problem or any advantage in throwing in a new ball each inning.
Aug. 15, 2023
DirkPitt
33 posts
Despite what some of the tournament directors say, the performance of the Baden ball is similar to the Trump ball. When new, these balls are as good as many. After 2-3 innings of play they do not perform the same as a new ball and hence the reason for the better/top teams to want a new(er) ball as often as they can afford it. A pretty simple real-world confirmation of this is that teams wouldn't care if other teams "threw in a new ball" if there was no performance degradation as the game progressed.

We go through 8-12+ balls a tournament (figure 1-2 new balls/game). Some get lost but all that remain go into the BP bucket after the tournament, never to be used again in a game. Softballs are like batting gloves. They wear out with use. Just part of the game. Some batting gloves last longer, some don't. Some balls last longer, some don't.

While not part of this discussion, the Tatoo has the most durability and seems to retain its "out of box" performance the longest. Even if those balls are $1-$2 more per ball, they are worth it in the long run. Teams would save money paying extra for those balls as they last longer.

I like the fact that SSUSA controls the supply of balls, ensuring that all teams are using the same ball - new or used. I wish they would look at a more durable ball but I don't run the program and it just means we spend ~$50/tournament on balls.

Aug. 15, 2023
softball4b
Men's 70
1243 posts
This has been a fun thread. For the record being in Northern AZ our last 4 tourneys were in 5300 ft or higher, the only tournament we used new balls was this one. I cleaned up the balls from the Southwest tourney and have used them for all the tourneys since.

I brought out 4 new balls for Prescott and did not use them on Sat. One game on Sunday, so why not. I told the umpire after the 3rd inning I would be inserting a new ball every time we came to bat. When the inning was over I walked out the new ball for inspection and put in on the mound before George the other pitcher made it on the field. When the inning was over I retrieved our ball and had the umpire use one of balls in his ballbag. No wasted time and I certainly would not have complained if the opposing team wanted to put in a different legal ball to hit.

As noted, none of this helped, we were outhit and out fielded, but I will continue to try to give us an advantage wherever legal.

One final note, some of the backup balls were stotes. I have tried all year to only hit the balls we were going to use in vegas. Walt is a good guy and competitive. Nothing wrong with him wanting to stick up for his team. Our division in Vegas will be very competitive and super fun.

Mike Adair
Scorpions 70
Aug. 15, 2023
Rob64
Men's 50
207 posts
I Hit 44 400 Rock! I don't use the balls provided that way there's no controversy about bad balls! The Umpires don't check and the pitcher on the other team is to busy to look at the ball because he's arguing pitch heights with the umpire!
Aug. 15, 2023
TimMcElroy
939 posts
Mike A & Rob64 I'd encourage you to use the official ball (Baden Fire) in Las Vegas.
Aug. 15, 2023
softball4b
Men's 70
1243 posts
Good advice Tim, that is why I buy all of the balls we use from SSUSA.
Aug. 16, 2023
Rob64
Men's 50
207 posts
I don't do Las Vegas they check the balls! LOL
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